Standards of Dress and Appearance

Students are expected to convey a professional demeanor, not only in their behavior but also in their dress and appearance. A professional image conveys credibility, trust, respect, and confidence to one’s colleagues and patients. In all educational settings—classroom, laboratory, clinical environment—students are expected to be clean, well groomed, and dressed in a manner appropriate to their responsibilities and the standards of their assigned clinical sites. When patient-student contact is part of the educational experience (including interactions in the clinic, in the hospital, and with standardized patients), students are expected to dress professionally and wear a clean white coat unless otherwise instructed by EUSOM faculty. Medical students are expected to wear their EUSOM identification badges at all times in clinical and academic settings. Of note, each healthcare facility in which students rotate may have their own standards which need to be observed, however the EUSOM will default to the most conservative and restrictive standard that may apply.

All students are required to be clean and maintain appropriate personal hygiene with regard to their body, hair, and nails. Hair and nails need to be clean, neat, and of a reasonable length so as to not interfere with the student’s and/or patient’s safety or ability to perform their duties. Cologne and perfume should not be used on days when students are seeing patients.

Patients vary in sensitivity to and in expectations regarding the appearance of their health care providers. A reasonable rule of thumb is to lean towards being conservative – for example, choose attire that most people will find appropriate.

Professional dress for clinical duty is outlined below:

Hair Maintenance

Hair should be neat, clean, and of a natural human color. Unless head coverings are required for religious or cultural reasons, hats or other head coverings should be avoided.


Students should wear business attire that is clean and in good repair. In general, clothes should be of a length, fit and style that are appropriate for the clinical environment. Shorts and blue jeans are not appropriate professional dress. Shoes must be closed-toe, comfortable, clean and in good repair.


Scrub suits should be worn in specific patient care areas only. They are the property of the hospital and are not to be defaced, altered, or removed from the hospital. Scrubs are NOT to be worn in the School of Medicine Building (including ExCEL) unless otherwise specified. Stained or soiled scrub suits must be changed as soon as possible; they are a source of potential contamination. All Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., masks, hats, booties) must be removed upon leaving OR’s/procedural areas.

Body Piercing and Tattoos

Body art and body piercing, which may be acceptable in some social situations, should not be worn or displayed by students in professional settings.


Students should wear their nametag/badge at all times in the clinical environment.  Nametags/badges should be above the waist, near eyelevel.

The above provide guidelines that represent minimum standards for dress and appearance to ensure that students present a positive and professional image to patients. You will receive feedback about your grooming and attire from standardized patients, faculty, course directors, and peers when your appearance does not meet expectations for professional and clinical environments. If a faculty member, course or clerkship director or staff member feels that the dress is inappropriate for the setting, they may also ask you to change prior to continuing in that environment.

Last modified: 7/28/2018