taylorrrr96
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???
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Doctor_Einstein
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Wear a long sleeve shirt to the interview and you will be fine.
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username1060389
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I'm a student nurse so might be able to help. Personally I haven't seen doctors with tattoos but probably as they are older on the wards I've had placement on.
The policy regarding tattoos is probably similar to that for nursing in that as long as it won't offend patients or is not inappropriate then you should be okay


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theresheglows
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Pretty much what Sophie has said. As med students we are advised if we don't have visible tattoos not to get them, and if we do to cover them if possible. People with small tattoos are asked to put plasters over them. On clinical placements you have to have your forearms bare (for hygiene reasons), but you may be asked to cover it as much as possible i.e. sleeves down to/roll sleeves up to just below the elbow. Personally I don't think it's usually a problem, but nhs policy states that for older patients tattoos can be "unsettling and distracting", as we see a lot of elderly patients as med students you could wear a cardigan and roll up the sleeves (as most of us do anyway) so it is just covered in those situations. In practice, most doctors wear full sleeves anyway.
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Democracy
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Personally I don't think it looks very professional. Many of your patients will be older and conservative - what would your granny think? Or if your gran is quite liberal, what would a "typical" grandmother think?

Nurses, ODPs, etc can get away with visible tattoos and piercings, but you're going to be a doctor-in-training. The public has certain expectations so you need to look the part.

It's more difficult since you already have it, but as others have said, I guess try to cover it as much as possible for the time being. Once you're in med school, that's the biggest hurdle passed, but you might still get comments from some senior staff.
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jackien1
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Honestly, I don't care about tattoos and I'd think you were a freaking cool doctor if you did have tattoos. (Provided they're good tattoos.)
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Hanz_a93
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It might be a problem when it comes to clinical examinations, especially because you have to be 'bare below the elbows'.

You might get away with it in the interview but not in medicine.


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FinnFantastic
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You'll be fine. Official guidelines as far as I can tell are that tattoos are tolerated as long as they aren't offensive (I.e. avoid swear words and swastikas.) I also have tattoos on my forearms, and I am very likely to get more. And I have 16 above the neck piercings, and 14mm tunnels in my ears. I tend to hide them for getting through interviews as interviewers are likely to be conservative, but in terms of being on placement they can't chuck you out for having tattoos or piercings (as long as you remove jewellery when appropriate.)

Bear in mind that the conservative elderly are not the only group doctors have a duty of care to. I think there is already an issue with the vast majority of doctors being very privileged, well off people. This might work for your granny, but it's likely to alternate huge numbers of (for example) young, LGBT+ young people presenting with mental health issues who need to feel that their doctors are accessible, and are at least marginally able to comprehend their lives.

I'm also not even sure it does work for your granny. My granny never stops complaining about how doctors are all rich, private schooled men who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives and can't possibly imagine what it's like to be her. (Obviously, this is an exaggeration but these feelings are symptomatic of a genuine problem.) The very narrow definition of "professionalism" that we are expected to comply to alienates as many people as it reassures.

Also bear in mind that until very recently, anyone who wasn't white or male was also considered an inappropriate kind of person for medicine. Tattoos and piercings aren't the same as being a woman or a person of color, but the reason they are considered unprofessional is due to strong historical associations between tattoos and the working classes, and between tattoos and radical, LGBT+, activist communities. The implication is still that there is a certain kind of person that should be doing medicine, and its not the kind of person that ever prioritised something else over "professionalism."

We need a diversity of people within medicine, including those of us who weren't planning to be a doctor at 13 and living accordingly. When I graduate, I feel like I'll be the only doctor able to advise a teenager how to look after an infected scaffold piercing (which we don't get taught in med school, BTW), and one of the few able to relate to homeless LGBT+ youth. For my career aspirations, putting these people at ease and helping them feel like their doctor is someone they can talk to, is a priority. Someone else can work in Tory geriatrics.

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Lionheartat20
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(Original post by FinnFantastic)
You'll be fine. Official guidelines as far as I can tell are that tattoos are tolerated as long as they aren't offensive (I.e. avoid swear words and swastikas.) I also have tattoos on my forearms, and I am very likely to get more. And I have 16 above the neck piercings, and 14mm tunnels in my ears. I tend to hide them for getting through interviews as interviewers are likely to be conservative, but in terms of being on placement they can't chuck you out for having tattoos or piercings (as long as you remove jewellery when appropriate.)

Bear in mind that the conservative elderly are not the only group doctors have a duty of care to. I think there is already an issue with the vast majority of doctors being very privileged, well off people. This might work for your granny, but it's likely to alternate huge numbers of (for example) young, LGBT+ young people presenting with mental health issues who need to feel that their doctors are accessible, and are at least marginally able to comprehend their lives.

I'm also not even sure it does work for your granny. My granny never stops complaining about how doctors are all rich, private schooled men who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives and can't possibly imagine what it's like to be her. (Obviously, this is an exaggeration but these feelings are symptomatic of a genuine problem.) The very narrow definition of "professionalism" that we are expected to comply to alienates as many people as it reassures.

Also bear in mind that until very recently, anyone who wasn't white or male was also considered an inappropriate kind of person for medicine. Tattoos and piercings aren't the same as being a woman or a person of color, but the reason they are considered unprofessional is due to strong historical associations between tattoos and the working classes, and between tattoos and radical, LGBT+, activist communities. The implication is still that there is a certain kind of person that should be doing medicine, and its not the kind of person that ever prioritised something else over "professionalism."

We need a diversity of people within medicine, including those of us who weren't planning to be a doctor at 13 and living accordingly. When I graduate, I feel like I'll be the only doctor able to advise a teenager how to look after an infected scaffold piercing (which we don't get taught in med school, BTW), and one of the few able to relate to homeless LGBT+ youth. For my career aspirations, putting these people at ease and helping them feel like their doctor is someone they can talk to, is a priority. Someone else can work in Tory geriatrics.

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I don't agree with much of this.
If your argument is that you should "look like a normal down-to-Earth person" by having tattoos, I disagree. You should look professional. Any of us could come in T-shirts and jeans and perhaps make some people feel more at ease but that is unprofessional for the workplace and being a doctor in every hospital environment that I can conceive of.

I also disagree that professionalism alienates as many people as it helps. I have never heard a complaint about the doctor wearing a shirt or appearing to look 'smart' - you will certainly get patients complaining (informally) for not looking professional.

And as for jewellery in general, it may be fine to dodge in interviews, but you will be expected to conform for the rest of your life in medicine:

E.g UHS policy:
Jewellery:
Rings: Only one plain metal band ring may be worn.
Piercings: Earrings: one pair of small plain metal studs only should be worn. No other piercings allowed.

--

As for the OP, Democracy has it pretty much spot on. You'll likely just get the occasional comment
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colabottles
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There's a few people in my year with visible tattoos/even two full sleeves down to the wrist. Don't worry about it, it's fine.
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