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Understanding the experiences of obstetrics and gynaecology residents who take parental leave during training in Canada: a needs assessment
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Understanding the experiences of obstetrics and gynaecology residents who take parental leave during training in Canada: a needs assessment

Emily Landon1* and Amanda Selk2, MD

•Residency takes place during prime child bearing years
•Many residents are having children throughout their residency training and taking parental leave following the arrival of their child
•It is important to investigate the experiences of current and recent residents surrounding their parental leave to help foster a more supportive environment for young physicians aspiring to start a family during training
•A qualitative study of McMaster family medicine residents taking maternity leave noted the following challenges: long work hours, unpredictable work demands, guilt because absences from work increased work load of colleagues, and high expectations of self1
•Challenges continued upon returning to work and participants felt that less supported upon returning than when pregnant in the workplace1
•Supports surrounding maternity leave included schedule flexibility and accommodations that support breastfeeding1
•A questionnaire of Canadian residents identified the following major issues surrounding parental leave during surgical residency: lack of adequate policy, obstacles to and early termination of breastfeeding, and increased workload for colleagues as a result of pregnant residents or residents on maternity leave2,3
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