I had just written a response to a partner’s email regarding outpatient coverage and the focus of work-life balance. I think it’s a great initiative that she is tackling while brainstorming what could help the group with flexibility as well as some normalcy while raising a family.
This made me think of changes to antiquated practices we currently have in our work environment… primarily, paid maternity leave as well as paid sick leave (neither of which my group has or supports). Many of my male colleagues can continue to work and can take as little or much leave as they would like for family bonding or vacation time to spend with their newborns. This is their option. Unfortunately, the women physicians in our group are not afforded that same luxury. There is a 6 week medical leave of absence with a vaginal delivery or an 8 week leave of absence with a C/S as proposed by the OBs. During this time, we are not paid. State disability is a joke bc it’s not even enough to cover a mortgage payment. Look at other large companies, there’s often paid leave or sick leave available to the employees. Therefore, women who choose to have kids while working as a physician in our group are penalized, especially if they are the breadwinner.
Not only that, even while off on medical leave, we are required to pay ridiculously high premiums to cover the wide age gap of partners in our practice. I would be happy to look elsewhere for my medical coverage, but I simply cannot come off our medical insurance plan.
Therefore, I propose there be a fund set aside to create a pool or trust for persons creating families (just as we do for our more distinguished and elderly physician population with our health insurance plans and exorbitant premiums) who will have families and work in our group.
Here are some examples in the news of what is and has been in the pipelines….
Here are examples of companies getting it right:
Please consider updating some or all of the policies for paid maternity leave. I am open to your thoughts and considerations.
Updated resources: March 10, 2019
- Graduate Theses/Dissertations: Parental Leave: Policy and Practice
- KevinMD.com: Maternity leave for physicians is a disgrace. It’s time to fix that.
- West J Emerg Med. 2017 Aug; 18(5): 800–810. Congratulations, You’re Pregnant! Now About Your Shifts . . . : The State of Maternity Leave Attitudes and Culture in EM
- Today’s Hospitalist: Family Leave: Making it Work
- KevinMD.com: How maternity leave cost this physician
- Bloomberg.com: Even America’s Top Doctors Aren’t Getting the Parental Leave Doctors Recommend
- J Fam Pract. 1992 Jul;35(1):39-42. Maternity leave for practicing family physicians.
- Med Lav. 2018 Aug 28;109(4):243-252. doi: 10.23749/mdl.v109i4.7226. Influence of paid maternity leave on return to work after childbirth.
- Matern Child Health J. 2018 Feb;22(2):216-225. doi: 10.1007/s10995-017-2393-x. Paid Maternity Leave in the United States: Associations with Maternal and Infant Health.
- Birth. 2016 Sep;43(3):233-9. doi: 10.1111/birt.12230. Epub 2016 Mar 17. Paid Maternity Leave and Breastfeeding Outcomes.
- EP Groups and Parental Leave: Where We Stand in 2018
- 2017 Small Business Maternity Leave Policy & Laws – With Examples
- ACEP 2017: Emergency Physician Sidesteps Poor U.S. Maternity Leave Practices by Negotiating Her Own
- Radiology Business 2018: Female physicians push for better pregnancy, motherhood resources for women in radiology
- Brave Enough 2017: The First 24
- World at Work 2017: Survey of Paid Parental Leave in the United States
- Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population 2017: Paid Family Leave in the United States – Time for a New National Policy
- Maternity Leave Law in California
- LBMC Employment Partners: Laws and Best Practices for Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave
- Forbes 2019: In The Fight For Paid Parental Leave, 6 Months Should Be The Minimum
- Congressional Research Service 2018: Paid Family Leave in the United States
- Sermo 2016: Doctors Support Guaranteed Paid Parental Leave in the U.S.
- Society of Interventional Radiology Position Statement on Parental Leave. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2017; 28:993–994.
Updated May 10, 2019
A must watch on Amazon Prime Video: The Milky Way