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March 5, 1997


JAMA. 1997;277(9):763-764. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540330085047

The founding of a family—a process involving marriage, sex, children, and culture in varying degrees of importance—is especially tough for would-be physicians, given their work schedules and professional drive. In this issue, Pulse explores how physicians in training establish families and the role of the family environment in children's development.

We begin with a review of the "couples' match" portion of the National Resident Matching Program, a process formalized in 1984. Gloria Kim examines the genesis and structure of this aspect of the match, which theoretically permits participation by gay as well as straight couples and offers shared residency programs for couples wishing to permit one member to remain at home. The couples' match demonstrates how the medical profession can accommodate concerns about personal relationships and family.

Nonetheless, obstacles remain for resident physicians who are also starting a family. As Karen Chow