Choosing to be a “surgeon-mom” is a big decision that I never wavered on. I wanted to pursue surgery as a career since the fifth grade and never questioned whether or not I would have children. Many professional careers demand significant sacrifice, and surgery is certainly no exception.
I read this article in the NY Times and think of all the young women who opt-out. The fact that 10 percent more women drop out of surgical residencies than men is not just because they find balancing work and home life difficult. These women are told over and over again how hard it is, and this verbal discouragement and workplace discrimination takes its toll. I try to mentor as many female medical students as I can. I want to show them that I have three happy, intelligent, and well adjusted teenage girls who think that the fact that their mom is a surgeon is pretty awesome.