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Times article about female docs and work/life balance

Home Women’s Issues Times article about female docs and work/life balance

  • Avatar JBME 
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    Basically it talks about how great it is to be a female doc these days. I’m not so sure my family would agree

    #240781 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
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    eh, it’s actually quite a balanced article. i found it to be a nice discussion of how shift work and flexibility can make life outside of medicine easier. this has certainly been my experience as an EM attending.

    the bottom line is that it’s hard to have everything you want out of life and be a highly paid physician. this is not all that dependent on sex.

    #240794 Reply
    Avatar AR 
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    eh, it’s actually quite a balanced article. i found it to be a nice discussion of how shift work and flexibility can make life outside of medicine easier. this has certainly been my experience as an EM attending.

    the bottom line is that it’s hard to have everything you want out of life and be a highly paid physician. this is not all that dependent on sex.

    Click to expand…

    That was my impression as well.

    Basically it talks about how great it is to be a female doc these days. I’m not so sure my family would agree

    Click to expand…

    So what’s the better alternative?

    #240795 Reply
    Liked by RocDoc, MPMD
    Avatar Dusn 
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    I found it sort of ridiculous because it ignores the length of residency/fellowship training.  I know many female physicians who’ve had to undergo IVF or could not have children, likely at least partly due to waiting until training was over.   I think our residents get two weeks off after delivery.

    Better alternatives: CRNA, probably dental, many fields of business, law, engineering…

    Alternatives in terms of making the system more family friendly?  Shorten undergrad-medschool so that training is typically completed several years earlier like it is in other countries.

    #240803 Reply
    Avatar JBME 
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    Well for one thing it said that the pay gap between male and female physicians is around 67 cents per $1 but a bunch of that is explained by women working part time. Except it says that once you account for that the gap is 82 cents for every $1 as if that’s okay.

    It also starts with the assumption that it’s the woman physician who should cut back to take care of the children. That’s the wrong starting point

    #240808 Reply
    Avatar MrsIMDoc 
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    I spoke with the physician mentioned in the article on some of the PMG groups.  This physician gave up her plan of oncology to become a geriatrician. The journalist glossed over that.  As a geriatrician myself I can attest that it is GREAT for work life balance but it is still a sacrifice. I chose NOT to do a critical care fellowship even though I would have loved it because I knew what it meant for a family.

    That being said I am so fortunate to be able to afford a nanny and housecleaners so I can have a balanced life.  The medical assistants and nurses I work with do not have that financial choice and still have to work long hours.

     

    Avatar AR 
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    I found it sort of ridiculous because it ignores the length of residency/fellowship training.  I know many female physicians who’ve had to undergo IVF or could not have children, likely at least partly due to waiting until training was over.   I think our residents get two weeks off after delivery.

    Better alternatives: CRNA, probably dental, many fields of business, law, engineering…

    Alternatives in terms of making the system more family friendly?  Shorten undergrad-medschool so that training is typically completed several years earlier like it is in other countries.

    Click to expand…

    As far as business and law, the article gave specific reasons why those would be less attractive.  I know lots of female engineers, but they’re in all in the same general field, and they would strongly disagree.  But engineering is very broad and I guess there could be niches which are great.

    CRNA gets thrown around alot, but I’ve yet to meet a doc of any kind who says, “I wish I had been a CRNA instead” and is completely serious.  But I suppose it’s possible.  So, I’ll give that one a maybe.

    I’ll buy dental.  Shorter training, income and flexibility are probably comparable.  If dentistry appeals to you, it’s probably a great choice.

     

    #240814 Reply
    Avatar hospitalist md 
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    Well for one thing it said that the pay gap between male and female physicians is around 67 cents per $1 but a bunch of that is explained by women working part time. Except it says that once you account for that the gap is 82 cents for every $1 as if that’s okay.

    It also starts with the assumption that it’s the woman physician who should cut back to take care of the children. That’s the wrong starting point

    Click to expand…

    Exactly… I also found issue with the statement that almost normalises the 82 cents to a dollar gap. As for the rest of the article , i do agree with parts of it that say medicine gives female docs a certain flexibility. The biggest reason for that is a higher pay than regular jobs on average, not so much the structure or lack thereof …

    #240816 Reply
    Liked by JBME, SLC OB
    Avatar MrsIMDoc 
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    I found it sort of ridiculous because it ignores the length of residency/fellowship training.  I know many female physicians who’ve had to undergo IVF or could not have children, likely at least partly due to waiting until training was over.   I think our residents get two weeks off after delivery.

    Better alternatives: CRNA, probably dental, many fields of business, law, engineering…

    Alternatives in terms of making the system more family friendly?  Shorten undergrad-medschool so that training is typically completed several years earlier like it is in other countries.

    Click to expand…

    As far as business and law, the article gave specific reasons why those would be less attractive.  I know lots of female engineers, but they’re in all in the same general field, and they would strongly disagree.  But engineering is very broad and I guess there could be niches which are great.

    CRNA gets thrown around alot, but I’ve yet to meet a doc of any kind who says, “I wish I had been a CRNA instead” and is completely serious.  But I suppose it’s possible.  So, I’ll give that one a maybe.

    I’ll buy dental.  Shorter training, income and flexibility are probably comparable.  If dentistry appeals to you, it’s probably a great choice.

     

    Click to expand…

    Dental would be the WORST for a mom.  I am a woman physician married to male dentist who owns his own practice.  Dentists come out with $250,000 – $400,000 in student loans similar to physicians.  Options coming out of dental school are to join an associateship (working with a small private practice), working for a FQHC, or working for a dental chain.  The only option to allow you to take FMLA might be a FQHC, but then you are working at a FQHC which has its own problems. Most young dentists are either going to be an associate making peanuts and at the mercy of the owner or a practice owner which is not mom friendly.  Many towns have a surplus of dentists unlike primary care physicians where they are many different options to negotiate part time hours.

     

    #240817 Reply
    wideopenspaces wideopenspaces 
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    I hang out on another forum with about 110,000 moms. And we have folks from all walks of life. The topic of work life balance, working vs staying home and the financial and emotional costs of these choices are frequent topics. I always walk away from these conversations feeling extremely grateful for my profession, my flexibility, the time I have with my kids and my pay. I don’t have to make nearly as many difficult decisions as these other moms do. So I think the article does capture that. At the same time, we still have a lot of progress to make, not just in medicine, of course.

    #240822 Reply
    Avatar AR 
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    I found it sort of ridiculous because it ignores the length of residency/fellowship training.  I know many female physicians who’ve had to undergo IVF or could not have children, likely at least partly due to waiting until training was over.   I think our residents get two weeks off after delivery.

    Better alternatives: CRNA, probably dental, many fields of business, law, engineering…

    Alternatives in terms of making the system more family friendly?  Shorten undergrad-medschool so that training is typically completed several years earlier like it is in other countries.

    Click to expand…

    As far as business and law, the article gave specific reasons why those would be less attractive.  I know lots of female engineers, but they’re in all in the same general field, and they would strongly disagree.  But engineering is very broad and I guess there could be niches which are great.

    CRNA gets thrown around alot, but I’ve yet to meet a doc of any kind who says, “I wish I had been a CRNA instead” and is completely serious.  But I suppose it’s possible.  So, I’ll give that one a maybe.

    I’ll buy dental.  Shorter training, income and flexibility are probably comparable.  If dentistry appeals to you, it’s probably a great choice.

     

    Click to expand…

    Dental would be the WORST for a mom.  I am a woman physician married to male dentist who owns his own practice.  Dentists come out with $250,000 – $400,000 in student loans similar to physicians.  Options coming out of dental school are to join an associateship (working with a small private practice), working for a FQHC, or working for a dental chain.  The only option to allow you to take FMLA might be a FQHC, but then you are working at a FQHC which has its own problems. Most young dentists are either going to be an associate making peanuts and at the mercy of the owner or a practice owner which is not mom friendly.  Many towns have a surplus of dentists unlike primary care physicians where they are many different options to negotiate part time hours.

     

    Click to expand…

    My own dentist who I’ve gone to for 10+ yrs, works 2-3 days a week, has a couple of kids and seems pretty happy.  I definitely don’t know the whole story, though.  Also live in a pretty HCOL area, and I’m sure I drive past approx 20 dentists to get to her.

    Also when you say peanuts, what exactly are we talking about here? Based on posts I’ve read around here dentists seem to do OK.  Is salary really that much lower than a PCP?

    #240824 Reply
    Avatar MrsIMDoc 
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    I found it sort of ridiculous because it ignores the length of residency/fellowship training.  I know many female physicians who’ve had to undergo IVF or could not have children, likely at least partly due to waiting until training was over.   I think our residents get two weeks off after delivery.

    Better alternatives: CRNA, probably dental, many fields of business, law, engineering…

    Alternatives in terms of making the system more family friendly?  Shorten undergrad-medschool so that training is typically completed several years earlier like it is in other countries.

    Click to expand…

    As far as business and law, the article gave specific reasons why those would be less attractive.  I know lots of female engineers, but they’re in all in the same general field, and they would strongly disagree.  But engineering is very broad and I guess there could be niches which are great.

    CRNA gets thrown around alot, but I’ve yet to meet a doc of any kind who says, “I wish I had been a CRNA instead” and is completely serious.  But I suppose it’s possible.  So, I’ll give that one a maybe.

    I’ll buy dental.  Shorter training, income and flexibility are probably comparable.  If dentistry appeals to you, it’s probably a great choice.

     

    Click to expand…

    Dental would be the WORST for a mom.  I am a woman physician married to male dentist who owns his own practice.  Dentists come out with $250,000 – $400,000 in student loans similar to physicians.  Options coming out of dental school are to join an associateship (working with a small private practice), working for a FQHC, or working for a dental chain.  The only option to allow you to take FMLA might be a FQHC, but then you are working at a FQHC which has its own problems. Most young dentists are either going to be an associate making peanuts and at the mercy of the owner or a practice owner which is not mom friendly.  Many towns have a surplus of dentists unlike primary care physicians where they are many different options to negotiate part time hours.

     

    Click to expand…

    My own dentist who I’ve gone to for 10+ yrs, works 2-3 days a week, has a couple of kids and seems pretty happy.  I definitely don’t know the whole story, though.  Also live in a pretty HCOL area, and I’m sure I drive past approx 20 dentists to get to her.

    Also when you say peanuts, what exactly are we talking about here? Based on posts I’ve read around here dentists seem to do OK.  Is salary really that much lower than a PCP?

    Click to expand…

    Dentists on here make a lot, many are practice owners.  Associate dentists make $80K – $150K.  Some make more and that is awesome for them, but that is not standard.  This seems very accurate talking to our other dentist friends – https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Associate_Dentist/Salary

    #240827 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Well for one thing it said that the pay gap between male and female physicians is around 67 cents per $1 but a bunch of that is explained by women working part time. Except it says that once you account for that the gap is 82 cents for every $1 as if that’s okay.

    It also starts with the assumption that it’s the woman physician who should cut back to take care of the children. That’s the wrong starting point

    The article in no way suggests that a pay gap is acceptable.

    The author writes about gender issues for the NYT and won a Pulitzer for work highlighting sexual harassment in the workplace.

    I’m pretty sure she did not intend to imply that a pay gap is ok.

    #240828 Reply
    Liked by adventure
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
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    Interesting article. To me it seems that work life balance has become much more important not only to the young women, but also to many of the young men in medicine.  I also see some of the young men taking a much greater role in caring for family and children than in the past.

    #240927 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    It’s interesting to me that the article states % of the difference is from one factor alone – differences in hours worked, but multiple people jump to conclusions and ignore the myriad of other confounding factors potentially responsible for a difference.

    Herp derp social justice

    #240929 Reply

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