Oncologist: "Now, here's the hooker."

while putting in lab requests:

Oncologist: "I got this new turtleneck that is really slick. It makes me look like a venture capitalist."

Alacrity: "..."

Oncologist: "It's just that the neck is too tight. I put a melon in it to stretch it out. Do you think that will stretch it too much?"


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internship tips: style edition, redux

Hey you guys!

It's November.

thanks splashanddashfordogs.com
Specifically November 13th, which means...THERE ARE 25 DAYS LEFT until our collective shit is due for the match!

thanks blogs.lt.vt.edu

Anyway! This is obviously the right time to write another intern style guide. As you know, I completed a rotating internship last year. I spent most of my time working in the emergency room and therefore also spent most of my time wearing scrubs.

Right now, I'm doing an oncology-specific internship at a university hospital. The dress code here is different from my last hospital: here, the technicians and surgical residents wear scrubs. The rest of us are required to wear "business attire".

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"Business attire" is an excellent idea in theory, but what I wear to the hospital still gets chewed, shredded, and bled upon. Scrubs are designed to be thoroughly abused and still look somewhat decent after you wash them, which is just not true with most normal-person "business attire" garments.

So I wore my scrubs to work for a couple of weeks while I assessed my new professional situation, went shopping a couple of times, and emerged with the following intern "business attire" tips for you:

1. This is your WORK ATTIRE - and you have a messy job.

Don't buy expensive clothes. If you're an intern, let's face it - your take-home pay is about half minimum wage per hour if you divide your salary by the hours you spend in the hospital. If you're able to put any extra towards student loans or saving for an emergency fund, that's much more useful than spending it on your wardrobe.

This is doubly true when you consider that your work clothes will get destroyed at some point. Now that I've accepted this as an eventual inevitability, I'm not upset when a frightened cat tears holes in my shirt or I inadvertently kneel in a pool of blood.

2. Resale shops are your buddy.

Although I love traditional thrift shopping, this is one area where resale shops win. A resale shop is a store that specializes in buying and reselling used clothes/shoes/handbags/accessories that are gently used and still in style.

They can be sickeningly cutesy and geared towards [airquotes] frugal fashionistas [/airquotes], but if you ignore all of that there is often a core selection of serviceable, used (so cheaper), high-quality clothes.

3. All rules that govern scrubs still apply.

You still need to look presentable. You still need to be able to squat, sprint, and turn a cartwheel in your work clothes without hurting yourself or exposing any genitalia. That tight pencil skirt may look awesome, but it's going to make it so very not fun to jump up on the table to do chest compressions.

That being said, skirts and dresses are totally possible. Just make sure you wear opaque leggings underneath.

4. Outdoorsy brands are really good at practical yet classy.

In the Venn diagram of my new work wardrobe, there is significant overlap between the categories of "outdoorsy brands" and "purchased used or >50% off". Brands like Patagonia, Horny Toad, or Icebreaker have clothes that you can ride roughshod over and they (usually) will still look presentable.

Unfortunately, they cost many many dollars when purchased new. If you keep an eye out for these brands at thrift or resale stores, visit outlets, or check out discount websites you can score some sturdy work clothes for a small fraction of their original cost.

5. Figure out the precise terms of your dress code.

For example, I'm very comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. My current dress code prohibits blue jeans - but tapered-leg pants made from black denim (1) are permitted. T-shirts are not allowed, but a lightweight cotton shirt with short sleeves, a lace neckline, and embroidered details along the hem (2) is complimented at each wearing.

Pair 1 + 2 and you're essentially wearing jeans and a T shirt to work. Winning!