Friday, January 2, 2009

Part-Time Dr. Mom

Via Chronicle's news blog, apparently female doctors are having the same problem, well, every woman in America has. They want more work-life balance, and some articles in Academic Medicine explore the possibility of part-time work for doctors during their parenting years. But while a part-time policy might keep more women in academic medicine during their parenting years, there's always the downside of the part-time parent "some women report that they are taken less seriously and are less likely to be promoted or granted tenure if they work part time."

So the strategy for increasing women in academic medicine is the same strategy for increasing women in every industry. Work-life balance is good for everybody: moms, dads, kids, even single people. Devoting so much time to work often makes people less productive in the long term. But the stigma of part-time work remains. I'll be the first to admit, sometimes I tend to grimace at people making sure they take all their vacation time or grabbing personal days when I'm the one picking up the slack. But I have to remember that I take vacation time too, and when I'm gone others pick up my slack. If we weren't suck a work-obsessed society, maybe it'd be a good thing. We'd all be happier, there'd be less burnout, and ultimately, you'd increase gender equity in the workforce.

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