Study finds attitudes toward pregnant trainees improving

Despite the stigma against pregnancy during residency, trainees indicated in a small study that perception is improving.

The study, published in The American Journal of Surgery, polled roughly 100 female residents in 2008 and again in 2015. Respondents in both years were an average age of 29, most (99 percent) were heterosexual and 25 percent had been pregnant before, according to coverage from Reuters.

Responses from both years indicated female trainees feel pregnancy during residency is difficult and that a negative stigma is attached to it, according to the report. Perception seems to be improving, though. Female residents in both years said they did not feel unfairly burdened when their female colleagues were pregnant, and responses from 2015 indicated less female residents felt unfairly burdened when their male colleagues took time off for paternity leave, according to the report.

Additionally, the researchers found greater support from chiefs and directors for pregnancy in 2015 than in 2008. The respondents in programs with female leadership perceived more support.

However, even though attitudes may be improving toward pregnancy, the researchers found a decline in the desire to become pregnant among female residents. In 2008, 35 percent of female residents said they were considering pregnancy, but in 2015, just 20 percent said they were considering pregnancy, according to the report.


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