Doctors and Piercings: Part 3

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It’s been nearly five years since I decided to get a nose piercing. I mused about the decision on the blog both before and after the fact.

Since becoming a “real” doctor, I’ve never had a patient refer to my piercing. As mentioned before, it really isn’t that conspicuous. I’ve also noticed more and more doctors who have nose piercings, so it probably isn’t so strange in South African healthcare workers as it was in 2011.

This year, after working with a certain doctor for three months, he finally noticed the piercing. His response was, “Well that’s atypical,” then he laughed and we moved on with our ward round.

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You can see it, but just barely.

I removed my nose jewellery recently, and in many ways that decision was as difficult as getting it in the first place.

Over the past few months, I just grew a bit tired of it. The person I was when I got it was not the same person as I am now, and although it’s just a silly piercing, it sometimes started to annoy me. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe the same way one can tire of the same hairstyle?

It had me wondering about my motivation behind getting it. I don’t remember, but sometimes I wonder if I got the piercing because I wanted one, or because I wanted to make a point. (Probably a bit of both. I’ve always loved piercings.)

Before I got it, I told naysayers that it really wasn’t such a big deal. I could remove it whenever I wanted – much easier than getting rid of a tattoo if you get tired of it.

But if I remove it, I wondered, wouldn’t people think I’m going back on my belief? That I now admit that nose jewellery is not professional? This of course is not the case at all. I stand by my prior statements. I still think nose jewellery is nice, and I still think it has no bearing on professionalism. Getting rid of mine is a personal choice, not a professional one. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder.

It’s been out more than two weeks now, and nobody seems to have noticed its absence. Not even my family or my boyfriend! What an anti-climax.

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