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Are surgeons allowed to have facial hair?

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Primary concern - and it isn't just surgeons of course - is the full protective masks you have to potentially wear in extreme contamination scenarios. They don't like beards as those marks don't fit perfectly and it is a potential health risk.

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Primary concern - and it isn't just surgeons of course - is the full protective masks you have to potentially wear in extreme contamination scenarios. They don't like beards as those marks don't fit perfectly and it is a potential health risk.

 

I was hoping you would respond.

 

But is there an actual rule?

 

Could have sworn my Anesthesiologist had a big bushy beard.

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I was hoping you would respond.

 

But is there an actual rule?

 

Could have sworn my Anesthesiologist had a big bushy beard.

 

As a resident/clerk it was unless you had religious reasons not too and that required you fill out paperwork. Adds an extra wrinkle for Movember actually :)

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Medical students, residents and staff physicians are all allowed to have facial hair, no matter what field they're in.

 

Here is what our N95 rules (that is the mask) are at Western:

 

Can I be fit tested if I have a beard?

 

No. A beard will interfere with the ability to get a good seal. Staff/students must be clean-shaven where the mask seals to the face. If a staff member/student is required to wear the respirator during the course of his duties then he must continue to be clean-shaven after passing the fit test.

 

trouble is in theory a lot of people may be required to where that mask at one time or another at least in theory.

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Here is what our N95 rules (that is the mask) are at Western:

 

Can I be fit tested if I have a beard?

 

No. A beard will interfere with the ability to get a good seal. Staff/students must be clean-shaven where the mask seals to the face. If a staff member/student is required to wear the respirator during the course of his duties then he must continue to be clean-shaven after passing the fit test.

 

trouble is in theory a lot of people may be required to where that mask at one time or another at least in theory.

 

That's why you have disposable razors in every hospital. It is very unlikely that you'll ever need to wear an N95 mask anyway.

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That's why you have disposable razors in every hospital. It is very unlikely that you'll ever need to wear an N95 mask anyway.

 

Oh I agree on the rarity of it and I am not saying everyone follows - far from it. Just that the training we received had someone quite clearly saying officially there is strict hospital policy on not have facial hair because of those masks.

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Oh I agree on the rarity of it and I am not saying everyone follows - far from it. Just that the training we received had someone quite clearly saying officially there is strict hospital policy on not have facial hair because of those masks.

 

That's cause Western is well known as being completely insane....

 

At every other center I have rotated though, you could have an OR beard. Just had to wear a surgeons hood.

 

As for the N95 argument, like someone said, it's very unlikely you would need one on a regular basis. If you do, you'll have time to shave with the million disposable razors that are in the hospital. It's not like we're getting regular poison gas attacks in the hospital or something.

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Uh, needing an N95 is not that uncommon. Anyone with a suspicion of pulmonary TB warrants wearing one, if you're doing infection control properly, as well as measles, varicella, and disseminated zoster infections. We average 1 patient per month in our ICU on airborne precautions.

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Uh, needing an N95 is not that uncommon. Anyone with a suspicion of pulmonary TB warrants wearing one, if you're doing infection control properly, as well as measles, varicella, and disseminated zoster infections. We average 1 patient per month in our ICU on airborne precautions.

 

Well, I guess it's more dependent on what specialty you are. ICU/ER/ID probably a lot of N95 use. But none of those are surgical specialties.

 

My surgical subspecialty hardly deals with any of those type of patients you describe.

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N95 issues aside, the biggest thing here is professionalism. It is no big deal if you have a beard/mustache/sideburns/goatee/muttonchops/neck beard/soul patch or whatever else people can think of as long as you look clean and professional. If you look like an Occupy or Clayoquat Sound protestor, then expect people to think you are not fitting their ideal of a doctor and will not be comfortable with you.

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N95 issues aside, the biggest thing here is professionalism. It is no big deal if you have a beard/mustache/sideburns/goatee/muttonchops/neck beard/soul patch or whatever else people can think of as long as you look clean and professional. If you look like an Occupy or Clayoquat Sound protestor, then expect people to think you are not fitting their ideal of a doctor and will not be comfortable with you.

 

Next time I have a beard, I'm gonna braid it into multiple braids and put flaming matches in the end like Blackbeard. That way, the patients will know I mean business and be too terrified to ask questions.

 

I have included a helpful illustration:

blackbeard-pirate-movie.jpg

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I've had to wear a N95 mask twice so far this (for IM). You're just trying to induce murphy's law by walking around with a full beard.

 

side note: I would not want to actually shave with one of those disposable razors. Particularly in a hurry :)

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Next time I have a beard, I'm gonna braid it into multiple braids and put flaming matches in the end like Blackbeard. That way, the patients will know I mean business and be too terrified to ask questions.

 

I have included a helpful illustration:

blackbeard-pirate-movie.jpg

 

:D Don't forget the crazy eyes...

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On 10/20/2012 at 2:22 PM, thebouque said:

 

That's why you have disposable razors in every hospital. It is very unlikely that you'll ever need to wear an N95 mask anyway.

April 1, 2020: Covid-19 pandemic. Global shortage of N95 masks, physicians around the world are now clean shaven. 

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