Introduction: United States is one of the last two countries without a national parental leave mandate. Professional women of child-bearing age are uniquely impacted by the lack of a robust standardized policy. The purpose of this study is to investigate parental leave satisfaction amongst physicians versus non-physicians. Methods: After IRB approval, a 34-question electronic survey was developed through Qualtrics®, to ascertain satisfaction across professions. This was distributed via Facebook to Physician Moms Group, Beaumont Parenting Group, and Nurse Moms Group. Descriptive characteristics are reported. Statistical analysis included t- test and chi-square test. Results: Out of 816 respondents, 96% (n= 782) were female and 4% (n= 34) male. Median age was 35 years (range: 22-68 y). Seventy-seven percent (n= 629) were physicians, 1.96% (n=16) nurses, 1.35 % (n=11) dentists, and 1.1 % (n=9) attorneys. Over half (55%, n= 404) took ≥ 3 months of leave while 35% (n=230) took 6 weeks to 3 months, and 9.4% (n=69) < 6 weeks. Women more likely than men to take leave (96.4% vs 70.59%, p <0.0001). Most (59.9%, n= 344) were given ≤ 6 weeks of paid leave compared to 19.2% (n= 110) who were paid for ≥ 3 months. For men (n =34), 48% took ≤ 2 weeks, corresponding to paid time off (55.6%). Physicians are more likely to take parental leave ( 96% vs 93%, p = 0.0476), to have 100% of their salary compensated ( 57.75 % vs 29.53, p < 0.0001) and to be satisfied with their compensation ( 41.42% vs 24.2%, p = 0.0003) than non-physicians. Non-physicians were more likely to experience post-partum depression (26.81% vs 12.13%, p = 0.0004). Both groups preferred ≥13 weeks of parental leave (61.76% for physicians vs 74.23% non-physicians), while 39.4% of men desired at least 1-6 weeks. Conclusion: Currently, among professionals, there is widespread dissatisfaction with parental leave given inadequate compensation and paid time off. Both men and women desired more time off than is given, and assumptions based on gender are outdated. More research is needed to fully examine these complex issues and to modernize policies.
Sharrak A, Hoang Roberts L, Vollstedt A, Fischer M, Han E. Parental leave satisfaction in physicians compared to non-physicians. Paper presented at: The Annual Winter Meeting of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction; 2021 Feb 25-27, Virtual. Available at: https://sufuorg.com/docs/meetings/sufu2102/program-book-abstracts.aspx