Combining motherhood with psychiatric training and practice.


Psychiatric residency or practice is difficult to combine with motherhood. The experiences of 82 women psychiatrists surveyed in the last year (47 residents and 35 staff doctors) are reviewed in a number of related areas--the difficulties of pregnancy, maternity leave, child rearing and the conflicts between motherhood and practicing psychiatry. Part-time residency is explored from both the resident's and hospital's perspective. Suggestions to make practice or residency more compatible with child rearing are discussed. Other issues such as work-based day care, realistic tax credit for child care expenses, and the difficulties of obtaining reliable and good home help and child care are reviewed. There are numerous conflicts for women psychiatrists who work while their children are young and these problems need to be acknowledged and addressed by the profession. It is noteworthy that as well as a supportive spouse and good child care, the attitudes of colleagues and supervisors and the need for good role models were frequently cited as being critical to the success of combining a psychiatric career with motherhood. As more women enter the profession (approximately 50% of psychiatric residents in Canada are now female, and more than 50% of them plan to combine children with their profession at some stage of their career) the need to find creative and workable solutions to these problems becomes more pressing.

Cite this paper

@article{Stewart1985CombiningMW, title={Combining motherhood with psychiatric training and practice.}, author={Donna Eileen Stewart and Gail Erlick Robinson}, journal={Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie}, year={1985}, volume={30 1}, pages={28-34} }