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Tattoos in Anesthesia Residency

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by Reveler, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Reveler

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    I know this has been briefly discussed in other forums, namely medical students asking about repercussions of getting a hypothetical tattoo, but I'm curious about a more concrete example. I am a 3rd year MD student with slightly above-average stats, and I'm very interested in pursuing an anesthesia residency. I have tattoos on my bilateral forearms and, and I'm wondering if any residents or attendings can comment on whether this is a major red-flag. I know many programs give tours of the OR during interview day, and this necessitates dressing out into scrubs. Would it be odd to wear an under armour layer under the scrubs to avoid showing them? I don't mind wearing a scrub jacket or gown for the rest of my career, but I'd hate to think that I'm unable to match based solely on the fact that I have tattoos that can otherwise be covered by a gown. I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has tattoos or has dealt with a similar situation.
     
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  3. sevoflurane

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    Not weird... but if you were interviewing for a job at my gig, showing off your tattoos wouldn't in any way detract from your overall interview performance.

    We have a ton of tattooes in our ORs.
    Frankly, not bringing someone in because of them is a bit short sided... at least here on the west coast.
     
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  4. sevoflurane

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    But if u feel u need to cover them up, by all means do.
     
  5. Sanj04

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    I can't speak to whether or not residencies see tattoos as a red flag, however I can say that I went on 13 anesthesia interviews this year (11 east coast and 2 west coast) and they didn't have us change into scrubs for a single one. So it's possible that you won't have to expose your forearms at all.
     
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  6. ZzzPlz

    ZzzPlz ASA Member
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    Pretty sure all those tattoos will be covered up when you interview (unless you made a really bad decision).

    They won't ask and you don't have to say anything. When July comes they will have to deal with it.
     
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  7. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member
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    Like the above have said, the vast majority of places don't make you change into scrubs. Trust me, after your first 4 or 5 interviews all the operating rooms looks the same.

    Actually this isn't allowed at our shop (and I suspect many others). Undershirts can be worn but can't come out beyond the scrubs to maintain whatever AORN standard.
     
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  8. Promethean

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    There are scrub jackets that can be worn for warmth (and to cover arms) which, assuming they are clean and worn only in the OR, will be permitted by facility policy.

    But, yeah, tattoos in the OR are mostly not a big deal. I got bilateral forearm tattoos (kid friendly) while working in the OR at a university affiliated children's hospital as soon as the policy shifted to permit visible ink. Some doctors who had religious restrictions on getting tattoos were more curious about them than other folks, but their interest was polite and nonjudgmental.
     
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  9. Shinkansen

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    agree with above: they should not be seen during interviews unless you rock a short sleeved shirt with a tie and no jacket...

    for residency, we have a few at my program with forearm and upper arm tattoos. no issues. the forearm 3/4 sleeve tattoo guy almost always has his covered with a long sleeve undershirt or OR jacket. upper inner arm tattoos aren't so easily seen, though people wear short sleeves with them. I've never heard any complaints/issues about either.
     
  10. urge

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    Tattoos are not a big deal. Have had my fare share of residents with tattoos without issues.
     
  11. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog Keeping the Forces of Entropy at Bay
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    It's true, Sevo's group is very tolerant of body art as you see by this picture of Sevo:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. killerleaf

    killerleaf beware, beyond there be dragons
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    The answer is a maybe. What part of the country? Some areas are just more tolerant than others. (West Coast vs. Deep South). Some ORs allow coverage, other's don't. (great question to ask during interview..."hey, if I am cold natured....) Some patients might have issues, so program may waffle due to what their patient population is. What is the content of the tattoos? that might sway a program one way or other...(hey, we do several months at pedi, and those are going to give the kids nightmares) so, like a lot of things, it is all "ifs and buts".
     
  13. Ezekiel2517

    Ezekiel2517 Anesthesiologist
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    Not gonna lie, had some old school attendings in residency who did not like the fact some residents had visible tattoos. Not that it bothered them much but they knew it bothered some patients
     
  14. Reveler

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    I'm interested in programs all across the country, but mostly midwest/northeast. Nothing in the south. The tattoos are kid-friendly, no skulls, flames, naked babes, etc. and they don't cover the whole arm.
     
  15. sevoflurane

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    Ya... some people are like... o_O when they see me.

    I don't get it.

    Intolerant bastards.
     
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  16. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass
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    I am one of them. (I can't stand even when anesthesiologists wear scrubs without a white coat outside of the OR.)

    The main reason is that, in many countries, big visible tattoos are associated with certain undesirable social groups. Same goes for skinheads, broken teeth etc. It's a matter of taste/bias/life experience, like sagging pants. There are certain things that don't fit well with the image of a physician. (I do know every rule has exceptions, and that one of my resus heroes had a ponytail.)
     
    #15 FFP, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  17. sevoflurane

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    I actually don't posses a single tattoo on my body... was just kidding around with Salty's post.

    But I feel ya.

    I just happen to work with an OR full of tattoos (even some with tattoos on their faces and necks)... it just doesn't bother me personally. It's just another way of expressing one self- like a scrub hat or OR clogs or a particular hair style or whatever.

    One actually has a tattoo of the triforce from the Legend of Zelda on her forarm.

    I happen to be a Zelda fan and it sort of brightens my day when I see it.

    She is a completely benign person.
     
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  18. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass
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    I know. I have definitely become more tolerant of tattoos since I have been living in the US. I still consider most of them as a sign of bad taste/lower IQ.

    I understand individuality. I could have Americanized my name and made my life easier; that's my tattoo.
     
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  19. nimbus

    nimbus Member
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    I just had a patient who had "small but fierce" tattooed above his junk....no kidding.
     
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  20. sevoflurane

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    :roflcopter:
     
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  21. sevoflurane

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    See FFP... classy
     
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  22. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass
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    I wouldn't go that far. Let's agree to disagree. :)
     
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  23. Twiggidy

    Twiggidy ASA Member
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    To OP:
    Just play it safe.....while you're trying to get the job (match spot)....cover your ink. Get the gig and then be yourself.

    I've been a bit of a rebel my entire life. I have ink and I have earrings and despite the other disadvantages that my appearances can sometime have, I've prevailed. I may even argue my IQ is above average despite my love for body art. Unfortunately for us counterculturalists there's a still part of this country (and apparently outside of this country) that views tattoos as bikers and gangsters, and that's just the way it is. As in most things in life, this where you have to play the game. Despite my rebellion, I still respect the patients. I wear a gown most days and take out my earrings (or cover with a bouffant).

    As Sevo said, in the future, it will likely depend on where you practice, but so long as patients still have a view of doctors being old, white grey haired white men, you have to play the game a bit.
     
  24. dhb

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    :eyebrow: seems to me tatoos are in the majority
     
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  25. Psai

    Psai Snitches get zero vicryl
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    How small was it
     
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  26. nimbus

    nimbus Member
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    No comment
     
  27. ZzzPlz

    ZzzPlz ASA Member
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    Saw my first "slippery when wet" tattoo the other night during a c section. Right above the mons

    It was actually pretty entertaining. The dad was whispering to me asking if they could remove it during the procedure while mom was trying to get reassurance that it would look good afterwards
     
  28. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA ASA Member
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    This is a generational issue. I think some older attendings (myself included) and senior patients won't view tattoos as favorably as many of you here on SDN do. I'm "old school" and think tattoos on exposed parts of your body are relatively unprofessional for a Physician. Second, I think excessive piercings are unprofessional as well.

    I realize that this viewpoint is probably "old fashioned" and I have met many good providers with forearm tattoos. That said, I still don't approve of them in a professional setting. So my advice for those on the interview trail is cover up those tattoos if at all possible.
     
  29. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA ASA Member
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    #28 BLADEMDA, Mar 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  30. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA ASA Member
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    In the Harris Interactive poll, 27 percent of the respondents without tattoos said folks withtattoos are less intelligent (ouch), and half said they're more rebellious. In a 2011 CareerBuilder poll (the most recent one on the topic), 31 percent of nearly 3,000 hiring managers said they would be less likely to promote someone with a visible tattoo, and 37 percent said the same for piercings.

    What does all this mean for you, the anchor on your arm, the – oh yeah! – ring in your nose and that job interview next week? Here are a few tips to consider, from Tonya Wells, author of "What to Wear to Your Job Interview" and president and executive recruiter of Ally Resource Group, and Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas:

    Consider the industry and role you're pursuing. If the position is in a typically conservative industry, such as accounting or banking, cover your tattoo for the first interview, Gottsman and Wells advise. While there are exceptions – Wells says Bank of America, for example, has a very welcoming tattoo policy – consider this step a precaution.


    That tattoo is more likely to worry employers, too, if you're applying for a customer-facing position, such as a salesperson, customer service representative or a health care provider. Even if the interviewer is fine with tattoos, she has to consider that your potential customers, clients and patients may not feel the same way.

    http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2015/05/18/do-you-still-need-to-hide-your-tattoos-and-piercings-for-interviews
     
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  31. fakin' the funk

    fakin' the funk ASA Member
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    To play devil's advocate, a lot of patients are bothered by headscarves and turbans too.
     
  32. nimbus

    nimbus Member
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    Yep. They're probably bothered by non-white skin too. F them. Can't please everyone. Just be yourself.
     
    #31 nimbus, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  33. AvaMarie

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    It bugs me when people use the word 'rebellion'...most people who use it to define themselves or people who use it to define others usually are referring to someone who is a non-traditional thinker. Sure rebellion is the easiest way to define what we think and feel but it's us non traditional folk who innovate and discover. Embrace it and take time to educate others. Oh, and those of you who have said that you equate tattoos with lower IQ is about the rudest, most degrading thing you can say to a person. Look at your own ugly soul before being so harsh please.
     
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  34. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog Keeping the Forces of Entropy at Bay
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  35. BLADEMDA

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    My response is that people are BORN with their skin color and even to a certain extent their religious affiliation (some but not many change religions) but they must make an active decision to tattoo their forearms or pierce their nose/tongue. Hence, I don't care if one is bothered by a turban or a non-white individual as that is just prejudice.
    A tattoo has long been a symbol of rebellion against authority or the desire to make a loud statement. Both of these things are unprofessional to a degree and I agree with policies which restrict visible tattoos in the O.R.
     
  36. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA ASA Member
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    Professional:

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA ASA Member
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    Unprofessional:

    [​IMG]
     
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  38. BLADEMDA

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  39. Arch Guillotti

    Arch Guillotti Senior Member
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    [​IMG]

    Do face tattoos count?

     
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  40. turnupthegas

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    I have a few tattoos that are above the elbow and visible in scrubs. I haven't had a bad reaction between parents of kids, patients, of attendings. Majority of the time people are interested and want to look at it closer. However, they aren't offensive in any respect.

    Some of the attendings here, surgeons included, have full sleeves.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
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  41. sevoflurane

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    What part of the US?
     
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  42. turnupthegas

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    Northeast!


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
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  43. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member
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    Interesting. Never seen anything approaching this in the mid-atlantic or southeast. Not sure it would go over so well for reasons listed above. A stay tat or two sure, but a whole sleeve?
     
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  44. G-Man82

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    There's a surgeon here who has some impressive tattoos.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  45. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they?
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    I have the same mildly, vaguely distasteful view of large always-visible tattoos as I do of bumper stickers. Both are a way to make the same brief statement or joke all the time to complete strangers. Rarely as profound, clever, or interesting as the bearer seems to think.

    Not something I would do to myself (or my car). I don't really get it. But to each their own.


    That said, medicine is a conservative profession. Always will be. You never see people wearing Hawaiian shirts and sandals (with socks of course) when interviewing for residency or fellowship positions ... surely some of them have tattoos under those suits. Clearly they understand that they live and function in a world where appearances matter sometimes. I'm not sure why some think that appearances don't matter other times.
     
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  46. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog Keeping the Forces of Entropy at Bay
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    A lot of people don't like bumper stickers. I don't mind bumper stickers. To me a bumper sticker is a shortcut. It's like a little sign that says 'Hey, let's never hang out.'

    -Demetri Martin
     
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  47. Twiggidy

    Twiggidy ASA Member
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    Older generations and conservative parts of the country just aren't ready Most don't even want their quarterbacks with tattoos let alone their doctors. Again, you just have to play the game, especially if you're a person of color. If any person of color came to me and said they're interviewing for med school/resident/fill in the blank job and they had a visible tats...no matter how artistic and pretty (and i've seen some beautiful non-statement making tattoos) I would tell the cover them the minute you walk in and keep them covered until you leave. There's already enough going against you, especially if it's the south of midwest.

    Parts of the northeast and west coast you can get away with more because it's a more liberal area of the country. I keep mine covered because 1) i dont want patients focusing on them 2) i'm not trying to show of for people at work so there's no point 3) our hospital is fricking cold.

    The times are changing but they're just changing slow.
     
  48. AvaMarie

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    Here's the thing though, cultural climate has changed when you consider tattoos. I believe it is something like 1 out of every 5 people has at least one tattoo. They no longer simply represent bikers or gangs. They have much deeper meanings now. Some of us get them because we want to remember someone or something. Others get them because we like it and find it beautiful. There are those still that get them because of a bike group or a gang they are apart of but the vast majority isn't doing it to be loud or rebellious. This is 2017, not 1980. The culture changes and we must adapt to fit our future. The men and women who will taking care of you when you're to feeble to will likely have piercings, tattoos and hair all colors of the rainbow.
     
  49. AvaMarie

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    Ok I had a good laugh at this. This gentleman is not someone I'd make my family doctor, upon first glance. But should his skill and character be phenomenal, hell yeah. I don't care if my doctor is overweight, male or female, has blonde hair or blue hair, has his or her whole body covered or is Hindu. I care about the quality of my care. I care if he is clean (no body odor, no greasy hair) and carries himself with respect and dignity. I've just always been that way. Yeah, he's kinda weird looking but I can't allow myself to make a judgment of his skill til I've gotten to know him.
     
  50. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA ASA Member
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    We are just too far apart on this issue. There is no way in hell the guy with a face tattoo is taking care of my family or me. Same thing with the blue hair and nose piercings.

    I wish those people with all the exposed tattoos and piercings all the best in their careers.
     
  51. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they?
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    I'm more than comfortable judging that book by its cover. There is no way that guy has good judgment with regard to everything else in his life.
     
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