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October 23, 1991

Pregnant Surgical Residents: Oh K?!

Author Affiliations

Dean Medical Center Madison, Wis

Dean Medical Center Madison, Wis

JAMA. 1991;266(16):2222-2223. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470160054022

To the Editor.  —The editorial by Drs Huang and Jonasson1 raises important concerns about pregnancy during postgraduate training. Such training overlaps with a woman's childbearing years, and one cannot reasonably expect female physicians to delay childbearing indefinitely. However, insufficient attention has been given to the implementation of family leave policies. The authors mention three recent pregnancies among residents in their general surgery program and state that pregnant residents are assigned to lighter services during the last trimester. Six weeks' pregnancy leave is also allowed. They conclude: "Coresidents have cooperated fully, especially since they are not expected to fill in or take additional duty hours." The authors do not describe how three residents could be on light duty for 3 months each and absent for another 6 weeks each—all without imposing additional duties on the other residents.I think that the authors have benefited from an atypical confluence of favorable