Office of Student Affairs

School of Medicine Dress Code


  1. Personal appearance, which includes hygiene, grooming and choices regarding jewelry and clothing, is a reflection of attitude towards oneself and the people one is likely to encounter.
  2. In addition to the students, faculty administrators and support staff whose workplace is the School of Medicine,  there are important visitors to the school on a daily basis whose impressions of the school will be formed, in part, by the appearance of those who represent the institution.
  3. There is a reasonable consensus within the School of Medicine family on the general guidelines for behavior regarding appearance.  We generally agree that we should: be clean, Minimize body odor, avoid being sexually provocative, avoid the use of appearance as a way of attracting undue attention to oneself.
  4. Examples of unacceptable dress on which there is broad consensus (students and faculty) are as follows:  clothing with emblems, slogans and symbols related to illicit substances, alcohol, tobacco products, obscene language or sexual connotations; micro-minis (more than three inches above the knee); crop tops, spaghetti strap tops or back-less tank tops; bare feet; and cutoff shorts.  On the other hand, neatly tailored shorts and sandals would be appropriate in most non-clinical, non-formal settings.
  5. Medicine, as a caring profession, would be expected to foster an attitude of concern for the well being of individual members of the group and for the reputation of the group as a whole.  When a person belonging to the institution displays behavior, including appearance, unbecoming of the profession of medicine, it would be incumbent on the other members of the institution to guide, counsel and/or assist the person demonstrating such behavior.  Students, faculty, and staff will be expected to respond appropriately to constructive criticism.  An individual with concerns about the appearance of another may consider utilizing a third party (i.e. class officer, ETC’s or faculty member, etc.) to express concern.
  6. The teaching hospitals each have their own rules regarding appearance.  These rules are considerably more definitive and are not negotiable.

  — Developed by the UMKC School of Medicine, Student-Faculty Forum, November 2000.