Pregnancy and parenthood in radiation oncology, views and experiences survey (PROVES): Results of a blinded prospective trainee parenting and career development assessment

Emma B. Holliday, Awad A. Ahmed, Reshma Jagsi, Natalie Clark Stentz, Wendy A. Woodward, Clifton D. Fuller, Charles R. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Medical training spans nearly a decade, during which many physicians traditionally begin families. Although childrearing responsibilities are shared by men and women in the modern era, differences in time allocated to child care by sex and its potential impact on residency experience merit discussion. Methods and Materials An anonymous, voluntary, 102-item survey was distributed to 540 current radiation oncology residents and 2014 graduates that asked about marital and parental status, pregnancy during residency, publication productivity, career aspirations, and experiences working with pregnant co-residents. Respondents with children were asked about childcare arrangements, and women who were pregnant during residency were asked about radiation safety, maternity leave, and breastfeeding experiences. Results A total of 190 respondents completed the survey, 107 men (56.3%) and 84 women (43.7%). Ninety-seven respondents (51.1%) were parents, and 84 (44.2%) reported a pregnancy during residency. Respondents with children more often were male (65% vs 47.3%; P=.014), in a higher level of training (79.3% vs 54.8% were PGY4 or higher; P=.001), were older (median age of 32, interquartile range [IQR]:31-35] vs age 30 [IQR: 29-33]; P<.001), had a PhD (33% vs 19.3%, respectively; P=.033), were married (99% vs 43%, respectively; P<.001), and had a partner who did not work (24.7% vs 1.9%, respectively; <.001). There were no differences in the number of manuscripts published or the number of residents who expressed likelihood of pursing an academic career by parental status. Among parents, men more frequently had partners who did not work (38.1% vs 0%, respectively; P<.001) and reported that their partner performed a greater percentage of childcare duties (70% [IQR: 60%-80%] vs 35% [IQR: 20%-50%], respectively; P<.001). Conclusions Pregnancy and parenthood are common during residency. Female residents are frequently responsible for more childcare duties than males but have similar research productivity and career aspirations. Further investigation is critical to elucidate gender disparities in parenthood and career development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-524
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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