Controversy Over Part Time Doctors
Karen Sibert’s recent op-ed in the New York Times has resulted in a heated discussion over physicians who choose to work part-time. I submitted the following letter to the editor in response:
Karen Sibert offers a disturbing value judgment on doctors practicing part-time. As a radiologist and a mother of two, my personal decision to work fewer hours during a fraction of my career is no one’s business aside from my family and my employer. As to the claim that I owe something to the government because Medicare subsidized hospitals during my training, I would remind Dr. Sibert that during six years of internship, residency, and fellowship, I was providing cheap labor for the healthcare system, working a grueling number of hours under tremendous stress at low wages. My “obligation” has been repaid with interest by the indentured servitude of my 20’s.
“Patients need doctors to take care of them.” And children need parents. Every family meets that need differently. Politicizing and stigmatizing the paths of other good doctors while denying the demands of motherhood is deeply unfair, and dangerous for women.
Dr. Carolyn Anderson (www.CarolynAndersonMD.com) published an excellent essay regarding this issue on the Huffington Post: Why Doctors Should Be Allowed To Work Part-Time.
What’s your opinion on this?