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 HR-F-05: Standards for Appropriate Workplace Appearance and Nuvance Medical Center Dress Code Policy. All medical students are expected to follow these guidelines when working with real and/or standardized patients. When on a clinical rotation where you need to wear scrubs, (e.g. surgery, obstetrics/gynecology) medical students must wear street clothes when arriving at and departing from the hospital and only wear the scrubs while in the hospital facility; it is not permissible to wear hospital-issued scrubs when going into or out of the hospital, or in any public areas outside the hospital. Hospital property scrubs are to remain on site at the hospital and not brought home.

Students are expected to adhere to the additional guidelines of the healthcare setting to which they may be assigned or to the guidelines of individual courses and clerkships specific to specialty or location.

Policy Elaboration

The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont is committed to creating a culture that is equitable, diverse and inclusive. Students are encouraged to dress authentically to themselves (clothing that affirms their gender identity and gender expression and wearing of religious and cultural dress) while maintaining professional appearance and ensuring safety.

The following highlights, (adapted from the University of Vermont Medical Center Policy HR-F-05: Standards for Appropriate Workplace Appearance), are to be followed when working with real and/or standardized patients in person or in remote learning and assessment activities.

  • All Clothing (including shoes) must be:
    • Free of tears/rips/holes
    • Without obscene, sectarian, or discriminatory language
    • Clean
    • Pants/slacks: No shorts
    • No jeans
    • No athletic/recreational wear
  • Shoes:
    • All shoes should be closed toe
  • Visible Tattoos:
    • Must be free of obscene, sectarian, or discriminatory language
  • Nails:
    • No artificial nails and nails must be kept short to adhere to infection prevention hand hygiene
  • No colognes or perfumes (allergies and reactions)
  • Long hair should be pulled back and secured when providing patient care, and hair on the head or face should not interfere with PPE
  • Hats or headwear may be worn for religious or cultural reasons

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]
  • 12/14/2021 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 9/20/2022 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 9/18/2023 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/19/2023 Policy Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Student Services Coordinator)

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