Dress Code

Patients and their families have reasonable expectations that their caregivers present themselves in a professional manner both in demeanor and appearance.

The following are guidelines* for dress whenever students have contact with patients, whether in the classroom, in the clinical skills center, or in a clinical setting. Please note that some departments or facilities may have different guidelines to which students should adhere while in those settings.

Professional attire: Attire should be clean, in good condition and appropriate for a professional setting. Professional attire includes a shirt that reaches or is able to be tucked into a waistband, long pants and/or a skirt of a length beyond the mid-thigh, and closed toed shoes. A white coat is recommended and the University of Virginia identification badge is required at all times. Hair should be clean and neatly groomed. Beards and/or moustaches, if worn, should be neatly groomed.

Inappropriate Attire: Inappropriate attire includes, but is not limited to, active sportswear, jeans, shorts, halter tops, sneakers, beach shoes or similar footwear, T-shirts or apparel with messages or commercial advertising, as well as unkempt or inappropriately revealing clothing. Any student coming to service in attire that is deemed inappropriate by their preceptor may be asked to leave and return appropriately dressed. The time used to change will not be considered hours worked.

Surgical dress guidelines: See UVA Health Infection Prevention and Control Manual, Surgical/ Procedural Attire.

* These guidelines augment (not replace) the UVA Health Policy on Professional Appearance or those of affiliate clinical sites.



  • Next scheduled review June 2025
  • Reaffirmed April 2022
  • Updated August 2020 by UME Management Team.