General Guidelines for Medical Student Appearance

Policy 640.00

Policy Statement

The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont believes that professional demeanor and appearance are important and are key to promoting trust, comfort, and confidence while providing patient care.

To provide students with clear guidelines for professional dress and demeanor, the Larner College of Medicine adheres to University of Vermont Medical Center Policy F-05: Standards for Professional Appearance. All medical students are expected to follow these guidelines when working with real or standardized patients.  Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines of the healthcare setting they are assigned to; individual courses and clerkships may have additional guidelines specific to specialty or location. 

Some events and sessions during a student’s medical education will expect students to dress business professional or business casual.

Policy Elaboration


Business professional (job interviewing attire):

  • Clothes should be
    • Solid, dark, or neutral colors
    • Light colors can be worn underneath
    • No stripes or bright prints/colors
  • Suit jacket and pants/skirt
    • Should be matching colors
  • Personal items and cell phones
    • Keep cell phones turned off and out of sight with personal items
    • Carry a portfolio, professional bag, or simple purse
    • Only bring essentials

Business casual (daily work attire)

  • Business casual colors and styles
    • Nice pants/slacks/skirts
      • Skirts should be knee length when standing and thighs covered while seated
    • Dresses
      • Dresses should be knee length when standing and thighs covered while seated
    • Jackets and shoes
      • Blazers and cardigans with flats, boots, closed-toe shoes, or comfortable shoes for walking in
    • Ties optional
    • No jeans, shorts, sundresses or athletic wear

General recommendations (it is all about the first impression):

  • Clothes should be:
    • Tailored
    • In good condition
    • Wrinkle and lint free
  • Clean and neat dress shoes
  • Belts should match the color of your shoes and attire
  • Hair: well-groomed hairstyle
  • Nails and make-up: Natural in style
  • Jewelry and fragrance: Wear moderate jewelry with mild fragrance
  • Piercings and tattoos: Align to company culture or standards

Applicability of the Policy

All Medical Students

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Related University of Vermont Policies

2.8.9 Code of Student Conduct

Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

3.5 Learning Environment/Professionalism


  • 7/16/2013 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/17/2019 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Student Services Coordinator)

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