Dress Code & Professional Behaviour

Medical Council Guidance

In its guidance to Medical Students, the Medical Council of Ireland states that you should:

  • Be aware of and respect cultural differences in dress and presentation.
  • Ensure that your attire (clothes, accessories and any jewellery) is suitably professional and is appropriate to the environment.
  • Adhere to the highest standards of personal hygiene.
  • Wear a name/identity badge at all times during your clinical practice.
  • Comply with all medical school or clinical sites requirements, regarding suitable clothing for the appropriate setting.
  • Expose your face fully to patients and their families, teachers and colleagues in the (non-surgical) hospital, primary and community environment. This is in the interests of good communication and interaction. 

School Guidance

During the Clinical Commencement ‘White Coat’ Ceremony, you will be presented with a UCD crested white coat. This white coat should be worn at all times during your clinical rotations except where you are requested to remove it by a staff member or on specific wards. For example, white coats are typically not worn in primary care or psychiatry settings. You should be clear about the dress policy of the particular site before you arrive. 

  • Your UCD Student ID badge with picture must be displayed all times at all clinical sites. 
  • We do not publish an exhaustive list of inappropriate dress, however clothing and footwear should be suitable for a professional workplace setting.
  • Wedding bands, stud-type earrings and watches are permitted jewellery.
  • Hair should be tied back where it interferes with patient examination/ care.
  • Beards should be close trimmed.

If you are in doubt as to whether your attire is suitable, please ask. If you receive advice to modify your dress or presentation, you are expected to comply. If you do not present yourself suitably, you risk being denied access to clinical areas, including those where assessments and examinations take place. Professionalism is based on respect for patients and colleagues. Inappropriate dress may be considered unprofessional behaviour.