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I'm not going to comment on the suits for your residency interviews, but I'll comment on the everyday wear for your hospital rotations.

I agree that several pairs of chinos/khakis are really the most practical type of dress for your rotations. As a student/extern, you will also be wearing a short white lab coat. At the hosptials I'm associated with, students are usually NOT allowed to wear a scrub shirt unless they are on a surgical rotation, and they must change back into street clothes when they are on the floors.

Some students wear ties, some wear polos, and I'd simply recommend a nice, comfortable well tailored shirt, with a tie to make yourself look professional. Your wardrobe does not have to be expensive, just well put together. You will have classmates that look like they just got off the farm, so separate yourself from them (dress wise) and you may catch an attending's eye.

I don't believe it's necessary to purchase a pair of AE's or Aldens considering the amount of possible contaminants, secretions, etc., that may end up on your shoes. I would highly recommend rubber soled comfortable shoes that you can stand on for long hours.

Ecco and Merrell make some comfortable casual shoes that may fit the bill and of course Rockports are always a good option. They are starting to make more stylish looks, but remember these will be "work" shoes so don't get too hung up on the looks.

And my pet peeve is a filthy lab coat. They are simple to keep clean, but are often kept dirty. Look clean and neat, but stay comfortable and remember that this is a great but tough learning experience since it's basically a pecking order.

You're a 3rd year student who has to answer to a 4th year student who has to answer to a first year intern who has to answer to a resident who has to answer to a senior resident who has to answer to a chief resident who has to answer to an attending and so on and so on.

Best of luck and despite how you dress, it's the quality of care you give your patients that ultimately matters.
 

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I'm glad that several other docs were in agreement with me regarding the Aldens and AE's. I simply can not imagine a 3rd year student running around with a pair of 300+ leather soled "dress" shoes on in the hospital during an endless day.

Khakis and an OCBD are ideal. I'm personally not a big fan of Dansko's, but that's an individual preference. Merrell is very big where I practice, and they now make some more mainstream shoes in additional to the "classic" Jungle Moc, (that doesn't look great with khakis).

A lot of hospital personell do wear Crocs with scrubs, but our hosptial requires no ventilation holes. The uppers have to be solid for obvious contamination/infectious disease reasons.

And I agree 100% that the Epocrates program on a Palm or similar electronic device is an amazing resource that I wish I had when I was doing rotations too many years ago. The "manuals" we carried barely fit in our pockets! I'm sure some of you "old" timers remember the classic "Washington Manual" for medicine.
 
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