Do clothes maketh the medical man or woman?
After being in this business for a number of years now, one of the most commonly asked questions by our students are “How should we dress for the interview?” Our recommendation is that applicants should dress professionally in their interview. This means that for a male applicant, you cannot go wrong with a white buttoned shirt, a brown/navy trouser and a tie. For a female applicant, a neutral blouse and a business appropriate pants / skirt. This follows the dress code of a junior doctor all the way up to the level of a registrar working at a hospital in Australia. It is not necessary to “suit up” going into an interview. In fact if you do, you will probably be overdressing for the occasion.
Remember that the purpose of the interview is so that universities can screen for students that would one day represent their universities in a positive light at the hospital during placements and classes.
Other tips that would add to a positive impression would be:
- Making sure you are well groomed
- Making sure your odour is intact but not overwhelming
- Clean your nails
- Formal dress shoes
Trust us that all these small things when implemented can really make a difference in the way a person judges you. It may be superficial to think that our society is influenced by the way a person is presented physically, but unfortunately that is the reality of it. When a patient sees a young doctor attending them that looks unkempt, flustered and disorganised, can you blame them when they are hesitant to consent you to a physical examination?
So do clothes maketh the medical man / woman?
In our opinion, yes it does. Having all the knowledge, resourcefulness and humanity in a doctor will certainly give you the gears to function as a good one. However, if you do not look the part then how can any patient take you seriously? A well dress individual represents a person who is in control, considerate and organised – everything that a patient looks for when their health is in your hand. It is no wonder that during a ward round, patients are more likely to respect or attend to a consultant who would more often than not present in a suit compared to their more junior doctors.