An increasing number of female physicians are walking away from their full-time jobs after only a few years of practice. According to an article written in AAMC, a few years after completing medical school and their residency program, women are more likely to reduce their work hours to manage child rearing and household responsibilities. According to the University of Michigan’s Intern Health study, 40% of women physicians reduce or leave medical practice early in their careers due to family obligations and 22.6% of women physicians were not working full-time within six years of practice, compared to 3.6% of men.
The article discusses the need for system-wide reform addressing this glaring issue and to begin implementing solutions to better support women as mothers and physicians. Currently, reentering the workforce after taking an extended leave (24 months or more) is a costly decision that could result in the need to repeat a portion of a residency program or practice under a limited license. Some suggestions for better ways to support women physicians include providing increased leave, paternity leave, on-site childcare and more opportunities for advancement.