What motherhood brings to medicine

Mothers contribute a great deal to the study and practice of medicine they bring a great deal of empathy, patience and life experience - MomMD members answer: "What qualities do you think mothers contribute to the practice of medicine?"

Trough their own experience, mothers offer a perspective different to those who have not gone through joy and pain of childbirth and bringing up children.

"Mothers are as diverse as any population, but from my experience as a mother I would say patience, compassion, understanding & authority", said E.F.

"I think being a mom allows me to be much more humanistic and empathetic in my practice. One of the down sides is that when I see a young mother with a significant illness the empathy factor becomes a little too stressful, but most of the time it does make me a better physician. As a medical educator I have become much more flexible in terms of what I expect from students and residents with families also". Stated Dr. N. K.

"Mom's make good doctors, because they have had the experience of undergoing some pretty grueling medical procedures themselves if they have had children, so they have a better understanding of women's issues. Also, being a mother teaches you how to communicate with small people that can not get their pain into words, and teaches patience, so this makes for better doctor/child relationships. Mothers are also usually more sensitive, loving and warm (some may call it a stereotype, but I call it a compliment)", commented B.G.

"I first considered this when I was volunteering in a Level One Trauma Center, while preparing to go to medical school. As a mother, I found myself interacting with patients in a different way. Although I never tried to "mother" the patient, I was fully aware that somewhere this person-- no matter how reprehensible or disgusting the other staff might find the patient-- had a mother who loved him/her. And just as I would want my children well cared for in a moment of crisis, I found myself honoring that same commitment to the mothers of the patients, to women I had never met and would likely never meet. Now as a medical student, I find that motherhood has given me some perspective that my childless classmates sometimes lack. I am sometimes more brave, often more outspoken; I have confidence in my abilities as a human being-- after all, I have potty-trained two kids! I have life experiences in caring for children or in visiting the elderly that make me more at ease when I interact with patients. Best of all, when medical school feels overwhelming I have two children who instantly transport me out of that realm and into the world of soccer, scouts, and school plays. I feel sorry for my single, childless classmates who have no ready-made distractions from all the stress of medical school", said K.S.B.

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