Behind the Scrubs: Asian American Women in Healthcare
In a culture that often praises success and achievement, there exists an unspoken expectation for Asian Americans to join the healthcare profession. Healthcare is one of many career paths that women choose in pursuit of education and financial independence. Yet, there is a lack of representation in medical wear for diverse body shapes and sizes, facial features, and skin tones. Thousands of healthcare professionals enter the workforce every year, most having to buy their own uniforms or deal with the hospital scrubs that are notoriously wrinkly, boxy, and unisex. However, this “one size fits all” approach to medical scrubs no longer suits the progressive society that values personal style. Companies are upgrading the fabric and functionality of medical scrubs to help healthcare professionals move with ease in a fast-paced environment. A well-fitting scrub can give a professional look and help women use style and fashion to feel more empowered at work.
There is a lot to think about when buying women’s scrubs – from features to materials to cost. We interviewed Asian American women working in the healthcare profession and asked them to share their favorite scrub brand.
Peggy Chang is a pediatric dentist who cares for the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years, as well as patients with special healthcare needs. She needs scrubs to move freely in when managing apprehensive kids who are fidgety and uncooperative during procedures. She also operates on patients who need dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia.
Her favorite scrub brand is FIGS, a newer brand that is gaining a lot of attention on social media. The brand is known for its sophisticated and tailored look, with trendy styles such as Mandarin collars, trouser bottoms or jogger-style pants. Even though the design is form fitting, the proprietary fabric blend stretches well and allows for a wide range of motion. FIGS also states that their fabric has antimicrobial properties.
“I love my job, but dealing with the pediatric population requires a lot of energy,” Chang said. “Kids are always moving around and so am I! I need scrubs that will give me the flexibility to get through the work day. It was almost impossible for me to find fitting scrubs, but FIGS fit me perfectly! I love their special edition designs and colors. Every day in pediatric dentistry is as colorful as these FIGS scrubs!”
Blue Sky Co.
Sharon Kim is a dermatologist working in private practice. Her daily schedule is filled with skin checks, skin biopsies, surgeries and cosmetic procedures. It’s always non-stop at work, so she needs scrubs that move well as she quickly and efficiently examines patients.
Her favorite scrub brand is Blue Sky, a luxury brand also popular for its scrub caps. These scrubs are known to be ultra-stretchy, feather-weight, and sweat-wicking. The company prides itself on designing feminine silhouettes that enhance a woman’s physique and give an overall chic look. When ordered online, these scrubs arrive perfectly folded in an elegant white box with detailed packaging, and also come with a complimentary gift! The company’s quality products and excellent customer service definitely win the hearts of loyal customers.
“I prefer Blue Sky scrubs because they are extremely comfortable, yet flattering to the figure,” said Kim. “The fabric feels breathable and light. I am constantly moving in my clinic, and need a soft fabric that will move with me and stay in place. Moreover, the colors are vibrant and don’t fade after multiple washes. Can you believe I’ve had these scrubs for 3 years?”
Denise Miano is a physical therapist at her private practice, Impact Care Therapy. The nature of her work involves a great deal of physical exertion and movement on a daily basis, so the scrubs she wears must allow fluid motions and not be restrictive. She often needs to demonstrate a variety of movements including standing, sitting, squatting, bending, to better help her patients.
Her favorite scrub brand is Grey’s Anatomy, one of the most well-known and respected scrub brands in the medical field. Their high-quality fabrics provide excellent moisture-wicking properties and feel soft against the skin. The scrubs also breathe well, particularly in warmer environments. Grey’s Anatomy scrubs are designed to be stylish, flattering and form-fitting. The cut is longer than average which helps to reduce inadvertent skin exposure while leaning or bending.
“I love Grey’s Anatomy because their fabric is just the most soft and comfortable,” said Miano. “Best of all, I never have to iron them because they come out of the dryer wrinkle-free! The material is very breathable, so I never have to worry about getting hot. Definitely my go-to scrub brand! I love wearing them to work!”