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Moms can't hack med school...perspectives

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12 years 3 months ago #67670 by mrssd
I have to say I am a bit disappointed that every single woman who posts isn't saying "yeah it sucks, don't judge us, every woman is worth everything we invest in her and she can make choices that fit with her life and her family." Personally, I don't need to hear a devil's advocate view on this forum---I get it everyday and it is called everyone elses opinion.
Today a resident and I were discussing a new 3rd year who is pregnant and was assigned to surgery despite requesting to wait on it. Our old, male attending overheard us and said "why should they make adjustments for her, she chose to get pregnant, the world doesn't start and stop because of her choices." Wow, I thought. But I countered him by saying, it certainly would not have inconvenienced anyone to have her wait on surgery so why not just do it. So while non-pregnant people have their choice of schedules this woman didn't and people actually ended up punishing her---why, to prove a point that she chose to get pregnant---no crap, who cares, what is it to you, how does it affect you.

So you're a female who is bitter because you didn't get into medical school and someone who did decided to take time off but, tough, maybe that you should have tried a bit harder and done a bit better to get a spot and there wouldn't be a problem.
And, by the way. I kick men's academic asses on a daily basis. I am also married and a mother. I am capable, confident and really really good at what I do---at home and at work---it took me a long time to say that. I let men and other women make me feel guilty about not being at home all day every day but I stopped. I realized I spend great time with my kid and he is happy and on track. I work hard at school and I get to come home to him. Is it hard--sure. Is it worth it---absolutely.

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12 years 3 months ago #67671 by cindy-lou
I've loved reading this post!
Here's an opinion that I haven't read yet.
I am now 42 years old, and finished med school in 1993, OBGYN residency in 1997. When I was in medical school, honestly, I could see myself thinking much the same thing that the responders in Mitch's initial post said: "What the He%* was she thinking?!?" When I was in residency, a couple of residents got pregnant (one with twins-- the nerve! Daring to get pregnant with twins!)and I remember the annoyance and outright anger that circulated through the residency. How dare she?!?!? Doesn't she realize what this will do to US?
Then I got to fourth year and interviewed for jobs. At one interview, the Senior male partner asked me if I planned to get pregnant. I was very up-front. I said, "Yes, I do, and in fact, the sooner the better-- I'm already 32 years old..."
Well, I got that job. And then I had to try really hard to get pregnant. Seems I wasn't ovulating spontaneously anymore (BTW, I agree with the poster who says that women were designed to have babies in their '20's).
So a year-plus after that interview, I did get pregnant with my own set of twins. I announced at 10 weeks gestation. That same senior partner was LIVID. He couldn't believe that I would get pregnant before taking my oral boards (which aren't an option in OBGYN till you've been out of residency for 2.5 years). He told me that I had no business trying to conceive without notifying the whole group, so they could 'make provisions.'

The moral here: In Medicine, There Is No Right Time To Get Pregnant.

My sister is a lawyer, and we've discussed this a lot. The same is true in law. I bet it's similar in any major profession. "What are we thinking?!?!?"

Cindy-lou

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12 years 3 months ago #67672 by mommd2b
I have fought about this with my husband a lot. He has been the one that has ended up having to "take up the slack" when his female colleagues got pregnant....meaning adding more call during residency when he (we) were already tapped out. He said he had no problem with women getting pregnant during residency as long as they weren't asking for special concessions all of the time....and maybe that is at the heart of the issue?

I don't know. I think that there really is blatant chauvinism alive and well. When I was a grad student in molecular biology, one of my PIs actually said "you should be at home with your children" when I first started. I was....shocked. I eventually won him over...but it was a real eye-opener.

I also gave the example here of the part-timers who don't want to have to work afternoons, take call or do weekends with the same benefits....they've definitely soured things for those that do job-sharing etc.

All of that being said, our pediatrician is a mom of 4 and is part-time...and she is wonderful. I would wait an extra month to get in to see her if I had to...and I wouldn't mind the fact that she couldn't get back to me asap.....but...because of the kind of doc that she is, even if she was *off* she would return a call/message if it was important.

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

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12 years 3 months ago #67673 by Mitch
I know my Dh felt shafted (as did I) when he was a resident and one of his female residents got pregnant...meaning more call/responsibilities for him. But really, why should there not be some back-up plan in place for exactly this kind of staffing issue? Because that is what it is...a manpower issue. If residents were truly being educated, and not just used as cheap labor, it wouldn't be as huge a problem. Most companies have to have some sort of plan in place for when females employees get pregnant, give birth, etc., and for when male employess get sick, take leave, etc. Why is it that medicine (and some other professions) feel that they do not have to do the same??
I agree that it is completely unreasonable for part time physicians, as well as part-time workers in ANY other field, to expect equal vacation, pay, benefits, etc., as full timers. That's just not fair. But it also doesn't mean that they're not entitled to a proportion of those same "benefits" in proportion to the amount they work/contribute! It also doesn't mean that they should have to take a fulltime load of call, weekends, etc. It really should all be in proportion.
I think expectations in the professions are very out-dated overall, on both sides of the coin. Of course, this is just my :twocents:

Live, Love, Laugh

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12 years 3 months ago #67674 by Mitch
Oh, a "bit" of a disclaimer....I just noticed I have been very vocal over the past few days on these boards.....I hope I haven't been too "out-there"!!! :footinmouth:
I just had some surgery a few days ago, and I'm still a bit wonky....my DH says I'm acting far more disinhibited than usual :o
Damn good pain meds, though!!! :D

Live, Love, Laugh

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12 years 3 months ago #67675 by sahmd
I agree with disinhibited Mitch ;) that it is really just a manpower issue. If residency programs or practices could hire locums to fill in for people on maternity leave, I bet there would be a lot fewer negative feelings toward new mothers.

LOL, cindy-lou, about the senior partner's remarks!

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