Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the other parents in medicine


Just got to thinking, is there a fathers in medicine group blog? 

Fathers in medicine who are reflecting on their careers, their choices, their balance or perhaps lack of it, their children, their partners and families, their co-workers, their time off, their time on, their weekends/evenings/late/early meetings, their yearning to breastfeed or pump (!), their commute, their biological clocks, their practice, their burnout, their paycheck, their research year, their struggles, their stresses, their joys, their tears, and...   
reflecting on us mothers in medicine, of course.

What else might they reflect on?

21 comments:

  1. I asked my husband why there isn't a fathers in medicine blog, and he said, "How come there's no White History Month?"

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  2. My reflections are virtually all about ambition and trying to rectify/balance it with my desire to be a great dad.

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  3. Fizzy - And then what did you say, dare I ask.

    Ryan - I have confidence that you are not only the father of social media in medicine, but also one outstanding dad. But I'll have to ask your kids someday for confirmation on the latter.

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  4. Men don't obsess about these things like women do, or at least mine doesn't.

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  5. Hmm... i was think they needed a support group for husbands of mothers in medicine.

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  6. Group? Not that I know of but I write about medicine and fatherhood regularly.

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  7. Given the number of fathers in medicine that I work with and talk to about parenthood and medicine, I've come to the conclusion that most men don't stress and obsess about the same things we do as women. Social expectations are that they were always going to work, and not be the primary care provider for their children, so it doesn't matter if their job is medicine, business, or industry. Women, on the other hand, with long standing social norms of being a stay at home parent or being the legendary super parent, have a lot more stressors placed on us.

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  8. Val, Katherine: Should they obsess more or should we obsess less? Or something in between, probably.

    PalMD: Thanks, I'll check out your musings (on the intersection of science, medicine, culture... and fatherhood)

    TR: Was thinking maybe one for our children of parents in medicine too!

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  9. I am a fourth-year med student, and I have a stay-at-home dad husband who cares for our toddler, and he definitely has no support group to talk to - it's nonexistent where we are! they need a site of their own. Agreed!

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  10. My husband obsesses about spending enough time with our daugher, and because of this, we've rearranged her schedule in order to maximize the time he spends with her every day. He relishes each moment with her as much, if not more, than I do.

    That being said, it's taken months of me wearing him down to get him to FINALLY consider cutting back on his work hours in some sort of formal fashion when I start residency. To 80% or something, so that at least one of us will be able to see our daughter awake on a daily basis. MONTHS. At his company, this practice is widespread and fully accepted among female employees with kids. He has several direct reports who currently work 6 hours per day or who work 3-4 days per week. These women are welcomed back to the full time career track when they desire to do that again. Why it's taken him this long to consider this, I do not know, but I suspect it has something to do with expectations he has for himself since he is a man, even though his (male) boss worked a reduced schedule when his kids were young. He talks about these issues with his work colleagues all of the time, but he may be unique in this.

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  11. queenie: Thanks for sharing. I've come to notice recently a lot of dads on Twitter, who are there expressly as dads. By the way, which career field (residency) are you interested in? 4th year can be a great time!

    Old MD Girl: thanks for sharing your tribulations and triumphs on this, I hope the med and women with whom he works recognize on the one hand, the normalcy of his doing this reduction to ~80%, and on the other hand the role modeling he will be doing. But more so, I hope it works out for the best for you all.

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    1. Anesthesiology - I'm really excited, because I truly love my chosen specialty! Fourth year hasn't been so great yet, because I started the year off with back-to-back boards, and I'm on back-to-back aways right now (no home program). I'm waiting for it to become great! I think filing ERAS next weekend will start the upturn! It IS better than third year - for sure!

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  13. I think the concept of fathers in medicine is not one that is ever challenged. At least a few times a week when I worked in hospitals, someone would look at me surprised that I had children and the following would happen.

    Patient or hospital worker increulous "Who looks after your children while you're at work?"

    Me: " Well my husband mostly, he works 2-3 days a week"

    Patient or health worker "Wow, what an amazing dad"

    I asked a male colleague of mine who has been a doctor for 15 years last week if he has ever been asked who looks after his children...No not once. And I am sure no-one ever assumes a mother is amazing simply because she is at home looking after her children....

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  14. bekkles: well stated, amazingly well.

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  15. In my experience fathers in medicine do not get lectured or questioned about "balancing" things, especially not by people who are single and childless. By contrast, I was repeatedly interrogated and schooled by those senior to me about having a family/parenting. Considering that I have been doing this parenting business for a lot longer than all of them, especially since some of them are single and childless, I found those exchanges pretty amusing and did my best to just shrugged them off. After a few such conversations, I simply made up my mind to be careful not to mention anything about my family to anyone new. During the rest of my rotations nobody realized that I had a family. It saved me lots of aggravation and frustration.

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  16. My husband would not be a father in medicine (he's in business), but here is what he found challenging as a new father: where are the role models? We had agreed when we got married to share responsibilities and he was committed. But he wasn't sure what that meant. His own father (with three kids) had never even changed a diaper. Most of the dads we hung out with were committed to knowing their kids, but mom was still the primary decision-maker and care-provider. We worked out that shared decision-making was crucial to shared care, which has been a successful model for us. He changed 70% of the diapers (100% when he was around) and never 'babysat.' The other dads admired him but also complained he was setting the bar too high. Not sure he would have wanted to share, but he would have valued a site where men talked about what partnership in parenting means.

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  17. I'm a medical student and a father of two young boys. My wife is a stay at home mother. I don't have a lot to say on the matter, except that I'm always hoping I have enough time to spend with my family and I'm always grateful for all my wife does for me and my children. I guess it's not surprising there isn't a group for people like us, since it would be pretty boring. I blog about a lot of things, but I can't ever see myself writing about messiness about home. Maybe I and other males are just too prideful to talk about our problems, maybe we like to insert a big divide between family and work, or maybe we're just not sensitive enough to talk about that kind of thing.

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  18. Hi Sam, thanks so much for the comment. I'm intrigued by the fact that you "blog about a lot of things" and you are a medical student with 2 young sons and yet think that writing about the "big divide" between work life and home life, and any tensions you might feel about spending too much time and energy with one rather than the other would be... boring. Perhaps you aren't feeling (or allowing yourself to feel) these tensions. But, if you have found that stress-free balance, please share!

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