Medical school fashion: United Kingdom
We asked medical students around the world what they wear
- By: Daniel Bye
The dress code for doctors, medical students, and all healthcare workers should adhere to a fundamental ethos of the Hippocratic oath—do no harm. The National Health Service’s rules about removing white coats and demanding health workers to be bare below the elbows aim to prevent the spread of iatrogenic complications. But such policies are already being discredited, and the removal of the wristwatch has been criticised for hindering accurate readings of respiratory rate and pulse, potentially jeopardising patient safety (BMJ 2008;337:a938).
Whether dress acts as a barrier to doctor-patient communication is more difficult to ascertain. In Manchester Medical School such a line of argument bans T shirts with slogans, visible body art, nail varnish or extensions, extreme hair styles, body and face jewellery (except small stud earrings and wedding rings), wrist bands, revealing clothing, open toed sandals, and footwear with heels.
I have no objections to these prohibitions: it