Should Doctors Have Tattoos? (Medscape)
Can doctors have any tattoo they like? Are they a valid form of self-expression for doctors just like anyone else, or are there special rules for medics?
It’s a grey area. There’s no official good practice guidance from the GMC. It’s regarded as a matter for the individual and their employer.
At a local level individual trusts may have personal appearance policies which cover tattoos. For example, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust suggests that any potentially offensive or intimidating tattoos be covered up, as long as this complies with hand hygiene procedure regarding long sleeves and likely contamination.
A 2018 study on perceptions of medical students and staff from the University of Dundee suggested that for doctors certain tattoo depictions wouldn’t be appropriate. Both groups also agreed that face tattoos were the most contentious.