Can Surgeons Have Tattoos In 2023? (It Depends)

The job of a surgeon comes with a lot of responsibility. They are responsible for people’s lives and need to have the utmost trust of their patients.

With the ever-growing acceptance of inked people in society, it is no surprise that more and more doctors are getting tattoos. A recent study found that 21 percent of medical students had at least one tattoo. There’s also a visibly growing percentage of doctors with tattoos.

While some people may see tattoos as unprofessional, they are here to stay – that’s for sure.

However, whether surgeons should get tattoos depends on a few different factors. Let’s explore them now.

Can Surgeons Have Tattoos?

There’s no universal surgeon tattoo policy – each hospital or medical facility will have their own guidelines.

Some hospitals may not have any restrictions, while others might only allow certain types of tattoos to be visible, or they may require them to be covered up while on duty.

The main concern for most hospitals is maintaining a professional appearance and ensuring that patients feel comfortable and safe.

What Types of Tattoos Are Recommended?

In general, small, discrete tattoos are less likely to cause issues than larger or more conspicuous ones.

Some surgeons might choose to get tattoos that have personal meaning to them, while others might get tattoos that they feel will appeal to their patients.

It’s ultimately up to the individual surgeon to decide whether or not they want to get a tattoo, and if so, what type.

Whereas there’s an endless list of tattoos deemed acceptable for surgeons, there are also a few that are universally discouraged for obvious reasons. These include:

  • Tattoos on the face, hands, or neck
  • Gang-related tattoos
  • Obscene or sexually explicit tattoos
  • Tattoos that could be perceived as racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive
  • Political tattoos

Can Surgeons Have Tattoos On Their Hands?

The right type of tattoo is one thing, but the placement is also important to consider.

Most hospitals will have policies in place regarding where tattoos can and cannot be placed. For example, some may require that all arm tattoos be covered while on duty.

Hand tattoos belong to the “riskier” group since it’s really difficult to cover them up. This is why some medical facilities will not allow surgeons to have tattoos on their hands.

The exception to this rule is if the tattoo is small and discreet enough that it can be easily covered with a bandage or skin-matching makeup.

Other areas that aren’t generally advised are the head, neck and face.

Should You Get A Tattoo If You’re A Surgeon?

Whether or not you should get a tattoo if you’re a surgeon is a personal decision.

There are pros and cons to consider, but ultimately it comes down to what you’re comfortable with and what will work best for your career.

If you do decide to get a tattoo, be sure to choose a design and placement that won’t interfere with your work or cause any issues with your hospital’s policies.

Things to Keep In Mind

If you’re a surgeon considering getting a tattoo, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, think about where you would like to place the tattoo. Keep in mind that some tattoos may need to be covered while you’re working, so choose a location that can easily be hidden.

Second, consider the size of the tattoo. Smaller tattoos are usually more acceptable than large ones.

And finally, think about the design of the tattoo. Avoid anything that could be considered unprofessional, offensive, or inappropriate.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not a tattoo is right for you. If you do choose to get one, be sure to select a design and placement that won’t cause any problems at work.