Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ah, The Mammaries

Dr. Helen posts today about a woman with a four month old who wants special breaks during her Med Boards to pump or nurse her daughter. During the nine hour test, she gets 45 minutes in breaks. Dr. Helen, herself, leaked all over her Psych Boards, leaving behind a three week old at home. LaShawn Barber says:

*Sigh* Silly girls wearing stethoscopes. :?

If she were an on-call surgeon required to drop everything and get to the hospital ASAP to perform emergency surgery, is she going to whine about pumping then? Who will she sue — the patient?

If we women want to be equal to men, we’ve got to roll with it, know what I mean? No extra time to get the job done. No dumbed-down standards. Equal means equal, gals.

Ah, the good old days. Their stories recall to mind being heavily pregnant with twins and taking my final board examinations. I was huge and had to do all sorts of orthopedic tests, sham adjustments, etc. That is, that Board exam had a couple practical sections--I wasn't sitting behind a desk thinking deep thoughts the whole time. At that point in my pregnancy, I wasn't thinking much of anything. I was so fried, in fact, that I didn't prepare. I played the odds. I counted on my long term memory. Boards are graded on a curve. I did a simple calculation before the exam: I think I'm smarter than at least half of these people. My friends were terrified for me.

I did pass the exam, thankfully. I can't imagine taking an exam suffering through let downs and and leaving a three week old. But I did notice this, each time I had a kid: My mental faculties seemed to miraculously bounce back after pregnancy (there is a window before exhaustion fugue sets in and the high right after birth wears off).

Back to the lady wanting special circumstances. Isn't there a compromise? Couldn't she be allowed to go pump after sections she finishes early--as long as she's supervised? That doesn't seem like a huge accommodation to me. It seems to be a humane response so the woman doesn't have to suffer the indignities of being a wet mess.

As for LaShawn's point about women waiting on their career. It has been a circuitous path for me. I had a special needs child come out of that birth that required my full-time care. But there was really no better time for my schooling. And lots of women time the birth of their children with their graduations so they are no longer in school. And certain specialties in the medical profession are especially suitable to parenting, too. I have a MD friend who works part-time for 10 hours a week and makes more money than she could doing anything else and parents the rest of the time.

Just sayin'.

H/T Glenn Reynolds who says "GIVING A NEW MEANING to the term "breast exam."