Bearie

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For residency dinners, are nice jeans and a sweater ok? or more like dress pants and tie?

Also, for interviews I plan on wearing a normal black "funeral" suit. I was curious about shirts and ties. Should I be be really conservative and go for white shirt and red tie or patterns/purples/etc okay?
 

notdeadyet

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For residency dinners, are nice jeans and a sweater ok? or more like dress pants and tie?
You're going to find that the answers you get are pretty geographical. For the west coast, nice jeans and a sweater or dress shirt are fine. The east coast seems to skew a little more formal based on users' posts in the past on this subject.
Also, for interviews I plan on wearing a normal black "funeral" suit. I was curious about shirts and ties. Should I be be really conservative and go for white shirt and red tie or patterns/purples/etc okay?
Same answer as above. For the west coast, you don't need the black suit. Any professional looking suit is fine. Out my way, I'd say about 2/3rds of applicants wear the black suits, the rest wear blue, grey, brown, etc. The only place I've seen white shirts in a professional capacity seems to be medical and residency interviews. Any solid color shirt that doesn't stab the eyes is fine, coordinate it with a tie. Purple is fine, patterns are fine as long as they're not too out there, controversial, or cutesy. But again, this is from California. Mormon-missionary chic may still be all the rage west of the Rockies...

If I remember correctly I went with a dark olive/brown suit, cream shirt, and Haida patterned tie. Didn't get any stares or negative feedback and matched at my first choice. My logic was that if a residency program was going to flip out that I didn't dress like one of the Blues Brothers, was I really going to be happy there anyway?
 
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psychattending

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For my program suit for the interview day and casual for the dinner. You can always ask the program coordinator what appropriate dress is.
 
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Bearie

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Thanks so much! 2 more silly questions:

1. My interviews are all in northeast and it seems like some have walking tour. Do I really need to buy a long formal coat for when we go outside? I'd otherwise just wear my normal coat--not super dressy but "nice."

2. Do we have to bring anything to the interview? Like those silly padfolios? Do we need to take notes on anything?
 

shan564

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The interview dinners are pretty chill at my program, but I usually went for relatively neutral clothes when I was at interviews, like a nice sweater and khakis. Or a button-down shirt and straight pants, and then I'd secretly tuck in the shirt if it looked like that was the norm. I could usually decide between those options based on indications beforehand, like the type of restaurant. If I was completely unsure, I'd just figure that some residents would probably be coming straight from work, so I'd wear a shirt/tie because I figured that's what other people would be wearing... but I'd do it in a more social-looking color combination, like a dark charcoal shirt with a bright silver tie and black pinstripe pants.
 

Psychotic

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Thanks so much! 2 more silly questions:

1. My interviews are all in northeast and it seems like some have walking tour. Do I really need to buy a long formal coat for when we go outside? I'd otherwise just wear my normal coat--not super dressy but "nice."

2. Do we have to bring anything to the interview? Like those silly padfolios? Do we need to take notes on anything?
People without coats were freezing at a recent interview walking tour in the northeast, so do have a nice coat you can wear.

Bring a pen, but no need for any notepads - they give you portfolios, and any presentations are usually given out in paper form, and some places give out CDs or thumb drives with the presentations. Go in empty handed - they will fill your hands with some helpful and some useless stuff, too.
 

shan564

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I'm a stickler about dressing nicely, but I agree about investing in a nice coat. Every grownup should have a nice coat, unless you really can't afford it. It comes in handy a lot. If you're really strapped for cash, I'd be willing to bet that there's a rack full of nice long formal coats at your local thrift store. And you probably have a friend who'd be willing to loan you one.
 
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Bearie

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I'm a stickler about dressing nicely, but I agree about investing in a nice coat. Every grownup should have a nice coat, unless you really can't afford it. It comes in handy a lot. If you're really strapped for cash, I'd be willing to bet that there's a rack full of nice long formal coats at your local thrift store. And you probably have a friend who'd be willing to loan you one.
i guess my question is not so much if i need a coat but more if i wear the one i have would it look bad? do i really have to look like a banker/consultant/lawyer with a full length coat or am i good?
 
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twright

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I interviewed all over and didn't really detect much of a East Coast vs. West Coast difference in terms of casual vs. not. Sometimes the 'social dinner' is scheduled for the evening after the interview day, in which case your decision is more or less made for you (people walk over in their interview attire). My recommendation is to just go with what is suggested on the invitation. If they say "casual", then dress casually. The rest is just common sense, e.g., if you're a woman then don't wear a halter top, if you're a man and you want to wear jeans then wear nice jeans like you might to a first date, etc.
 

Fenster

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If you're really strapped for cash, I'd be willing to bet that there's a rack full of nice long formal coats at your local thrift store.
Yes, but they are used, and it's quite hard to properly clean a coat. May I suggest looking for a sale instead? There are also some excellent deals online from time to time on sites like overstock.com and Sierra Trading Post.
 

Nasrudin

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My opinion on this is you should look as sharp and appropriate as your finances and/or resourcefulness permits. There's some element of west coast culture--among other places--that is conspicuously casual. But you can indulge that once you're on the inside, even though I think it's foolish to do so. The human response to sharp dress is universal and for you forgo the use of its influence if you choose to your own disadvantage.

For dinners, even at bars, you can't go wrong with a blazer or sport coat and dress shirt with no tie. You can casual that down with nice jeans and still look good. Or stay more conservative with slacks. Either way you're in the right zone. If your superiors wear jeans and t-shirts that's their prerogative. But you don't follow that lead.

A long coat--doesn't have to be a trench coat--is essential to complement your suit. You don't wear a baseball cap with your suit. Don't wear camping gear with it either. You'll look amateurish.

I think there are regional differences. But I also think you can put together a relatively small amount of interchangeable items to make you sharp for a few days anywhere. I'm doing dry cleaning on the road and am making good with a small carry-on garment case and a small duffle in every type of weather imaginable from 70's LA to frigid New England.
 

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My opinion on this is you should look as sharp and appropriate as your finances and/or resourcefulness permits. There's some element of west coast culture--among other places--that is conspicuously casual. But you can indulge that once you're on the inside, even though I think it's foolish to do so. The human response to sharp dress is universal and for you forgo the use of its influence if you choose to your own disadvantage.

For dinners, even at bars, you can't go wrong with a blazer or sport coat and dress shirt with no tie. You can casual that down with nice jeans and still look good. Or stay more conservative with slacks. Either way you're in the right zone. If your superiors wear jeans and t-shirts that's their prerogative. But you don't follow that lead.

A long coat--doesn't have to be a trench coat--is essential to complement your suit. You don't wear a baseball cap with your suit. Don't wear camping gear with it either. You'll look amateurish.

I think there are regional differences. But I also think you can put together a relatively small amount of interchangeable items to make you sharp for a few days anywhere. I'm doing dry cleaning on the road and am making good with a small carry-on garment case and a small duffle in every type of weather imaginable from 70's LA to frigid New England.
Agree with this completely. I interviewed all over the country a few years ago (did way too many, admittedly), and didn't notice too much difference in attire. Some residents will dress down, but you can't go too far wrong with a button-down or nice sweater, no tie, and slacks or nice jeans.
 

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Psychotic

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In Texas, dressier than jeans will get you looked at awkwardly.
Having now attended several of these gatherings in cities large and small, I think that anything in the 'smart, casual' category of dress is perfectly fine - no need for a suit, but clearly some nice leather shoes, nice slacks or a skirt, and a nice shirt tucked in with a jacket of some sort, is perfectly fine. A nice pair of dressy jeans for a guy, if he is wearing a nice shirt (oxford cloth, collared), and also wearing something other than tennis shoes or sandals, would be fine, too, in every city in the country, including NYC...no need to over think this dress deal for the dinners. Save your coordinated suits and such for interview day, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes, especially you ladies out there - heels are kind of foolish on interview day given the amount of walking you are likely to do, and every email has stressed the "comfortable shoes" warning.
 

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At my Baylor interview dinner, 80% of the people were in "dressier than jeans."

While my comment was partly a joke, there is some truth to it in Texas.

When I go to fancy steakhouses (rare), most men wear jeans and a sports coat. An elaborate dinner in my department where I stupidly wore slacks, was attended by faculty all in jeans.

Many interviewees feel the need to impress and dress up, when in Texas you probably better fit in with residents by wearing jeans. When I start my own practice, expect for me to wear jeans every day. The nearest VA psychiatrists wear jeans/boots daily.
 
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Jeans are 100% OK at my program. As I guess they're not 100% OK everywhere, though, it's probably easier to avoid them and go for the more business casual look. We have our dinners on the night of the interviews, but a lot of the applicants change between interviews and the dinner as they have a few hours off between events.

In my years of going to resident meals, I've never heard anybody comment on anybody's outfit ever (including what they wore during the day), so I'm guessing it's not that big of a deal unless you way miss the mark.
 

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Jeans are 100% OK at my program. As I guess they're not 100% OK everywhere, though, it's probably easier to avoid them and go for the more business casual look. We have our dinners on the night of the interviews, but a lot of the applicants change between interviews and the dinner as they have a few hours off between events.

In my years of going to resident meals, I've never heard anybody comment on anybody's outfit ever (including what they wore during the day), so I'm guessing it's not that big of a deal unless you way miss the mark.
Exactly. The one person that killed her chances was a female who showed up in a t-shirt that was too small and showed off her belly.

Too dressy may get you awkward looks in Texas, but residents aren't going to downgrade you for that. Nice jeans with a collared shirt should be fine almost anywhere as well. It's a resident dinner after all - not the prom. Most judging will be done on personality, not looks.
 

Nasrudin

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Exactly. The one person that killed her chances was a female who showed up in a t-shirt that was too small and showed off her belly.

Too dressy may get you awkward looks in Texas, but residents aren't going to downgrade you for that. Nice jeans with a collared shirt should be fine almost anywhere as well. It's a resident dinner after all - not the prom. Most judging will be done on personality, not looks.
I don't disagree with you. Nor do I think its a huge deal. But it certainly isn't as simple as you suggest. There is a body of psychological research on both internal cognition of the wearer and the perception of others that suggest appearance is far more significant than you're portraying here.

We think we're assessing someone's personality....
 

TexasPhysician

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I don't disagree with you. Nor do I think its a huge deal. But it certainly isn't as simple as you suggest. There is a body of psychological research on both internal cognition of the wearer and the perception of others that suggest appearance is far more significant than you're portraying here.

We think we're assessing someone's personality....
I am sure looks matter in an interview experience where a likely older person is assessing professionalism, fit, etc.

Residents are instead looking for like-minded peers that would be excellent colleagues. As long as you are not violating social norms, I care much more about how friendly you are than your attire. Not once has a resident at my program in multiple years commented positively or negatively on the attire at a resident dinner other than 1 event above. Now attractiveness is a different story..... :)
 
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Regardless of how "casual" a geographic location or program may seem I still think it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. I would not wear jeans to a resident dinner unless I was told specifically that was the dress code. I mean the residents can show up in scrubs for all we care, but they aren't the ones looking to be hired, YOU are. I think it's better to just put a little effort into your appearance and wear nicer clothing. For guys I just don't think you can go wrong with a pair of slacks and nice shirt. I think girls can get away with this ambiguous dress code a little easier because we can just wear a simple shift dress or pencil skirt and blouse and go either way. I've been wearing a blue 3/4 sleeve sweater dress to my resident dinners and adding heels + jewelry if its a fancier place.

And I think I mentioned this in an earlier thread but if anyone needs help finding affordable dressy clothing PM me. I am GREAT with sales and online shopping lol. Might as well put my skills to use haha
 

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Psychological studies show that expert witnesses have the most impact and credibility when wearing dark suits, white dress shirts, and a conservative tie such as a red tie. If you are from an Ivy League or such a school with rep on par, wear a tie with the school symbol on it.

I figure interviews should be done similarly.

Your mission should to present yourself well. Don't mind that most studies show that an interview has pretty much no bearing on in reality on how well that resident will do. For whatever reason I don't know anyone in the admissions process other than some psychologists that look into the real science of the interview process. Some psychiatrists also sometimes fancy themselves as knowing more than they really know, and being an attending in an academic institution could put that person in the position of not having enough people to humble the attending into reality. (The old argument that Presidents being in office long enough, only want to be surrounded by yes-men and lose touch with what's really going on ). For example, psychiatrists have no ability in being able to tell if someone is lying over a layman, but some think they are masters of human nature and could tell.

For a dinner, if you can't tell, I'd rather dress in a suit just in case, and if you're over-dressed, joke about it to present yourself as not being too stuck-up and putting yourself down on the level of everyone else. Just casually ask around the program if you don't know.
 
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vistaril

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For residency dinners, are nice jeans and a sweater ok? or more like dress pants and tie?

Also, for interviews I plan on wearing a normal black "funeral" suit. I was curious about shirts and ties. Should I be be really conservative and go for white shirt and red tie or patterns/purples/etc okay?

for residency dinners, I would keep it pretty casual. jeans and a sweater(or polo shirt depending on how cold it is)...tennis shoes are probably even ok. If you show up underdressed for a dinner and the people there actually hold it against you(as opposed to not caring), well, do you really want to be there anyways?

Of course I think the whole residency dinner thing needs to be completely revamped anyways, but we've already had that thread.
 

Nasrudin

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Neurosis- See above
Perhaps. I've seen enough sloppy psychiatrists though that I wouldn't mind if neuroticism for keeping yourself together were more contagious. Physical fitness and togetherness of appearance, I suspect, would seem neurotic and unintellectual to certain types of psychiatry folks. I see it as an inherent weakness in our sort. Who are otherwise more interesting and enjoyable than most physicians.