Pregnancy during graduate medical training

Acad Med. 1993 Oct;68(10):792-9. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199310000-00019.


In 1990, 30% of resident physicians were women, and by the year 2010 it is estimated that nearly one-third of all physicians will be women. With the increasing percentage of women residents, pregnancy during residency is a fact of life for most residency programs, yet it continues to provide problems for many programs. The authors comment on much of the literature and discuss the problems and issues surrounding pregnancy during residency, including the effects of pregnancy on the mother and infant as well as the effects of pregnancy on the residency program, the other residents, and the patients. The authors advocate that well-written, specific parental leave policies (for paternal as well as maternal leave) would help alleviate many of these problems. Data obtained from the 1991-92 annual survey of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Training indicate that 84% of responding U.S. adult and child psychiatry programs had maternity leave policies, an increase from what previous surveys have indicated. Further national studies, in other specialties, are needed to provide better data on the impact of pregnancy during residency and to help develop more effective parental leave policies.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Parental Leave*
  • Physicians, Women / psychology*
  • Pregnancy / psychology*