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wick215

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My wife is in a panic because I have not told my new program that she is due to give birth in mid-July. We are in Texas now and will be relocating to a different state in which she will have the baby. We have no family anywhere near and already have two small children, which I need to be with while she is in the hospital. I do not think it is a big deal to tell them immediately but she is begging that I get a second opinion from other residents. Also, what is the appropriate way to go about this?????????
 

kinetic

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There was another thread that sort of touched on this (towards the end):

kinetic said:
This gets back to my original reply to FamilyDoc: it is a choice you have to make between what is perhaps the "right" thing to do and what is expedient. (Refer to my original reply for the whole thing, because it is kinda long.)

But basically, in the case of pregnancy (as far as the issue of inconveniencing the program and other residents):

The "right" thing to do would be to fully disclose and let the program and residents know of your intentions ahead of time. This is because you know that you will be impacting the lives of others by a decision that you (hopefully) consciously made.

The expedient thing would be NOT to tell because, let's face it, as with FamilyDoc's issue it is something that will affect your acceptance - whether people want to admit it or not. Programs that are short on manpower (classically Surgery, which has class sizes of 2-3 residents in many places, for example) are hesistant to taking women for precisely this reason.

So, it's a choice for each person. Do you do the "right" thing and (probably) take a hit or do you do the expedient thing to avoid that hit? As I told FamilyDoc, hopefully we would all do the right thing. But - again, like I said before - this is life, not some after school special and some people might do the expedient thing rather than not get hired or lose their job.

You think people who get pregnant are unaware of the impact it will have on their colleagues? Or that they don't know the impact of telling a PD during an interview of their intention to get pregnant (if they know this at the time)? Or any other thing like that (such as FamilyDoc's situation)? No! We're all intelligent and we all know that it will have an impact - otherwise we wouldn't be so hesitant to disclose that information!
You already are in the program, so it's unlikely that they'd give you the boot or anything. They probably would LIKE to, but they won't because they need the manpower. (Unlike us lowly schmoes, Program Directors don't think twice about doing what's right vs. what's expedient ...90% of the time, they just do what's expedient and rationalize that "hey, it's a business and this is a cold, hard world!") In my experience, they may try to accomodate your schedule - but most likely, you'll get "this is your schedule and if you can't find someone to cover for you when you need it, tough ...you need to abide by the rules of the residency as set forth in the contract". That's where the all-encompassing "resident must fulfill their obligations" clause kicks in. As an example, my program didn't even help residents cover when they were taking Step III - they had to find someone themselves, so a lot of people ended up taking it during their precious vacation time. (D'oh!)

Another thing to consider is that, assuming that you knew about the pregnancy and that this issue would come up during your interview (and chose not to tell them), this will not spread any goodwill or harmony. Like I said, if it is going to become an issue AFTER the Match, then it really is an issue BEFORE the Match (i.e., you should probably decide whether to tell or not during interviews because otherwise you're just working yourself into a situation where you're locked into a residency and - if they boot you or make you miserable - you've got no recourse for a year).

This is all worst-case scenario ...you may get the nicest, most understanding PD in the world and your fellow residents may have gone through similar experiences and be understanding and OK with picking up the slack. That's something that you would be a better judge of (or you'll find out real fast).
 

medres

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Tell them in advance. No two ways about it. If you tell them now, they might try their best to accomodate you (I'm a chief, and when we made the interns' schedules last year we really did do our best to give them what they wanted). Request vacation, elective, or ambulatory for July so that it's easier to take some days off.

Don't expect to be given ANY leeway if you don't tell them in advance. This is in no way a family emergency. You've known about this upcoming event for 9 months. Trust me. You do not want to start off your residency by pissing off your PD, chief residents, and co-interns (who will have to cover for you). Setting a wrong tone in July will taint your reputation. Unfair? Maybe. But true.
 
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wick215

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I am not planning on taking weeks off, just 2-3 days until she gets out of the hospital (C-Section). Will that soften the blow???????? After reading the first reply, I'm a little nervous now. I did not think is a very big issue but I guess it is.
 

BassDominator

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Definitely. Most people are softies about babies.... be sure to bring in some photos afterward. Congratulations.
 

edfig99

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i agree with medres 100%. when i was a chief resident i had to accomodate two pregnant residents...it made for a tough few months for all of us that had to cover when they went out, but then they made up for it at the end, and no one was upset because we planned for it. Family Medical Leave Act entitles you to get the time off... things just happen a little smoother when it's planned. If it's a scheduled c-section, then you may as well request vacation time for that time period so that you can help your wife out - she'll need more than 2 or 3 days, especially if there isn't a great support network where you guys are headed.

congratulations.
 

surg

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In any sane program the likely response will be a little bit of grumbling, but some accommodation so long as they are given some advance notice to plan. As another poster said, you should ask for an easy rotation or one with a lot of potential coverage options for July. While I'm sure the delivery will go well, you want to scope out options for complications. For instance, when I was on an intern, one of my fellow intern's wife had a C-Section and got a wound infection. We let him off for a little more than a week during which I covered his service and mine (we were cross-covering each other at night at the time). Luckily we were on an easier rotation so it was doable. Was it a pain? yes. Would any reasonably nice person do the same thing in my shoes? I should hope so. So my advice is: CALL ASAP! Who knows, they might be able to give you some recommendations on OBs in the area, etc.

If this just pops up though on July 1, I wouldn't expect any special favors from the admin. office. They need time to plan. Try to schedule 20+ interns into slots is a very difficult job and last minute changes are nearly impossible sometimes.

Oh. and congratulations!
 

medres

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Wick215- I'm not trying to make you nervous, but look at it this way. 2-3 days off might not seem like a big deal, but that means that some other intern who is also just starting out will need to cover for you. Please, tell your program and request vacation or an ambulatory elective where no one will have to cover you. No one likes surprises, and your program will view it as very irresponsible behavior if you deliberately don't tell them in advance. If you tell them and plan for it, people will be all smiles!
 

jazz

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agree with medres... 2-3 days in the non resident world is nothing. 2-3 days is a lot when you're a resident/intern b/c someone gets pulled to cover. if you're elective or on an easy rotation you can probably just get away with getting the days off. if you're in the icu/ccu/micu etc someone will get pulled --not a good way to start. let them know now.

i know of an intern who actually didn't tell the program that his wife was pregnant. he happened to be in the ccu and got several days off. everyone else on the rotation had to cover for him. he actually thought it was funny. no one likes the guy anymore.
 

wick215

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Thanks for all the advice. To put this thread to rest, I wrote the director today and they are putting me on an easy rotation to accomodate. I am very fortunate to be a part of this program!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

ortho2003

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unless your fellow residents are pricks, it isn't a big deal at all. They should be willing ot pick up a little slack for you for a couple days after the delivery, providing you are willing to pay the favor back in the future. I have a hard time believing that there are many programs that would not accomidate someone in that situation, but maybe I am just in a great program. I am glad things worked out for you...you did the right thing in being proactive with it.
 

irlandesa

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agree with the above posts.. if you are 100% sure that your wife is C/S without trying to VBAC, I'd suggest trying to get it scheduled for a Friday or weekend day so that it looks like you're missing as few days as possible. That way your fellow residents will see that you're in good faith and hopefully will do what they can to help out. And from what I know, I'd guess that your wife would get better care in the less hectic atmosphere that weekends on L&D tend to offer. g'luck
 

DrIng

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I'm glad it worked out for you.
Call me old fashioned but I wouldn't want to work anywhere that wouldn't give you a couple of days off for the birth of your child. (And I'm sure your wife wouldn't want you to work there either.) At my hospital we shuffle things around if kids are sick, family are visiting, or even someone is just having a bad day remember we're supposed to be caring sharing kind of peopel we should eb able to give a little lee way.
I'm glad they sound so reasonable. Congratulations!
 

kristing

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To clarify...

Family medical leave act does not kick in until you've worked in a location for ONE year. Not before. Won't apply to this situation.
 
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