Pregnancy during residency--an Israeli survey of women physicians

Health Care Women Int. Jan-Feb 1999;20(1):63-70. doi: 10.1080/073993399245962.


The objective is to assess the impact of workload on pregnancy among women physicians in public hospitals in Israel. A self-administered, cross-sectional study of pregnancies among women physicians in public hospitals was conducted. An 82-item questionnaire was mailed to women physicians in the three largest university hospitals in Israel. The questionnaire assessed demographic data, pregnancy course, perceived stress, and complications during pregnancy. Response rate was 52% (207/400). The complication rates were compared with rates in the Jewish population and expressed as mean +/- SD. Mean number of pregnancies during residency was 1.3 +/- 1.2. Mean age at the first delivery was 27 +/- 3.2 years. There was a significant difference in the rates of stillbirth (32/1000 births versus 3.7/1000, p < 0.001) and premature delivery (12.4% versus 7.6%, p = 0.0014) between women physicians and the general population. There was no significant difference in the proportion of spontaneous abortions (12.7%), pregnancy induced hypertension (3.2%), hyperemesis gravidarum (3.2%), and diabetes (1%). Seven percent of women physicians changed their specialty due to pregnancy while in residency. Our results suggest that working long hours in a stressful occupation in a hospital environment has an adverse effect on pregnancy course and is associated with increased rates of stillbirth and premature delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Women / psychology*
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women, Working / psychology*
  • Workload*