Do Physician Assistant Dress Code, Professionalism And The Pa Student

What do you, as practicing PAs, wear to work? Scrubs, jeans, slacks/skirts, or suits?

 

I”m trying to make smart decisions regarding my professional wardrobe, which, up to this point, has consisted mainly of scrubs; in my previous career, we wore jeans, mostly. I obviously will invest a bit of money in a nice interviewing suit, but I”m not sure what else to consider. For school, it seems they want “professional attire” – I presume this means slacks, closed-toed shoes, office-type shirts. But I”m just curious about the world after school. Is it worth buying a decent-sized professional wardrobe during school? In other words, will I wear that afterwards? Or should I just buy simple pieces for school, knowing that I may well end up in scrubs professionally?

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Depends on where you work. At Mayo, when you work in the clinic, you are ALWAYS in a suit. It is considered unprofessional to go into the clinic setting in scrubs and a white coat. For me, since I work in the ED, I wear jeans and a shirt in, and change into scrubs at work for my clinical role.

 

As a good portion of my time is spent in administrative meetings, or research functions, I still wear a suit frequently as well.

 

BTW, Patients LOVE the fact that we dress that way at Mayo….I cannot tell you how many patients would remark at how professional it all seemed, and how refreshing it was to see doctors like that. Occasionally, if you are in surgery, and you need to get something in clinic, you can sneak over quickly in a white coat and scrubs, and they won”t say anything if it is brief, but if you spend a lot of time like that….someone will say something.

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This also brings a up a HUGE pet peeve of mine….dress at annual meetings. I am sometimes quite embarrassed at how PAs and NPs can dress at CME meetings. I”m sorry, but shorts and sandals ARE never appropriate at a professional function…..EVER. Not saying everyone has to wear a suit, but a collared shirt and slacks with shoes should be a minimum. I think it reflects very poorly on our profession when I go to the AAPA and see how so many of the attendees are dressed.

 

I tend to attend more research, policy, and physician meetings nowadays, and I never see people dressed at any of those like I see at the PA meetings. I think of all the public employees, hotel employees, cab drivers, etc. that are seeing PAs meeting, and then the impression that they are getting….It”s a huge disappointment to me at least.

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