Dress Code

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Full Policy Contents

Policy Statement
Reason for Policy

Additional Contacts

Effective: Immediately
Last Updated: 06/15/2018

Responsible University Office:
Medical Student Education

Responsible University Administrator
Senior associate dean for medical student education

Policy Contact:
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education

RESPONSIBLE Course directors
ACCOUNTABLE Student Promotions Committee
SUPPORT Medical Student Education
CONSULT General Counsel
INFORM Learning Technology, Medical Student Education

LCME Standards

Standard 3.5 Professionalism


IUSM students.

Policy Statement

Students are expected to dress appropriately and to comport themselves in a manner consistent with the location and nature of their educational activities.

Reason for Policy

The reasons for this policy are rooted in concerns for infection control, communication and cultural sensitivity.


Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 12/20/2016.


IUSM badges: Each student is required to wear an identification badge at all times while on duty, except when restricted from wearing the badge while working in sterile environments. This IUSM badge must be worn above the waist so that it can be easily read. This will help patients, family members, physicians, visitors and other employees identify the student. Stickers, emblems and/or pins related to hospital-sponsored or supported affiliations and professional affiliations may be attached to the IUSM badge only if pertinent information is not covered.

Personal hygiene: Each student is required to be clean and maintain appropriate personal hygiene with regard to his/her body, hair and nails. Hair and nails must be clean, neat and of a reasonable length so as to not interfere with the student and/or patient’s safety or the student’s ability to perform his/her duties. Artificial fingernails of any type are forbidden. Sensitivity and moderation should be exercised in the use of fragrance products. Health-related issues associated with fragrance products may lead to the establishment of control parameters and may be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Clothing and accessories: Students should dress and accessorize in a manner that projects a professional image. Clothes and work shoes must be clean, neat and in good repair. Jewelry must not interfere with the student and/or patient’s safety or the student’s ability to perform his/her duties. Clothing, jewelry and accessories must follow department-specific dress code guidelines, if applicable.

  1. Items considered inappropriate for a health care environment include but are not limited to:
    • Visible tattooing that might be considered inappropriate or offensive.
    • Facial piercing on eyebrows, lips or tongue or three or more earrings on one ear.
    • Bare-back tops, halter tops, midriff tops, spandex tops or tops made of another formfitting material.
    • Clothing or accessories bearing pictures or writing that states or implies unprofessional, illegal, distasteful or suggestive language/activities.
    • Sunglasses (without medical reason).
    • Head coverings, except for professional, medical or religious reasons or for reasons related to practice or Board of Health regulations.
    • Slippers and/or open-toe shoes, such as flip flops or sandals.
    • Shorts, including walking shorts.
    • T-shirts, sweatshirts and pants, mini-skirts (skirts that are more than six inches above the knee) and spaghetti-strap dresses.
    • Excessively worn, frayed or wrinkled items.
    • Any attire that would be worn for sports activity, except for athletic shoes worn by students involved in providing patient care services.
  2. Clothing and accessories must be appropriate for the type of duties the student is performing. Scrubs may be worn only in clinical settings.
  3. Students are required to adhere to the dress code policies at the affiliate sites to which they are assigned.
  4. Notification of a possible violation of the dress code may be made to the respective course/clerkship management team or the clerkship director in a variety of ways, including from a faculty member. The course/clerkship management team will review the possible violation and follow the protocol spelled out in the Professional Conduct policy.
  5. During exams, students are not permitted to wear clothing with large, accessible pockets (e.g. pockets large enough to fit both hands into or pockets that sit on the lower front section of the item of clothing).
  6. Per the Academic Misconduct Policy, students are not allowed to take wireless communication devices into an exam setting.


Students who violate this policy will be directed to leave the premises to change their attire. Breaches of the dress code may be reported as a deficiency of the Professionalism and Role Recognition competency. Repeated violations of this policy will be addressed by the course/clerkship director and may lead to discipline up to and including failure of the educational experience.

Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Assistant dean for medical student education Antwione Haywood (317) 278-2891 haywooda@iu.edu


Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 12/20/2016.
Revised “Procedures” clarifying clothing and devices in an exam setting 06/01/2018.
Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 06/12/2018.