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April 14, 2021

Addressing the Challenges Faced by Female Surgical Trainees Who Have Children During Protected Academic Periods

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
JAMA Surg. Published online April 14, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0583

Family concerns are oft-cited deterrents to surgical careers. While balancing personal obligations and priorities that affect professional development is important for those considering parenthood, including men and nonbinary individuals, these issues and how they influence family planning are particularly salient to female academic surgeons. In the following perspective, we discuss the challenges to academic productivity encountered by women who choose to have children during periods dedicated to academic development. We advocate for solutions that promote equal opportunities for female surgeons to pursue academic endeavors and increase workforce diversity, a fundamental tenet for scientific discovery and optimal patient care.

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