Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicians lead MomDocFamily support group

Date:
February 9, 2011
Source:
Women & Infants Hospital
Summary:
Being a mother is one of life's most difficult jobs. Getting through medical training and then juggling clinical practice, teaching and research at the local university make the rigors of motherhood infinitely more challenging.

Being a mother is one of life's most difficult jobs. Getting through medical training and then juggling clinical practice, teaching, and research at the local university make the rigors of motherhood infinitely more challenging.

A group of physician-mothers -- led by Amy S. Gottlieb, MD, director of primary care curricula and consultation at the Women's Primary Care Center at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, and Lynn E. Taylor, MD, an HIV/AIDS specialist at The Miriam Hospital -- has found that there is strength, and sanity, in numbers.

The support group MomDocFamily was created in 2003 by two Brown-trained doctors and now boasts a membership of 230 female physicians or physicians-in-training. The organization, led by two co-directors and a five-person advisory board, provides mentorship and support for women physicians who are combining a medical career with motherhood, and advocates for family-friendly policies within what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.

"We are a multidisciplinary group representing all stages of careers and medical training," Dr. Gottlieb said. "We are committed to supporting one another's efforts to attain professional success and personal satisfaction."

As a large mentoring network whose membership is based primarily in New England, MomDocFamily also has a longstanding partnership with the Office of Women in Medicine and Science at Brown University. Its physician members believe that by sharing their career and parenting strategies, they can help one another navigate the delicate balance between medicine and motherhood.

Dr. Gottlieb, who is also an assistant professor of medicine and obstetrics-gynecology (clinical) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, knows the challenges of juggling both roles as she faces a calendar packed with teaching commitments, office hours and time with her 14-year-old daughter.

"It is incredibly difficult to divide your time and attention between work and family. Both, however, are important to me, and I have enjoyed learning how to make it work better," she said.

While the group's mission is to support physician mothers as they juggle both demanding roles, MomDocFamily also seeks to advocate for them in the workplace by initiating systems-based change. In a recent article in the professional journal Academic Medicine, Drs. Gottlieb, Taylor and Beatrice E. Lechner points to the need for medical institutions to address the unique needs of physician-mothers.

"Most mentoring programs focus on classical aspects of junior faculty development, such as grant-writing and the promotion process," their article reads. "However, these programs do not address the reality that female physician-parents are providing the majority of child care and management in their homes and thus parsing their energy between professional and personal commitments in a way male physician-parents are not.

"This undoubtedly contributes to the inadequate advancement of women in medicine."

A survey the group conducted of their membership in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts bolsters their assertions. Of the 128 mother physicians surveyed, 1% had partners who did not work outside the home; 3% had a partner who worked less than full-time; 6% reported that their partners were more responsible than they for household duties; and 4% reported that their partners were more responsible than they for child care.

"An expected consequence of tending to these demands is surely decreased time devoted to professional endeavors and possibly diminished career success," the article reads.

The answer, MomDocFamily members suggest, is innovative mentoring programs and workplace infrastructure that supports physicians who are also mothers. This includes implementing robust parental leave policies, improving access to lactation facilities, and offering flexible work schedules.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Women & Infants Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Women & Infants Hospital. "Physicians lead MomDocFamily support group." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110209151308.htm>.
Women & Infants Hospital. (2011, February 9). Physicians lead MomDocFamily support group. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110209151308.htm
Women & Infants Hospital. "Physicians lead MomDocFamily support group." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110209151308.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins