Mar 14, 2024

What Do Doctors Wear to Work?


According to research, when doctors dress for work, it's to identify themselves as hospital personnel and display professionalism. In addition, it provides a vital layer of protection as regular, day-to-day clothes are prone to the exposure to outside elements, which could harm patients during work shifts.

Let's talk more about how doctors dress for work.

What Kinds of Clothes Do Doctors Wear for Work?

1. Business Attire

Professional attire is often worn by medical professionals who are in specialties that hold frequent appointments. Most often, the doctors wear this outfit under their white coats, so they can easily change as needed.

When doctors wear this to work, it usually includes slacks and a dress shirt (sometimes a suit) for men. For women, this can include slacks or a skirt paired with a dress shirt (and a blazer), or a length-appropriate dress.

This type of attire can vary widely, so it’s best to double-check hospital dress codes to ensure you adhere to any requirements.

2. Scrubs

Scrubs are often the uniform of surgeons, nurses, and physicians who conduct or assist in operations or other patient care services. While they come in different colors, scrubs are most known for being blue or green among the medical field.

Scrubs allow doctors to easily move and they're more cost-effective than other types of attire, so professionals can easily replace them if need be.

High-quality medical scrubs are made of thick fabric that provides adequate protection against bodily fluids. This helps limit the wearer’s exposure to germs from patients, thus minimizing the risk of spreading illness. Conversely, physicians change to scrubs upon arrival at work so that their patients are not exposed to the bacteria or viruses of the outside world.

3. Textile Hygiene

While doctors wear work clothes for both cleanliness and professionalism, these day-to-day items often harbor germs.

As such, textile hygiene products, such as gowns and caps, have become common for doctors’ work outfits. These items are often tear- and liquid-resistant. They are also highly breathable to allow the wearer to move freely and comfortably.

4. White Coats

As the most popular signature workwear of doctors, white coats help people clearly identify who are the physicians among healthcare workers.

doctors in white coats

Historically, doctors’ coats were black for formality and to pay tribute to the dead. However, in the 1900s, they changed to white coats. This symbolized cleanliness and purity, which most physicians still adhere to today.

However, some doctors don't agree with this look. They prefer casual attire instead, because patients might feel more nervous and intimated by the former approach.

Still, the white coat remains the more commonly used workwear for doctors.

When doctors plan what to wear for work, they should consider in equal parts professionalism, comfort, and of course, sanitation.

For all your clinical clerkship needs and questions, C.H.H.A is here to help. Our hands-on training, resources, and preparation services can help you build a competitive U.S. residency application and become successful in your medical career.

Contact us today to learn more.

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