Appropriate Halloween Costumes at a Physicians Practice

October 31, 2011
Melissa Young, MD

Cat ears are acceptable. A “flirty cat” costume would be another story.

A couple of weeks ago, my medical assistant asked me if it was OK if the staff wore cat ears on Halloween. I see no harm in it, so I said it would be fine. 

I briefly contemplated wearing a costume myself, but I decided patients need to take me more seriously than they do my front-office staff. I wouldn’t want them to be distracted by my pirate earring while I try to underscore the potential consequences of their uncontrolled diabetes.

There are limits to what I would allow my staff to wear, too. I figured cat ears were acceptable. A “flirty cat” costume would be another story.

At my former practice, one secretary once came in her robe and hair rollers. Funny, but innocent.

Another physician I know, however, came to work with a more sinister costume. He wore a scary mask as he did rounds. While members of the hospital staff thought it was funny, patients, especially the older ones, did not agree.

I have no objections to celebrating the holidays, but at work, there are limits.

Find out more about Melissa Young, MD, and our other Practice Notes bloggers.