Worrying about a miscarriage while performing a liver transplant

Transplant surgeon Pauline Chen uses that harrowing personal account to discuss the intersection between motherhood and medicine.

Women currently make up the majority of students at most medical schools, which means that female physicians will comprise a major part of the future medical workforce. But, despite the stress that you’d intuitively associate between juggling medicine and raising children, “work-family conflicts were not a major source of stress for women physicians. In fact . . . women physicians with children were more likely than those without children to choose to become a doctor again.”

So, can managing both the stress of being and doctor and having children actually be less than each of them individually? Or, as the cited studies hypothesize, can “the balancing act [mitigate] the stresses?”

While not speaking for every physician-mother, Dr. Chen certainly thinks so, writing that, “Working as a doctor and being a mother have not only made me better at both jobs, but have also made me appreciate each one more.”