Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guest Post: Pregnant, in surgical training

We recently received this anonymous comment to an older post on childbearing in surgical residency and thought this might open the discussion back up.

Ok. So I am pregnant and in training after practicing for a while. My boss knows, but the rest of the team does not (I am not showing yet).
I am due after I finish my training so my issues are more financial and how to look for a job with a big belly. Also any leave I take it will be just detrimental to me, since I will not be making any money.

I look around the group of surgeons and trainees (100% male) and I feel like I am doing something against that whole environment..

I try to keep in my mind that in order to society to continue, women have to have babies. It is not like we are choosing to take a vacation for months or something.

As for the programs I do believe they should hire locum tenans people to cover for that period of time. For guys may sound unfair, but their mothers and wives were pregnant one day.

I use to be amazed by the residents that only took a month or two off, but now I am contemplating just taking a month off because I cannot afford to take more.

I think a lot of the negative thoughts are in our mind and we just have to shake them off.

As for the right time, I still think its best in training because you have a system of coverage. In practice you will book cases and not know if you will be well enough to finish it.

I had to scrub out twice in 3 months , but I was assisting a surgeon so I just asked the scrub nurse to help out and came right back.

I guess is also improtant to keep in mind that all these people around us will go away from our lives at some point, but your baby will be with you for a long time and if something goes wrong, it will be hard to forgive yourself if you think you havent done what was right for your kid.

As my husband says, we are not in control afterall. At some point we have to give it up to the Boss- God

2 comments:

  1. As one prominent woman in orthopaedic surgery and mother of 4 told me, “there is no point in your life that it will be convenient to have a baby. You just have to pick a time and go for it.”
    I am now the mother of three. My first went smoothly where I was able to work until the day before I delivered, the second was rocky, 3 months of bed rest and then 2 months off after – although I had a real job at this point.
    My advice is Tell Them Now!!! You obviously cannot sneak it through forever, and by holding out, people feel like you were trying to pull something on them. (Believe me, a woman did this in residency and people spoke about her behind her back.) If you react early, you can arrange rotations, so your ‘easier’ rotations where they don’t depend on you as much are around delivery time- research, sports etc.
    As for time off after, I was able to arrange 3 full weeks off (although physically I would have been ok going back earlier) then 6 weeks of going back 2-3 days a week, on the days I was most needed- OR and clinic days. It worked great. I bonded with my son and people could see I was around being very helpful.
    And you do need to appreciate and recognize that others will be working harder because of you. They will see their family less and spend longer time at work. If you play it right, they won’t mind (all that much) and will be genuinely happy for you and your husband.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As one prominent woman in orthopaedic surgery and mother of 4 told me, “there is no point in your life that it will be convenient to have a baby. You just have to pick a time and go for it.”
    I am now the mother of three. My first went smoothly where I was able to work until the day before I delivered, the second was rocky, 3 months of bed rest and then 2 months off after – although I had a real job at this point.
    My advice is Tell Them Now!!! You obviously cannot sneak it through forever, and by holding out, people feel like you were trying to pull something on them. (Believe me, a woman did this in residency and people spoke about her behind her back.) If you react early, you can arrange rotations, so your ‘easier’ rotations where they don’t depend on you as much are around delivery time- research, sports etc.
    As for time off after, I was able to arrange 3 full weeks off (although physically I would have been ok going back earlier) then 6 weeks of going back 2-3 days a week, on the days I was most needed- OR and clinic days. It worked great. I bonded with my son and people could see I was around being very helpful.
    And you do need to appreciate and recognize that others will be working harder because of you. They will see their family less and spend longer time at work. If you play it right, they won’t mind (all that much) and will be genuinely happy for you and your husband.

    ReplyDelete

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