Mar 23, 2017
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So I am applying to medical school and I am planning on getting a sleeve. I am also hoping to get into the Radiology field once medical school is completed. I was wondering people's opinions on this matter and whether you think It is a big deal during medical school and residency as long as you wear long sleeves under your scrubs. Does anyone have personal experience or someone they know that has been in a similar situation or with sleeves? Please let me know.
 
Sep 19, 2016
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You can't scrub in to the OR or angiosuite, or L&D with long sleeves under your scrubs. So expect people to see them in several of your med school rotations.

I'm sure you will get lots of opinions on this board. And your attending physicians may have lots of opinions, which means that it can only hurt you. If you are willing to risk that then go for it. It will certainly be hidden when you interview and if you are reading diagnostic rads.


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The way I always address this issue since it's raised a lot is that most people won't care, especially if you're on the coasts. However a number of people, let's call it 10-20%, will view you negatively and almost 0% will view you positively because of tattoos. Definitely do what you want but it will certainly give people a reason to judge you just like dirty clothes, messy hair, etc.
 
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DrBowtie

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So I am applying to medical school and I am planning on getting a sleeve. I am also hoping to get into the Radiology field once medical school is completed. I was wondering people's opinions on this matter and whether you think It is a big deal during medical school and residency as long as you wear long sleeves under your scrubs. Does anyone have personal experience or someone they know that has been in a similar situation or with sleeves? Please let me know.
New plan: Don't get a sleeve.
 
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GadRads

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Don't get a tattoo. There isn't much to gain and you give people reasons to judge you.
 
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Radignator

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Absolutely don't get it. For many (most?) hospitals there is a policy against visible tattoos. Best case scenario you'd always have to wear long sleeve shirts to cover them up which will be a problem on surgery and IR. A few years ago we interviewed a solid candidate with great scores who had very visible tattoos. He was not ranked despite the fact that many of us like him. The reason given was that it is against hospital policy. We also had a resident with a small hand tattoo who was given a spot on the condition that it be removed by laser which it was.
 

tco

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Absolutely don't get it. For many (most?) hospitals there is a policy against visible tattoos. Best case scenario you'd always have to wear long sleeve shirts to cover them up which will be a problem on surgery and IR. A few years ago we interviewed a solid candidate with great scores who had very visible tattoos. He was not ranked despite the fact that many of us like him. The reason given was that it is against hospital policy. We also had a resident with a small hand tattoo who was given a spot on the condition that it be removed by laser which it was.

So your hospital has a pro-discrimination policy? Interesting.

OP, I don't have any tats, but have plenty of friends who do. They all love them.

With that said, I feel that maybe you should reconsider the sleeve. While no one will notice it during your interviews (unless you go completely overboard), when you get into scrubs, everyone will notice. If you can, just back it off to a high arm tat or shoulder tat or something concealable.
 

IRorBustguy

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So I am applying to medical school and I am planning on getting a sleeve. I am also hoping to get into the Radiology field once medical school is completed. I was wondering people's opinions on this matter and whether you think It is a big deal during medical school and residency as long as you wear long sleeves under your scrubs. Does anyone have personal experience or someone they know that has been in a similar situation or with sleeves? Please let me know.

i think you should get INTO med school first and then worry about getting a tattoo.
 
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Radignator

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So your hospital has a pro-discrimination policy? Interesting.

OP, I don't have any tats, but have plenty of friends who do. They all love them.

With that said, I feel that maybe you should reconsider the sleeve. While no one will notice it during your interviews (unless you go completely overboard), when you get into scrubs, everyone will notice. If you can, just back it off to a high arm tat or shoulder tat or something concealable.

The hospital has a policy against doctors having visible tattoos. I don't think it's necessarily discriminatory. Personally I have nothing against tattoos and think many look nice. In terms of hospital policy I can see elderly patients being unhappy to receive care from someone who has visible neck, face, or hand tattoo. Again, I personally wouldn't care but I can see the logic behind the policy. Applying the policy broadly to every specialty is just beaurocracy.
 

Fab5Hill33

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My hospital has a policy against visible tattoos. They must be covered at all times in areas where patients, families and administrators may be. OR/angio suite is obviously an exception. We have staff who have to put ACE wraps or bandages every morning on their legs/arms to cover them up.

But agree with posters above. It's only going to be a potential negative in your career going forward. In the end, you just have to weigh it against whatever happiness the sleeve will give you.

Absolutely don't get it. For many (most?) hospitals there is a policy against visible tattoos. Best case scenario you'd always have to wear long sleeve shirts to cover them up which will be a problem on surgery and IR. A few years ago we interviewed a solid candidate with great scores who had very visible tattoos. He was not ranked despite the fact that many of us like him. The reason given was that it is against hospital policy. We also had a resident with a small hand tattoo who was given a spot on the condition that it be removed by laser which it was.
 

tco

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The hospital has a policy against doctors having visible tattoos. I don't think it's necessarily discriminatory. Personally I have nothing against tattoos and think many look nice. In terms of hospital policy I can see elderly patients being unhappy to receive care from someone who has visible neck, face, or hand tattoo. Again, I personally wouldn't care but I can see the logic behind the policy. Applying the policy broadly to every specialty is just beaurocracy.

That's literally the definition of discriminatory.

Discrimination - the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.

They're barring a group (those with visible tattoos) from performing a job for which they could potentially be qualified.

If they want to do what the poster above said, and recommend that the tats be covered when not in the OR, that's fine, but they can't fire/not hire based on a sleeve tat.
 

IRorBustguy

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That's literally the definition of discriminatory.

Discrimination - the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.

They're barring a group (those with visible tattoos) from performing a job for which they could potentially be qualified.

If they want to do what the poster above said, and recommend that the tats be covered when not in the OR, that's fine, but they can't fire/not hire based on a sleeve tat.

you should disclose you are not a lawyer. many hospitals have this policy and have not been sued
 

Shifty B

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That's literally the definition of discriminatory.

Discrimination - the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.

They're barring a group (those with visible tattoos) from performing a job for which they could potentially be qualified.

If they want to do what the poster above said, and recommend that the tats be covered when not in the OR, that's fine, but they can't fire/not hire based on a sleeve tat.

You're not using a very good definition for discriminate.

Uh... every job, including medicine, "discriminates" between features they want in people to hire and people they don't want to hire. They "discriminate" against people from worse quality medical schools and with worse grades.

What's frowned upon is discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender, etc. You want to discriminate between some features, just not those.

If tattoos are important to you, get them underneath normal short sleeve clothes.
 
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No one is ever sued...Until they are.

Not how the law works broski. "Discrimination" is only illegal when it's on the basis of suspect traits: race, religion, gender, age >40ish, disabilities that don't interfere with your ability to do the job with reasonable accommodation. In some jurisdictions sexual orientation but not many. Discriminating because you are 20? not illegal. Discriminating cuz you smoke? Not illegal. Discriminating because you have bad tats? Go for it.

they really should make pre-meds take a useful class like business law 101 instead of organic chem
 

tco

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A quick Google search shows this at the top of the page, "In some, it is legal for an employer to ask you whether you are a smoker, and to hire, or not hire you based on that answer. However, 29 states and the District of Columbia do prohibit discrimination based on legal activities outside the workplace, which includes smoking tobacco."

I guess that business law class really would be useful.
 
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DJNYY

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Med students and doctors tend to be pretty conservative and judgmental on the issue of tattoos. More so the latter group because tattoos were not as mainstream in their day as they are now. Expect to be judged by your colleagues in particular but make your own decision. I do not personally know any doctor or resident with a sleeve tattoo but I have seen nurses and techs who do. And as mentioned prior, there's no hiding it under scrubs. Maybe consider a half sleeve limited to your upper arm if you must...
 
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That's literally the definition of discriminatory.

Discrimination - the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.

They're barring a group (those with visible tattoos) from performing a job for which they could potentially be qualified.

If they want to do what the poster above said, and recommend that the tats be covered when not in the OR, that's fine, but they can't fire/not hire based on a sleeve tat.

As a person of color, the idea that you think this is discriminatory is laughable.


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tco

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As a person of color, the idea that you think this is discriminatory is laughable.


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Uh. Okay?

Maybe not qualify yourself as, "A person of color..." and it would have the same impact. Why do you have to be "of color?"

Seriously, though, by definition it is. So, yeah, whatever.

But as a white male without any tattoos, I really don't have any idea what discrimination is. In any form. At all. Life is actually really, really good.
 

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So I am applying to medical school and I am planning on getting a sleeve. I am also hoping to get into the Radiology field once medical school is completed. I was wondering people's opinions on this matter and whether you think It is a big deal during medical school and residency as long as you wear long sleeves under your scrubs. Does anyone have personal experience or someone they know that has been in a similar situation or with sleeves? Please let me know.

Dude, you're going into a specialty where you're going to be alone in a dark room all day. Are you even serious...?
 
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SageRad

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A "sleeve" will be a possible negative in any career outside the visual and performing arts and perhaps graphics/design. It cannot help your career as a doc and could limit your opportunities...a lot.
 
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