ArkyDore

5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2014
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3
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Resident [Any Field]
Hoping someone has some experience with this! I am applying for fellowship this year and am currently still breastfeeding my 9 month old. Has anyone been on the fellowship interview trail while still pumping? I am at the point now where I can probably get by with only needing to pump once during each interview day, however I am hesitant to ask for special accommodations because I don't want there to be anything that could be used against me (either consciously or unconsciously) by the interview committee to choose someone else over me for ranking. I know they cannot legally discriminate but biases do still exist. For anyone who has done this - was it difficult to get extra time to pump, and do you feel like it hindered your ability to match?

Thanks!
 

Mazelia

Enginerd
10+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2008
36
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MD/PhD Student
Haven't done it -- am applying this year as well. Not currently pumping but I have in the past, so just wanted to offer some commiseration & also congratulate you for making it to 9 months. :) Are you on the Dr MILK facebook group (breastfeeding physicians group)? You could ask there for wider audience (not all OB/gyn, but I'm sure anyone who has applied for fellowship had similar questions/anxieties). If you are not a member, I'm happy to add you or post on your behalf.

Secondly-- I do think that with how busy interview days are for programs, depending on how big the applicant group is, it is likely that only the administrative assistants who are organizing things would even know that you had a break for pumping. It is not really the interviewer's business to know, any more than they would know if you went to pee in the middle of the day. And my personal perspective-- if there is a program that would (even subconsciously) penalize someone for being a breastfeeding mother, in a women's health field, in the year 2019.... I would rather not be ranked highly there. If anything, an interview committee should give PROPS to an applicant who is breastfeeding/pumping as an OB resident. Hopefully some of them have been there and know how hard it is!
 

Dr G Oogle

2+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2017
173
200
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Haven't done it -- am applying this year as well. Not currently pumping but I have in the past, so just wanted to offer some commiseration & also congratulate you for making it to 9 months. :) Are you on the Dr MILK facebook group (breastfeeding physicians group)? You could ask there for wider audience (not all OB/gyn, but I'm sure anyone who has applied for fellowship had similar questions/anxieties). If you are not a member, I'm happy to add you or post on your behalf.

Secondly-- I do think that with how busy interview days are for programs, depending on how big the applicant group is, it is likely that only the administrative assistants who are organizing things would even know that you had a break for pumping. It is not really the interviewer's business to know, any more than they would know if you went to pee in the middle of the day. And my personal perspective-- if there is a program that would (even subconsciously) penalize someone for being a breastfeeding mother, in a women's health field, in the year 2019.... I would rather not be ranked highly there. If anything, an interview committee should give PROPS to an applicant who is breastfeeding/pumping as an OB resident. Hopefully some of them have been there and know how hard it is!
I’m a dude so no personal experience but have interviewed several fellows (fpmrs) who were still breastfeeding and we’ve been able to accommodate them. Usually it’s been in the morning (they skip the breakfast) or during a worked in break, or even once during an interview. Most programs will also have a lot of empty offices for you to have privacy during pumping. And I can’t speak for other specialties but I can’t think of any fpmrs program that would in any way consider the fact that you’re pumping a negative. In our fellowship we even explicitly tell people that it’s one of the best times to have children since it’s more chill than residency with a built in research year and less pressure than when you’re out practicing as an attending.
 
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ArkyDore

5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2014
16
3
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the info and commiseration! I'm not a member of the Dr. Milk group but would love to be added if you would be able to.