SEOUL, May 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korean Intern Resident Association expressed deep concerns Tuesday over a dress and appearance manual for doctors that is currently being developed at the Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.
According to the KIRA, articles in the manual specific to female doctors include wearing “vibrant makeup” because “little makeup can give an unhealthy look;” using hair products to minimize thin hair from sticking out; and putting one’s hair up so that it doesn’t touch the back collar of their garments.
The manual also recommended using subtle perfumes (for both male and female doctors), and for male doctors, trimming nose hair and putting on face cream.
The KIRA argued that the manual, which is supposed to provide rational guidelines for work attire, is instead focused on glamorizing female doctors, and urged the hospital to withdraw its missive.
“There is no difference in roles amongst doctors based on gender, and to come up with a manual distinguishing men and women is such an outdated way of thinking,” said Ahn Chi-hyun, the director of women’s training and education at the KIRA.
In response to the criticism, the hospital said that the manual is still being discussed internally and has yet to be released officially, arguing that the guidelines are not aimed at women specifically but are merely a part of its efforts to improve the quality of its services in face-to-face encounters with patients. For instance, patients have complained about headaches brought on by doctors wearing strong perfumes, administrators claimed.
“The purpose of the manual is to help medical practitioners maintain a tidy appearance, to improve patient confidence and convey professionalism,” said a hospital official whose identity was withheld. “It is merely a list of recommendations that will be optional for staff to follow, and no one will be punished for violations.”
“We will be making adjustments to the details to avoid any disputes.”
By Kevin Lee (email@example.com)