This is an interesting article about how peer evaluations of female residents go down after pregnancy, while evaluations of men who have children during residency do not go down.
I was wondering why this might be the case. I thought of a few possibilities:
1) resentment towards pregnant residents who took a leave and everyone
had to do extra work to cover. I wonder how evaluations might be
affected in other residents who took leave for other reasons. Of course,
people generally think of pregnancy as “a choice“ so leaves for other
medical reasons might be looked at more sympathetically.
2) performance may actually decline after having a baby. I don’t know
about you, but if I am awake breast-feeding two or three times per
night, I’m probably not going to perform at the same level as I was when
I was well rested. Also, once you have a baby, no matter how good your
support system is, you’re still somewhat at the mercy of your child’s
health. Even if you have someone to watch them when they are sick, you
probably aren’t going to be able to work when you are actively vomiting
from the G.I. bug that they gave you. (I tried. I was sent home.)
again, this is something where man should theoretically be affected as
much as women, but there is probably more of a tendency for men who
decide to have a baby during residency to have a spouse with a more
flexible career. And also, they don’t have to breast-feed.
3) Other residents might not take you as seriously when you become a
parent. They may feel your priorities are shifted, even if that’s not
actually the case.
What do you think? If you had a baby during residency, do you think it
changed what the other residents thought of you? Did you change your
opinion of female residents that you worked with after they had a baby?