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Listern Q&A – How to Balance Being a Mom and an Attending

Session 119

The Premed Years

In this episode, Ryan is joined by co-host Allison, as they tackle a question coming from a MSHQ listener, Grace, who seeks to know more about parenthood as a physician.

Grace is a premed student and she also wants to have kids and people think she is crazy. So this episode talks about how it is not really crazy to have a kids even when you’re pursuing your career as a physician. Yes, you can be a parent and a physician at the same time!

Parenthood is part of life and you just have to know how to deal with it. You can make it work. You can be a parent and a physician at the same time. You absolutely can do it!

Here are the highlights of the conversation with :

Deciding when is a good time to have a child:
  • Allison going through the pregnancy when she was out of residency (a conscious decision on Ryan and Allison’s part)
  • The hardships of having baby during residency
  • The ramifications of having a maternity/family medical leave –
  • 12 weeks of unpaid leave
  • Postponing graduation depending on the program (other programs have an elective time)
  • There is no perfect time to have a child.
  • More of a personal decision
  • Know what the situation would be in your program
Being new to the workforce as a physician and breaking the news that you’re having a baby:
  • Allison breaking the new after 16 weeks
  • Make sure to let your boss know first.
The contention about women’s pay:
  • Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscar’s about also paying attention to women in our society
  • Women are not being paid as much as men
How having a baby has changed things:
  • It will change your life forever (in a great way)
  • Dealing with hormonal/physical changes while taking care of patients (during pregnancy)
  • Maternity leave is important
  • Allison having 13 weeks off (unpaid)
  • The importance of joining a mom’s group/community to get that support
  • The change in mindset
  • A hard transition at first but it’s totally doable!
  • Priorities have changed
  • No more sticking around at work
  • More no nonsense and you become more efficient
Dealing with the cognitive decline:
  • Sleep deprivation as a factor: You can’t have too much caffeine when you’re pregnant.
  • Having extended leave can help
  • Coping with all the changes
  • Taking one day off a week to spend time with your family
  • Adjusting when transitioning back to work
Ryan’s perspective:
  • Exhaustion
  • Support
  • Dealing with the woman’s hormonal/emotional roller coaster
  • First several months were very hard
  • Not much you can do as a dad but to support
  • Starts to get more fun after a few months
Know the federal laws:
  • 12 weeks unpaid leave
  • A private place for you to use a breast pump at work

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