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?
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