Just before the holidays, I read a great article in the New York Times, “When the Surgeon Is a Mom.” I found it even more relevant on my second reading after the new year.
The article speaks to the tough choices female physicians make when they choose the field of surgery. All medical students have an opportunity to rotate through surgical specialties. When one chooses surgery for their career, they have made a decision that others may find tough to support. Female surgeons are warned they might not find a spouse if they are constantly in the OR. Friends caution that they will never have a personal life. Harvard Medical School reported in a recent survey that female surgeons face verbal discouragement, gender bias and a lack of balance with careers and motherhood.
A career in surgery, regardless of gender, often takes seven years of residency and additional years as a fellow, if specializing in specific surgical areas. These years, of course, cut right into average childbearing years for most women.