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Tattoo Experience

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by FrkyBgStok, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok 10+ Year Member

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    I am interested in people that have or see people deal with visible tattoos in their med school, rotations, etc. I have searched and haven't found people addressing this issue, just people fighting about tattoos.

    Please don't respond with "don't do it." i have read that doing the search. What i am looking for is med students that have visible tattoos if wearing short sleeves (forearm, wrist, etc.) and how this affected them in medical school and rotations. I am looking for experience. It doesn't have to be direct experience. If you see it or know about it, I would like to hear.

    My reason is I want to be a doctor more than anything. I love tattoos. Not because they are cool and hip, but because, done correctly, they can be beautiful. I have a full sleeve tattoo. It is just abstract art. Nothing offense or anything. I love it and get compliments all the time. If i wear a long sleeve t-shirt and lift my arm up, you can see the bottom on my wrist. If i wear a button down shirt, you can't see anything at all.

    I am fully aware how the general public and the medical community view tattoos as a whole. But as i said, i am looking for experience. I also got the tattoo knowing very well i may have to wear long sleeves everyday for the rest of my life, and I am ok with it. So does anyone have any insight?

    Like i said, i did a search so i know i will have to cover it for interviews, some rotations, etc.
     
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  3. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Where I hang my hat.
    As a general rule, tattoos that are conspicuous are viewed as unprofessional. Many old folks view tattoos as a symbol of a blue-collar unprofessional person and some will refuse treatment by you if they see your tattoos. You will likely get no small amount of not-so-wonderful comments if your tattoos are visible.

    Yes, I know people have tattoos on their ankles. But people don't generally look at ankles. They do look at hands, arms, faces, chests.
     
  4. Bones DO

    Bones DO 7+ Year Member

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    I'm thinking of getting a giant osteopathic symbol on my upper left back/shoulder... but again that is easily covered up. Maybe you can wear some kind of long glove to cover it up while you're in rotations / working to avoid negative comments?

    Does anyone out there have visible tats and are docs/rotating students??
     
  5. ensuii

    ensuii 10+ Year Member

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    You can't be serious...are you serious? What does 'an osteopathic symbol' even look like?
     
  6. babdoc

    babdoc 5+ Year Member

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    There's nothing you can do about your sleeve, and it's great if you enjoy it. As you obviously know, you'll have to work around your sleeve so that it's not apparent when you're in doctor mode. I'd say just get used to long sleeve shirts and maybe wearing a watch or something on that wrist. Chances are you will be wearing a long sleeve shirt when working anyway. If that works to cover it, then you're golden.

    I'm assuming you're wanting to apply to DO schools since you posted on this board. Know that you'll probably have to show your tattoos at some point during your clinical lab. There are people in my class with tattoos (I'm one) and it hasn't seemed to be a big deal. But, then again no one has the extent of tattooing you seem to have with your sleeve.

    As for new tattoos, you will have to make the decision where to put them. You can easily put them where your patients will be less apt to see them. And that's just a choice that you have to make to be a doctor. It seems that you know that your patients may not appreciate seeing your tattoos. So, it might be a good compromise to put them where your patients can't see them and you can enjoy them when not working.

    Bottom line, you have to look professional. But, you can't give up the things you enjoy to be a doctor, even though it can seem that the field pressures you to do just that. You have to find ways to do the things outside of medicine that you like to do. You might have to compromise though. Otherwise, you'll get burned out.
     
  7. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok 10+ Year Member

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    yes i am interested in osteopathic schools. i am a non traditional student and they seem to be more receptive. I also like the philosophy. but thanks for the input. i understand in surgical rotations i might have an issue, but am i allowed to wear long sleeves on basically everything else?

    i am thinking of also getting those "runners sleeves." basically just a cover you put over your arm, so i can take them off if i need to do something sterile, but 90% everything is covered. but thanks for the input.
     
  8. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member 7+ Year Member

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    Yea, I think the best way to go is just finding creative ways to cover up your sleeve. I have a big tattoo on my chest area so I just have to avoid wearing V-neck shirts while a clinical setting.
     
  9. elftown

    elftown 7+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]

    Something like this, Bones?

    I've always liked the way that looks.
     
  10. TerraMedicX

    TerraMedicX 5+ Year Member

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    I've got a fairly large extent of tattoo work, and I haven't had any problems with it in the first year and a half of school. Even in OPP lab when I have to take off my shirt and all of them are visible. I would imagine my school may be a little more liberal than some other DO schools though.

    I would love any advice someone can give me about keeping tattoos above the elbow hidden during surgical rotations though! I've resigned myself to wearing long sleeves otherwise.

    Nate.
     
  11. Physio Doc 2 Be

    Physio Doc 2 Be Supratentorial problems Physician 10+ Year Member

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    The Rod of Asclepius, nice. I'll probably get a similar tattoo (or possibly the caduceus as some organizations use it as well) after my first acceptance, Lord willing. I'll get mine between my scapulae where it will be covered.

    OP, you're probably resigned to long sleeves, a watch and maybe some concealer or something similar on the borders of your work. Just a thought.
     
  12. Bones DO

    Bones DO 7+ Year Member

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    Yes something like that but a little more artsy ... Similar to this

    [​IMG]

    About 50% smaller and with the D in the upper left and the O in the lower right :D
     
  13. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    I'll remove all you guys tattoos at $99 a square inch for a duration of about 10 sessions 20 years down the road!!





    :smuggrin: just kidding ...
     
  14. Physio Doc 2 Be

    Physio Doc 2 Be Supratentorial problems Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Wait, I thought you wanted to be a real doctor?:eek:

    :laugh:

    :smuggrin:
     
  15. Bones DO

    Bones DO 7+ Year Member

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  16. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    Hahahaha.
     
  17. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Class of 2014

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    I was told that some medical schools have a dress code for their students which includes tatoos must be covered up. Some schools go so far as to tell you that you can't wear dread locks, display any facial piercings, or have more than two earring holes per ear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  18. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    The medical world is pretty conservative.
     
  19. Siggy

    Siggy 10+ Year Member

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  20. Siggy

    Siggy 10+ Year Member

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    fracking double posts...
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  21. Lorbis

    Lorbis Schmember 5+ Year Member

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    I think more people are getting used to tattoos - they sure are more popular now than ever. Who knows - maybe they won't even be a problem in 10 to 20 years.

    "In June 2006 the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published the results of a telephone survey which took place in 2004. It found that 36% of Americans ages 18–29, 24% of those 30-40 and 15% of those 41-51 had a tattoo.[9] In September 2006, the Pew Research Center conducted a telephone survey which found that 36% of Americans ages 18–25, 40% of those 26-40 and 10% of those 41-64 had a tattoo.[10] In January 2008, a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive estimated that 14% of all adults in the United States have a tattoo, just slightly down from 2003, when 16% had a tattoo. The highest incidence of tattoos was found among the gay, lesbian and bisexual population (25%) and people living in the West (20%). Among age groups, 9% of those ages 18–24, 32% of those 25-29, 25% of those 30-39 and 12% of those 40-49 have tattoos, as do 8% of those 50-64. Men are just slightly more likely to have a tattoo than women (15% versus 13%)"

    Sure, tattoos still are largely stigmatized by the professional community and by older people as being associated with criminality. But then again, if you had breasts thirty-forty years ago, medical school was an uphill battle.
     
  22. DocArmy

    DocArmy R3, IM 7+ Year Member

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    I think if you played ball for now, it would be a whole new world once you start practicing. My buddy preceptored recently with a doc who showed up in cowboy boots and blue jeans (and used to have his dog follow him around while seeing patients, until the dog died). Point is that, if you go into private practice, you can do whatever and people will still like you, as long as you are a good doctor.
     
  23. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok 10+ Year Member

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    thanks for some encouragement guys. i do appreciate. i agree with the fact that playing ball is absolutely necessary right now, and that is fine. i will get through it however i need to.
     
  24. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    Siggy ... that is extremely funny.
     
  25. babdoc

    babdoc 5+ Year Member

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    Oh, here's a random medical tidbit about tattoos. I've heard several anesthesiologists say that they won't do an epidural on a woman that has a tattoo on the small of their back (you probably know them as a "tramp stamp" :laugh:). That can be problematic for a woman when it comes time to have a baby. I guess it's because they don't feel comfortable sticking a needle through an area with ink into the CNS area.
     
  26. hooperg

    hooperg Just some guy 10+ Year Member

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    Anybody with a tramp stamp would probably be anatomically and physiologically capable of passing a Volkswagen. Anesthesia, rest easy.
     
  27. OMGPharmD

    OMGPharmD Lurker Extraordinaire 10+ Year Member

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    :laugh: :rofl:
     
  28. .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2013
  29. elwademd

    elwademd 2+ Year Member

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    did med school in atlanta, i don't remember many people having tats, let alone having them visible.

    did residency in la, nurses and docs with tats, but no one with full sleeves.

    now i'm an attending in vegas... i know an er doc with full sleeves on both arms, and he wears regular scrubs. plenty of medical personnel from ekg techs to nurses to docs here have tats. i haven't heard any of the heads of any of the departments complain, nor have i heard any patients complain.

    it's probably not as big a deal as you would think.
     
  30. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Where I hang my hat.
    Difference is you're talking about an attending with tats, OP is a potential medical student with tats. Attending is more permissible than student.
     
  31. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    My best friend's older brother got the Tom Delonge forearm double band ( http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/images/tattooed3x/TomDeLonge1x4.jpg ) right out of high school and regrets it horribly. He says that he's been required to wear a long sleeve shirt for essentially every job he's ever had, and this isn't even including office jobs. He's gotten more, but only on areas that can't be seen wearing a short sleeve shirt.
     
  32. Bacchus

    Bacchus Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Please look into Aesclepius.
     
  33. Well played, thanks Bacchus. That is a fact that I did not know, and have often wondered about the differing numbers of snakes.
     
  34. Physio Doc 2 Be

    Physio Doc 2 Be Supratentorial problems Physician 10+ Year Member

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    While the 'Rod' is the actual symbol for medicine, several organizations use the caduceus as well. My own state school uses it in their seal and I feel as though I've seen a D.O. school use it in their seal as well, though I don't remember which one. *I've looked at so many schools this app cycle they are all a blur to me.* I personally am quite conflicted, I know the RoA is the 'correct' symbol but I think the caduceus would make for a cooler image, however I'd be bothered knowing I had the 'wrong' symbol permanently tattooed on my body.

    I also want Primum Non Nocere tattooed above the chosen image, but then I have conflicts using a Latin phrase with a Greek symbol.

    Ahh, c'est la vie. If i get accepted, it'll be a good problem to have.
     
  35. .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2013
  36. Physio Doc 2 Be

    Physio Doc 2 Be Supratentorial problems Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I've been planning mine between my scapulae since I realized medicine is where I need to be. Don't worry, I won't steal your idea, but if I do and we attend the same school, I'm totally telling everyone you are the copycat! :smuggrin:
     
  37. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok 10+ Year Member

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    you guys are cracking me up. but that is a great idea for my other arm. thanks. i will let you know how it turns out.
     
  38. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    This thread needs more tat pictures!!
     
  39. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine Physician 10+ Year Member

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  40. JaggerPlate

    JaggerPlate 10+ Year Member

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    I told Dad not to get the 'Git-R-Dun' tattoo, but he just wouldn't listen. I never should have bought him that damn Blue Collar Comedy Tour DVD for X-Mas last year.
     
  41. elftown

    elftown 7+ Year Member

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    Unfortunately, UMDNJ uses it.


    [​IMG]
     
  42. faith2

    faith2

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    interesting I have a "tramp stamp" and I had an epidural I do not recall seeing they can reject giving you one if you have a tramp stamp on any of the paperwork they make you sign.



     
  43. faith2

    faith2

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    I have 4 tattoos I always made sure they are in places that when the time arises they can be hidden. The medical field is getting less conservative, but I would not want to risk it do not do the neck or face please LOL and no nazi tats LOL
     
  44. Siggy

    Siggy 10+ Year Member

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    In before Mr. Ice Cool. (Would post now, but I'm in lecture...)
     
  45. babdoc

    babdoc 5+ Year Member

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    That's just one anesthesia group at the hospital I have worked at. It probably depends upon the doc.
     
  46. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok 10+ Year Member

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    this is the tattoo i will be starting med school with:

    [​IMG]
     
  47. Bones DO

    Bones DO 7+ Year Member

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: To the Tramp Stamps!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: :)
     
  48. bnp07

    bnp07 2+ Year Member

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    local guy who managed to escape from prison for a week:
    [​IMG]
     
  49. rwlevin

    rwlevin 2+ Year Member

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    A good number of my classmates have tattoos, myself included. Some are conspicuous, some not at all. Also, when I was doing my ER rotation, one of the attendings had tattoos on both of his shoulders. ER tends to be a lot more low key than other areas but it does show that people are becoming less uptight about body art.

    My tats are inconspicuous. Occasionally, patients will see the one on my leg and in some ways in makes them more comfortable with me and will be more forthcoming with H&Ps.

    The short of it is don't worry. Unless your tats are on your neck or your face, as people have joked, your sleeve tat will be hidden in the hospital by your white coat and if you're just wearing scrubs and feel uncomfortable with that, you can wear a shirt underneath. But I highly doubt anyone during pre-clinical years will give a crap. Usually we just compare and I've gotten compliments from my preceptors.
     
  50. Siggy

    Siggy 10+ Year Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  51. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Coo LICE.
     

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