Professional Doctor Outfits: Understanding Medical Dress Codes - Garment Printing Blog (2024)

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In the medical and healthcare industry, clothing and uniforms play a crucial role. Uniforms, lab coats, and scrubs each serve a unique purpose in protecting doctors from pollutants.

The global market for medical apparel was worth $42.4 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $96.4 billion by 2031, expanding at a CAGR of 8.4% from 2022 to 2031. [1]

Table Of Contents hide

1 Why do Medical Specialists Wear Professional Doctor Outfits?

2 Recommendations for Choosing Professional Doctor Outfits

3 The Importance of Scrubs in Medical Professional Attire

5 Conclusion

Why do Medical Specialists Wear Professional Doctor Outfits?

Medical professionals are expected to adhere to particular dress codes; as such, they typically wear doctor clothes that serve multiple purposes. Therefore, the professional doctor outfit worn by medical personnel is designed with functionality, safety, and professionalism.

The clothing also helps to establish a sense of trust between the patient and medical staff. Medical personnel must create a positive and reassuring environment for their patients. As such, the dress code for medical professionals is taken very seriously and is an essential aspect of their job. First, let’s take a look at the history.

The history of nurse uniforms dates back several centuries. Historically, when all medical personnel wore white, surgical areas were similarly white and sterile.

As it was discovered that the all-white attire caused strain on the eyes of surgeons, a new colour, green, was introduced to the doctor’s outfits. Now, Custom medical scrubs are available in various colours and vivid designs.

Read More: How To Customize Medical Scrub? Update 2023

In addition to alleviating eye strain, cleansers of various hues are used to guarantee sterility. When surgeons arrive at work in street clothes, they change into clean, antiseptic scrubs. This is crucial, as they may be about to perform surgery or meet with patients.

They cannot expose their patients to foreign microorganisms and pathogens. Patients require clean, antiseptic environments and personnel to facilitate their recovery.

The same surgeons also remove their scrubs before leaving the hospital. This helps restrict the public’s exposure to hospital patients’ infections and pathogens.

Recommendations for Choosing Professional Doctor Outfits

Whether a physician, registered nurse, or medical assistant, your uniform conveys much about your position in the medical hierarchy. The following are the most popular types of uniforms for medical professions:

Uniform Dress Code

As with nurses and nurse practitioners, doctors and other medical personnel often adhere to a uniform dress code. Often, these outfits include a white coat, formal shirt, tie, and slacks. Also, certain hospitals and clinics may compel physicians to wear name tags.

While the nature of the uniform may differ for each hospital or clinic, the general appearance is often clean and professional. This is essential, as physicians must inspire confidence in their patients. In addition, uniforms should be comfortable and easy to move around in, as doctors frequently spend entire shifts walking.

Personal Protection Equipment

PPE, or personal protective equipment, is a uniform medical personnel wear to prevent infection. PPE generally consists of gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection glasses.

Although PPE is not often considered a “uniform” per se, it is an essential component of the wardrobe of a medical worker. In addition, when there is a risk of infection, PPE is required to protect medical personnel from exposure to toxic chemicals.

Read More:


It is easy to understand why scrubs are the most popular uniform for medical personnel. They are comfortable, easy to maintain, and simple to clean. In addition, scrubs are available in many colours and styles, allowing you to choose a look you like.

Read More: Scrubs For Nurses 2023

White Coat

The white coat has been a symbol of the medical profession for centuries and remains one of the most popular uniform options for physicians and other medical workers. Often, white coats are made of a lightweight material, which keeps doctors cool throughout extended shifts.

White coats create a clean, professional appearance that inspires patient confidence. By selecting a uniform that exudes confidence and expertise, you may assist in putting your patients at ease and fostering trust.

The Importance of Scrubs in Medical Professional Attire

There are numerous reasons why medical scrubs are essential, as well as multiple benefits. Here are a few of them:

Protection Against Bodily Fluids

The fabric of high-quality medical scrubs is thick and provides a barrier. This will prevent bodily fluids from making direct touch with the skin of the wearer.

Stylish And Practical

Comfort is important, as healthcare employees have one of the most challenging occupations and frequently work long shifts. Scrubs allow staff to remain comfortable for their shifts despite often moving quickly, lifting patients and equipment, and being exposed to hazardous infections.

In addition, they are helpful since they allow unrestricted motion and feature pockets for storing items.


As with any uniform, medical scrubs make the wearer immediately identifiable. In addition, scrubs make it easier to distinguish a professional healthcare worker from a general public member.

Cross-Contamination Prevention

Cross-contamination is a hazard in both the workplace and the community. For example, medical scrubs must be laundered with other medical linens in a hospital setting, not at home, to prevent the spread of highly infectious diseases, infections, and viruses.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Doctor Outfits

Hospital dress regulations prohibit more acceptable attire than they permit. Given the fast-paced nature of healthcare facilities, this is not the time to wear avant-garde attire to the office. If you don’t enjoy receiving reprimands from your superiors, here are some fashion ideas to avoid with doctor clothes:


It is not encouraged to wear chunky jewellery, scarves, or heavy barrettes in hospital environments. Also, they are deemed grabbable, which might jeopardise workers and patients.


Streetwear is too casual and unprofessional for the workplace. Therefore, following the dress code guidelines set by your employer is essential to maintain a professional appearance and to promote a safe working environment. Usually, in most hospitals, employees are prohibited from wearing oversized sweaters, low-rise denim, and crop tops.

Open-Toed shoes

Open-toed shoes do not provide adequate protection from spills and sharps. It would be best if you instead wore practical sneakers or jogging shoes.

Stained Scrubs

Stained scrubs are one of the main things to avoid when it comes to doctor outfits. Stains look unprofessional and can also carry germs and bacteria, making them a potential health hazard. Therefore, hospitals always instruct employees to clean their uniforms before re-wearing them.

Read More: 15 Tips on How To Care For Scrubs

Ignoring the Dress Code:

Following a dress code is crucial in the medical field, as it helps patients distinguish between medical professionals and other staff members. Failure to adhere to the dress code not only portrays a negative image of the medical facility but can also result in severe consequences.


Garment Printing is pleased to provide an extensive selection of custom medical uniforms for professionals in the healthcare business. Our inventory includes scrub tops and bottoms, lab coats, nursing uniforms, and other everyday uniforms.

With over 10 years of combined expertise in the apparel industry, we understand what it takes to design comfortable and fashionable uniforms of superior quality.

Check out our website whether you’re seeking a new appearance or need to replace an old pair of scrubs.

Also Read:

  • Everything You Need To Know About Scrubs Fabrics
  • Top 11 Healthcare Jobs That Require Scrubs
  • Uniform Recycling – Giving New Life to Your Worn out Uniform


Allied Market Research – Medical Clothing Market by Product, by Usage, by End user: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2031

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Professional Doctor Outfits: Understanding Medical Dress Codes - Garment Printing Blog (2024)


Professional Doctor Outfits: Understanding Medical Dress Codes - Garment Printing Blog? ›

Often, these outfits include a white coat, formal shirt, tie, and slacks. Also, certain hospitals and clinics may compel physicians to wear name tags. While the nature of the uniform may differ for each hospital or clinic, the general appearance is often clean and professional.

What do professional doctors wear? ›

In an office setting, many doctors opt for business casual professional attire paired with a white coat. Others may prefer to wear scrubs; this is especially likely for surgeons or doctors who perform a lot of outpatient procedures or those who split their days between clinic and hospital duties.

What is a doctor's outfit called? ›

Scrubs. Scrubs are often the uniform of surgeons, nurses, and physicians who conduct or assist in operations or other patient care services. While they come in different colors, scrubs are most known for being blue or green among the medical field.

What type of dress code is considered most appropriate at a medical practice? ›

Scrubs: Blue short-sleeved scrub top and pants, with or without white coat. Formal: Light blue long-sleeved dress shirt and navy-blue suit pants, with or without white coat, with black leather shoes with one-inch heels for women and black leather shoes for men, and a dark blue tie for men.

What is unprofessional attire in healthcare? ›

Tight or revealing clothing can make some patients uncomfortable. Additionally, anything too baggy could be viewed as careless or sloppy. Avoid wearing clothing or accessories that will enable cross contamination. Watches, scarves, or long necklaces may spread bacteria.

What is the dress code for doctors? ›

As with nurses and nurse practitioners, doctors and other medical personnel often adhere to a uniform dress code. Often, these outfits include a white coat, formal shirt, tie, and slacks. Also, certain hospitals and clinics may compel physicians to wear name tags.

What is the white thing that doctors wear called? ›

A white coat, also known as a laboratory coat or lab coat, is a knee-length overcoat or smock worn by professionals in the medical field or by those involved in laboratory work. The coat protects their street clothes and also serves as a simple uniform.

Why do doctors wear white? ›

Seventy-two per cent of all hospital doctors and medical students wear white coats and most wear them greater than 75% of the time. White coats are worn chiefly for easy recognition by colleagues and patients, to put items in the pockets and to keep clothes clean.

What is the dress code for healthcare? ›

Medical staff should wear professional attire that does not compromise their ability to provide safe and effective patient care. Clothing should not interfere with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) or hinder movement during procedures.

What do patients prefer doctors to wear? ›

Preference of Physician Attire. Physicians' attire is shown in Figure 1: scrubs, scrubs and white coat, casual, casual and white coat, business suit, and formal and white coat. In the research, respondents rated “scrubs and white coat” as the most preferred attire, while casual dressing ranked last.

What do doctors wear around their neck? ›

A stethoscope is the device that doctors and nurses use to listen to your heartbeat. Many medical workers walk around wearing stethoscopes around their necks. Made up of the Greek stethos, "chest or breast," and the suffix -scope, "an instrument for seeing," the meaning of stethoscope is fairly straightforward.

What is an example of professional appearance in healthcare? ›

What does it mean for a healthcare provider to dress professionally? Based on the study linked above, for physicians, it means wearing formal attire (such as a button-down shirt, tie, and slacks) with a white coat or wearing medical scrubs with a white coat.

Why do doctors dress professionally? ›

Business attire is a clothing preference adopted mainly by professionals in medical specialties with a more considerable amount of consultation appointments. Often physicians wear these outfits under their white coats. When doctors wear both these items together, they are easily recognized by both peers and patients.

What is not considered professional attire? ›

Avoid: *Blingy/shiny/lacey fabric, sequins, khaki, skinny and capri pants, shorts, tight skirts, skirts shorter than knee length, low-cut and sleeveless blouses/dress, large jewelry, bulky purse, sandals, wedges, and heels > 2.5 inches.

What do doctors wear now? ›

In every category, patient preference increased for casual clothing, like scrubs, and decreased for formal attire like a suit and tie topped by a doctor's coat. Patients are most comfortable seeing a casually dressed doctor in the emergency room, where 87% of patients were in favor.

What do doctors wear around? ›

It's the most iconic medical doctor symbol. It's been around doctors' necks and tucked in their pockets for over 200 years. It's the stethoscope.

What color do physicians wear? ›

At medical institutions where a color code is enacted, doctors are known to wear medium-to-dark blue scrubs as they help them stand out among fellow healthcare professionals.

What do attending physicians wear? ›

an Attending? You can sometimes tell where a person fits in the hierarchy based on the length of their lab coats. The shortest white coats are worn by medical students, while residents typically wear longer coats and attending physicians wear full-length coats.


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