Parental Leave for Residents

I run the risk of pissing a lot of people off here but this study just gives me pause. Here is what it found:

Leave policies for residents who become new parents are uneven, oft-ignored by training boards, and provide less time off than similar policies for faculty physicians.

 Though all 12 schools provided paid childbearing or family leave for faculty physicians, only 8 of the 15 did so for residents (JAMA. 2018 Dec 11;320[22)]:2372-4).

In programs that did provide leave, the average of 6.6 weeks of paid total maternity leave for residents was less than the 8.6 weeks faculty receive.

Okay, this is interesting. For one, I agree that there has to be some unpaid maternity leave for ALL schools. I get that. But who says that it has to be equal to the faculty? This is their full time job. This is their careers. The others are in training. They are residents. They are not equal. I know this sounds harsh in this politically correct climate but not everything has to be the same. Should a surgery resident in his third year get 8 weeks for a his first kid’s birth while the other seven residents get destroyed on their rotations? I know we are trying to be more kind to this situation but there is a bigger picture here. There is only a finite amount of residents doing a ton of work. It’s just not that simple. Residents are just not equal to faculty members. Am I being too harsh here? I would love your thoughts on this.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Obviously this hit a nerve. I want to point out a couple of things. One, see the second line in the paragraph above. “For one, I agree there has to be some unpaid maternity leave for ALL schools”. Ladies, I am on your side!!! My real question is whether residents, who are in training, are the same as faculty in the AMOUNT of time needed off. Should they be equal? Should they get the same pay? The same amount of vacation? The same days off for maternity leave? Or what about paternity leave? Is that different?

Lastly, are we at a point that a question can not be asked without being hammered? People now claim they lost respect for me. What? I openly asked for your thoughts. Can we do this in a civil manner?

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