"Some of the issues have to do with the stressors of the physicality of being a surgical trainee," says Christine Van Horn, MD.
In this interview, Christine Van Horn, MD, discusses risks that pregnant trainees face during residency, which were highlighted in the publication, “Family Building and Our Evolving Urology Workforce: A Call to Action.” Van Horn is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Program and an incoming fellow at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois.
I think it very much varies from institution to institution in terms of some of the challenges that folks can face when they're trying to build a family. I think for female trainees in particular, some of the issues have to do with just the stressors of the physicality of being a surgical trainee, being on your feet the whole time, the time constraints, especially with call as a urology resident. There are nights where I got maybe an hour or 2 of sleep. There are some associations in the literature, based on reported surveys from folks who've had children in training, that there is an association with pregnancy complications and increased hours, increased hours on call, increased shifts, things like that. I think surgical subspecialty trainees are particularly hit by that just by the nature of the job and the requirements for taking care of our patients. So, that can be a very challenging thing to manage when you're a pregnant trainee.
This transcription has been edited for clarity.