Visible tattoo at white coat ceremony?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mangoangel, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. mangoangel

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    Hi all,

    Starting M1 soon and had a question regarding dress code/professionalism at my white coat ceremony. I am a female and have a small tasteful upper arm tattoo that I never really worried about because it is easily covered in scrubs and business casual attire (and was totally hidden during interviews). However, the dresses I’m considering for my white coat ceremony are all short sleeved and won’t cover it completely and I can’t really wear a jacket or sweater since I’ll be putting on the white coat. Will this be a problem? Should I look into buying a long sleeve dress or try to cover it with makeup or just rock it? Thanks!
     
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  2. irJanus

    irJanus Falling into a burning ring of fire
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    Your school will give best guidance here regarding compliance with any professioalism policies. That said, I personally wouldn't have an issue with it nor do I think others would. I suppose it depends on which arm and what direction you'll cross the stage too.... May not be visible at any point.
    Reach out to your school, they can help best.
     
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  3. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
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    I can't imagine at a ceremony and not a professional setting that an upper arm tattoo would be a big issue, especially when it will be covered up by the white coat by the end. I am sure they generally have multiple people every year with visible tattoos and if it was an issue, they would probably clearly tell you to cover them up beforehand. The white coat ceremony is for you and your family to celebrate a rite of passage, not something that involves patients or affects your career.

    Frankly, your tattoo is probably way less controversial than some outfits you will see your classmates wear. Some people will likely look like they're headed out to the club and not a school event.
     
  4. MBBS_124

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    Most people will probably say that’s unprofessional
     
  5. BurntFlower

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    I saw a classmate with a visible tattoo during our White Coat ceremony. Each school is different, so I would reach out to your school's Student Affairs (or equivalent) department first.
     
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  6. Oso

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    This is one of those things

    You think may be a big deal

    But in reality, no one will give a ****.


    Sincerely,
    Oso
     
  7. wysdoc

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    Just saw a girl with a sizable shoulder tattoo at a white coat ceremony, no big deal
     
  8. Donald Juan

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    This doesn't sound like a big deal at all. I don't think it's unprofessional. I see no problem with any tattoo that can be covered by scrubs. Do your thing.
     
  9. QueenJames

    QueenJames Account on Hold
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    Critical care doc I worked with had the back of neck and back tatted up. Visible above her scrubs.

    I plan on finishing my sleeves after 3rd year.
     
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  10. mistafab

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    This is just a minor detail in life. Make your decision and don’t worry about it.
     
  11. Goro

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    I agree. Chill, OP
     
  12. darklabel

    darklabel PGWhy
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    Nah not a big deal. One of the smartest guy in my class has very visible sleeves on both arms and rocked it.
     
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  13. CherryRedDracul

    CherryRedDracul The Sunlight Burns
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    Tons of docs these days have tattoos. I know a prominent plastic surgeon with tats on his forearms, an EM resident with tattoos on both upper arms, an ortho resident with a half-sleeve, an anesthesiology resident with two full sleeves, multiple radiology attendings with upper arm tattoos, the list goes on ...

    No one's going to really care, I presume. Times are changing.
     
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  14. OP
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    mangoangel

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    Thank you all for your replies and for calming my anxieties haha. Just gonna stop worrying and rock it! :)
     
  15. Newyawk

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    This obviously isnt the point of the post but since yall brought it up: youre delusional if you think even 20 years from now people will not judge a physician with an entire arm tattooed.
     
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  16. Psai

    Psai Snitches get zero vicryl
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  17. AsianPersuasion

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    I have a half sleeve...so far no one mentioned anything. I plan to get both sleeves after med school.
     
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  18. DocWinter

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    The field you enter will play a large role in appropriateness of tattoos. No one really cares about an ER doc, radiologist or anesthesiologist because they don’t choose you for their doctor. In medicine roles such as FM, IM OB GYN or peds you may have to navigate better as practicing in more conservative areas may not make you a popular choice.

    Regardless things are different now and I personally would not fear for my future if I had respectable tattoos in visible places
     
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  19. BarcaBest23

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    uh, it does matter. Sure no one is going to call you out for it, and there are no set rules on not being able to show tattoos, but believe me patients, family members, and colleagues notice and do care/judge either consciously or subconsciously. It is not a big deal for white coat ceremony, it is a big deal during your career in medicine where you are constantly judged by many players in the game
     
  20. Astharia

    Astharia OB1gynobi
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    I got a glimpse of an arm tattoo that my PI had this winter when he was taking off his sweater to put his lab coat on (was wearing an undershirt of course). Either way, I thought it was funny but I think he does make a point to keep it covered on campus.

    In reality I agree that no one really cares. Tattoos, piercings, unique hair cuts, etc... are becoming more prevalent, and that population that would really make a fuss about it are either relaxing their opinions or are retiring and becoming more and more a minority. That said, if you're worried about offending a select few, just cover it up with makeup or a bandaid, etc.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using SDN mobile
     
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  21. PickleRick19

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    As long as you don't have a "Born 2 Be Wild XOXO" tattoo with barbed wire or Mike Tyson-style face tattoo you're A-okay (although personally if you had those I'd want you to be my physician).

    But honestly I don't think it's an issue, especially if it can be covered up if you needed it to be in the future. And since you said it's a small tasteful tattoo anyways, I don't think anyone at a white coat ceremony would care very much (or in any setting).
     
  22. THEBACKANDFORTH

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    Digression, but would an intelligent but conservative arm tattoo be a reasonable thing to consider having done while in medical school?
     
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  23. DocWinter

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    It would be more reasonable to have done once you sign a residency contract.
     
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  24. Spectre of Ockham

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    Half the "basics" in my year got awful tatto's there is nothing to loose , except maybe a bit of respect.
     
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  25. OP
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    mangoangel

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    As an update for anyone who might read this in the future: wore a dress where you could see the tattoo, no one said a word (except the student sitting next to me who complimented it lol), no judgmental looks, nada. My school really only emphasizes "professionalism" including dress in settings where you will be seen by patients, so that might be part of it.
     
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