The importance of your attire as a medical professional cannot be overemphasized. A physician's wardrobe could create an avenue for the transfer of infections and are a hazard for cross contamination. Another reason why your appearance is significant is due to the patient's perception of you. When you are well-groomed and dressed, your patient will have a professional understanding of you. International Medical Graduates do have issues on how to dress and present themselves. This new culture embrace has requirements for maintaining a healthy and professional environment.
If you are to look at it for the first time, the topic of attire seems superficial – nothing a medical professional would consider. However, the present day environment focuses significantly on value-based care. It is essential to note that your attire as a physician is necessary to the metrics of patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes as a whole.
As stated by Griffin Myers, MD, "what clinicians wear to work is a daily choice that reflects our perspective on whether to prioritize patients' preferences above our own." Professional behavior is absolutely more important than your dressing, but you should also note that first impression matters. The medical field is becoming more diverse than it was in the past years and this implies that simple guidance on neckties and wristwatches is anachronistic at best.
Your patient's satisfaction has a link with your attire. There is evidence to prove that your dress code matters to your patient. Notwithstanding the branch of medicine you specialize in, patients appear to have a consistent preference for "professional," i.e., business casual with a white coat. You may even put on a tie if you chose to.
Tips on Dress Code
As an IMG, you must note that you are part of active healthcare personnel. You must ensure that you maintain the best environment for your patient's health while keeping your dress code professional. The wardrobe choices will bring about the impression that you are a professional in the real sense of the word. An example here is a white lab coat. That notwithstanding, you must make sure that your attire does not affect your patient's health negatively. Your attire must be as clean as possible – this implies that there must be no visible stains. Neither should there be any invisible pathogens or microbes.
As an IMG, you must have knowledge of the medical issues that can arise as a result of your attire. You must also be aware of the cultural perception of your wardrobe choices. You must have the basic knowledge of how your clothing, the long-sleeved lab coat, for instance, can cause cross-contamination. Simultaneously, you must have an understanding of how your patient will perceive you within the healthcare environment of your resident country (the U.S for instance). Ultimately, there must be a correlation between your professional attire options and the attire choices that have positive perception within the culture of your resident country.