While tattoos are popular in the USA, there are many professions lacking a clear take on the ink. And the medical field is one of them.

There are many healthcare facilities where doctors are allowed to have tattoos. However, they shouldn’t be on the visible areas or the areas should be covered while on the duty. In general, most medical facilities have applied minor restrictions that only prohibit offensive or excessive tattooing. In rare cases, hospitals may deny a job to a tattooed person. And it can’t be denied that healthcare is far more liberal to tattooing than other industries, contrary to the popular belief.

A tattooed doctor is likely to go through various experiences. Some are good, some are bad and some are weird. It is safe to say that prejudices still exist.

Compilation Of What A Tattooed Doctor Experiences

And the very first on this list is of none other than the MOST TATTOOED DOCTOR in the world, Sarah Gray…

When the Restaurant Refused to Serve the Tattooed Doctor …

‘I was out for lunch in a restaurant with my partner on the Gold Coast when we were seated at a table.

After being seated for lunch, management then came up to us and asked us to leave as they had a “no visible tattoo policy” for diners. That was a little disappointing to say the least. I was able to discuss my concerns for unfair discrimination based solely on our appearance with management and they bent the rules to allow us access. ‘Quite a few night venues seem to have this policy and although it doesn’t affect me very often as I hardly go out, it can be super frustrating when we get categorised as “bad people” or being gang afflicted due to our colourful skin.’
I don’t enjoy the pain (although it’s more of an annoyance that you adjust too) but I certainly enjoy the outcome. ‘The outcome far outweighs the adversity! Watching a tattoo evolve from the stencil process to a completed piece by layering is mind blowing. My tattoos don’t all necessary have personal meanings behind them, some I had no say in the design process as I admired the artist’s work and pursued them for a piece as a collector.
On the other hand, some of them signify times in my life or things that are important to me, like my career, my Vegas wedding, my love of anatomical skulls and all things horror or my love of cheese.”

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Why Doctors Can’t Have a Tattoo

“Do medical students or physicians who appreciate body art and want to express their love for ink or piercing have to conform to the society’s perception of what “normal” is? Or do we accept ourselves and ignore the judgmental patients? Do we have to change ourselves so the patients will not think less of us? Or do we have the right, just as everyone else in the population, to express ourselves? Would the difference of viewpoints interfere with the patient-physician relationship? Are there two different “cultural norms:” one for the general population and one for the medical world?”
DO, Internal Medicine, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
(Source: Medscape)

Better to Keep them Covered:

“I’m a doctor, and I have several tattoos. The advice I would give to someone looking to by a physician who had tattoos is just keep them covered. Don’t get any tats that you can’t cover. There is unfortunately still a stigma associated with tattoos, and it is considered unprofessional to have hem exposed during patient care. Otherwise, ink away!”

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It Really Depends Where You Work:

“I’m heavily tattooed and I have a facial piercing. I’ve been qualified 10 years. I’ve also had pink hair at times.
It really depends where you work. If it’s in the back waters you might find it difficult.
The only people who have ever mentioned it have been other doctors( male Indian ones usually who slept through cultural diversity training). Never, ever a patient.
Many people do not understand the rich history that tattoos have in religion, pilgrimage, seafaring etc -especially Northern European countries.
Once educated they shut up pretty quick.
The way I see it is this, It is part of my culture, my class background my religion and my identity. If any employer wants to take that on as an arguement – bring it on.
Be proud of who you are. You can be you and be a bloody good doctor.”

Tattoos are a Great way to interact with the Patients?

“I will show my tattoos to some patients to create an immediate bond, which is of great value in the fast pace of the emergency room. Except a subtle cross on my wrist, my tattoos are covered by my scrubs.”

Tattoos Are a Conversation Starter…

“Doctors and patients have human commonalities. It creates a stronger physician-patient bond. [My tattoos] are probably one of the most frequent, random conversation starters,” Worster said. [Patients] will tell a story about their own tattoo or daughter’s or son’s tattoo.”

While tattoos are more acceptable in healthcare field than before, most patients prefer seeing their doctors in “clean and sleek” look the way they are supposed to be. However, many surveys found that most people don’t associate their ink with their credibility. Like we have said before, doctors should avoid getting offensive tattoos or hide them with scrub if their handbook doesn’t allow tattoos.
What do you think? Do you consider a tattooed doctor like Sarah Gray for your treatment? Let us know by commenting below.