Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
MD Program

Dress Code

Posted December 9, 2019
Reviewed September 19, 2022

Purpose: This policy outlines the standards of attire for medical students at the Perelman School of Medicine. General expectations for all students are provided. This policy specifically addresses dress code requirements in clinical settings and refers to detailed policies from individual clinical sites. These requirements will be most relevant to students during their clinical years, but will also apply for clinical encounters and patient panels, The Longitudinal Experience to Appreciate the Patient’s Perspective (LEAPP) patient encounters, student-run clinics, and other patient interactions in the pre-clerkship years.

Background: Physicians are expected to be groomed and dressed in a manner that presents a professional and neat appearance to their patients. Maintaining personal hygiene and wearing appropriate attire help to establish rapport with patients and are important to good patient care. These factors influence the dress code policy at our institution. Dress code requirements in clinical settings are also influenced by personal and patient safety needs.


The Perelman School of Medicine encourages students early in their medical careers to practice habits of dress and grooming that will assist them in future patient interactions. All students should strive to look clean and neat, and to dress in a manner that is appropriate and inoffensive.

While on clinical rotations, medical students must be dressed in accordance with the dress code of the site in which they are working. Links to these institutional policies are found below. Medical students are expected to wear professional attire and white coats when appropriate. A name badge identifying the individual as a medical student is required at all times. Closed-toed shoes are required in the clinical setting. Course-specific expectations and examples of appropriate and inappropriate attire are provided in clerkship course syllabi.

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