A cross-sectional survey study of United States residency program directors' perceptions of parental leave and pregnancy among anesthesiology trainees.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Little is known about program directors' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding parental leave policies in anesthesiology training. This study sought to understand program director perceptions about the effects of pregnancy and parental leave on resident training, skills, and productivity. METHODS: An online 43-question survey was developed to evaluate United States anesthesiology program directors' perceptions of parental leave policies. The survey included questions regarding demographics, anesthesiology program characteristics, parental leave policies, call coverage, and the perceived effects of parental leave on resident performance. Data were collected by Qualtrics (Qualtrics, Provo, UT, USA). RESULTS: Fifty-six of 145 (39%) anesthesiology program directors completed the survey. Forty-eight of 54 (89%) program directors had a female resident take maternity leave in the past three years. When asked how parental leave affects residents' futures, 24/50 (48%) program directors felt it delayed board certification and 28/50 (56%) thought it affected fellowship opportunities. Program directors were split on their perceived impact of becoming a parent on a trainee's work. Yet, when compared with male trainees, program directors perceived that becoming a parent negatively affected female trainees' timeliness, technical skills, scholarly activities, procedural volume, and standardized test scores and affected training experience of co-residents. Program directors perceived no difference in impact on female trainees' dedication to patients and clinical performance. CONCLUSIONS: Program directors perceived that becoming a parent negatively affects the work performance of female but not male trainees. These negative perceptions could impact evaluations and future plans of female residents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sharpe, EE; Ku, C; Malinzak, EB; Kraus, MB; Chandrabose, R; Hartlage, SEH; Hanson, AC; Schulte, PJ; Pearson, ACS

Published Date

  • October 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 68 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1485 - 1496

PubMed ID

  • 34159567

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8419093

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1496-8975

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12630-021-02044-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States