7 Things Every Med Student Needs to Have in Their Closet

What every med student should have in their closet

So you’re about to start med school this fall, or perhaps you’ve already begun, but you aren’t sure what to wear. Never fear- that’s what this site is here for! If you never buy anything else for school, what are the 7 things every med student needs to have in their closet? Look below to find out! Oh, check out our merch store if you want to add something MedCute (see what I did there? ?) to the items in the list!

Sometimes when you look on med blogs or sites (including pinterest) you get the feeling that you need to have the wardrobe of Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. Alot of it is just marketing and trying to get students to buy into the notion that more/ more expensive clothes makes a better med student. Not so. I’ll preface the list by saying that after the first week or so, you’ll find yourself wearing the same thing over and over again. Let’s get into the 7 essential things every med student needs to have in their closet.

1. Scrubs

REPEAT AFTER ME: SCRUBS ARE ESSENTIAL. Most medical schools have Anatomy or First Aid as one of the first courses that the students do, and I’mma let you know right now- you do not want cadaver pieces, the scent of formaldehyde or any other human fluid on your body when you leave the lab. Even with a lab coat, scrubs are there for extra protection. Some schools give their students scrubs to wear for labs, but it’s better to have your own. Also, when you start your clinical rotation years, scrubs are going to be an everyday item.

I know you see all the expensive brands that will remain nameless on this blog- honestly, at the end of the day, scrubs are scrubs are scrubs. Outside of the brand name tag and sporty look, they all do the exact same thing. If you can’t afford $50 scrubs, take yourself to your nearest Walmart and get yourself a full scrub outfit for $20. You can also check out sites like Scrubs and beyond coupons for some deals on great scrubs! If you live in Latin America like I do, Mercado Libre and Amazon Mexico has some great scrubs for low prices as well.

Medical student scrubs
A good pair of scrubs take you far

2. Comfortable Shoes

In medicine, you will be on your feet alot. Ladies, forget the glamour of walking through the wards with high heels on- leave that for your fabulous consultants to do. As students and interns, we are at the bottom of the totem pole, which means walking, running, standing, courier-ing for extended periods of time. So guys and girls, get some comfy shoes. Sneakers are great as an everyday choice for school or study activities or when you are on the wards, but if you are not really a sneaker fan like me, sensible flat shoes (or with a slight elevation) works fine. And you don’t have to break the bank either. Check out Amazon, or if you’re feeling a little old school, good old Payless or your neighbourhood store will do the trick.

What every medical student needs in their closet
Doesn’t have to be Nike to be good…

3. Good pair of Jeans

One good pair of jeans is like a black skirt/trousers- goes with everything. Take your pick- blue or black and rock it as much as you want. Of course it’s always best to have multiples, but if you don’t have any jeans, I suggest you invest in one solid pair of jeans that will last you for a while. Wear it to school, to study sessions, to run errands- fnctionality and thriftiness is the name of the game.

4. A professional outfit

Whether you are just starting your med school interviews, you are going to a medical conference, or you are entering your first day of clinicals, a smart-looking professional outft from head to toe is needed. Gents- invest in a solid white shirt and a solid colour tie, a pair of dress shoes that are black or brown and a belt that is the SAME COLOUR as the shoes. (If you forget anything else I’ve said, don’t forget this). Ladies, you can’t go wrong with a black skirt or dress pants and a dressy blouse or blaser. I’m no fashionista, but these will go a long way, especially if you’ve just started school and you’re on a budget.

5. A White Coat

This one is easy, because most med schools give a branded one to all their incoming students either for free or for a reduced price. That being said though, it may not be necessary off the bat, but it may come in handy to have two- one for labs and hospital rounds (the white coat can get pretty dirty, tbh) and another one just for fancy dress up and/or photo-op situations. Again- totally not necessary to have two- so don’t say we said, lol! ??

6. A Warm Sweater

This one may seem weird, especially if you live in a tropical zone, but take my word for it- on those long nights and early mornings when you are up studying and you are struggling to fight the desire to go back to bed under those warm covers, or you are struggling to get comfy while studying, a warm, non-scratchy sweater will do the trick. It works wonders. Also, many University libraries get cold- very cold, and this cold may even distract you from your studies, so get a nice sweater. You may even want to get one that is university branded.

Med student essentials
Stay warm on those long night study sessions!

7. Something for a Night Out

Lastly, after you have worked hard- studying, memorizing, practicing your clinical skills, you deserve to play hard too- if even for a night. When you go shopping for med school or you are packing for your new home for the next 4-7 years, make sure you include a ancy outfit for a night out or fun time. Those after exam or pre-exam trips or soirees do wonders to calm pre-exam jitters or post-exam stress, so don’t be the odd one out when the #medsquad paints the town red. You’ll thank me later.

Med student essentials
All work and no play make a sad med student…


There are so many other things that can be included, but these are the 7 things every med student needs to have in their closet- the essential things that any med student will need to survive school. Let us know if there is anything else you would add to the list, and if you agree with the items listed here in the comments below!

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