How should I look

(This photograph shows the first three women licensed to practice medicine in the US- from India, Japan and Syria, circa 1885)

As a woman physician, how should I look?

Where, if I may ask, is the reference playbook?


Between looking professional and looking nice

I seem to always walk on thin ice

Hair pulled back or worn down loose

Which one do I decide to choose

Projecting authority or looking young and groomed

By wearing my hair down am I doomed

To come across as inexperienced

Questioned severely on my competence

Or just show up with hair pulled back every day

Appear older, forego my vanity anyway?

Surely some makeup I should apply

Again to look more mature I must try

Can I paint my nails, and if so

For what kind of shades should I go?

I should wear flats or sensible heels

To look serious and even-keeled


So many rules that reek of misogyny

But a consummate professional I want to be

Viewed by patients as competent

Projecting gravitas, looking confident

Are important at work, therefore I forego

Looking nice, I only want my work to show..

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

2 thoughts on “How should I look

  1. I have one female doctor and I could not tell you if she wears fingernail polish or not. She asks the most interesting questions, and we have great conversations, so I never notice her nails. Which is strange because she types on her laptop as we talk. Maybe it’s a compliment to her that I don’t notice?
    She does wear her hair down, though!


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