Background: Medical student interest in general surgery has declined, and the lack of adequate accommodation for pregnancy and parenting during residency training may be a deterrent. We explored resident and program director experiences with these issues in general surgery programs across Canada.
Methods: Using a web-based tool, residents and program directors from 16 Canadian general surgery programs were surveyed regarding their attitudes toward and experiences with pregnancy during residency.
Results: One hundred seventy-six of 600 residents and 8 of 16 program directors completed the survey (30% and 50% response rate, respectively). Multiple issues pertaining to pregnancy during surgical residency were reported including the lack of adequate policies for maternity/parenting, the major obstacles to breast-feeding, and the increased workload for fellow resident colleagues. All program directors reported the lack of a program-specific maternity/parenting policy.
Conclusions: General surgery programs lack program-specific maternity/parenting policies. Several issues have been highlighted in this study emphasizing the importance of creating and implementing such a policy.
Keywords: Maternity; Policy; Pregnancy; Residency; Surgery.
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