University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Physician Moms Are Often Subject to Workplace Discrimination

UCSF Survey Finds 4 in 5 Report Discrimination, Much of It Based on Motherhood

By Elizabeth Fernandez | | May 8, 2017

Physician Moms Are Often Subject to Workplace Discrimination

Of the nearly 6,000 physician mothers in the survey, nearly 78 percent reported discrimination of any type. Forms of perceived discrimination ranged from disrespect and reduced pay to being overlooked for promotions or being held to higher performance standards.
To combat gender-based discrimination while retaining high-quality physicians, the researchers recommend that employers implement policies such as longer paid maternity leaves, backup child care, lactation support, and schedule flexibility.
The study will be published in JAMA Internal Medicine on May 8, 2017.
“Physician mothers treat patients, raise children, teach students and care for sick relatives and friends. But who looks after them?,” said corresponding author Eleni Linos, MD, DrPH, an assistant professor of medicine at UCSF.
“We need to make sure these women get fair and unbiased treatment at the workplace. The role of physician mothers is essential and we can’t afford to lose them to burnout,” said Linos, a UCSF Health physician in the Department of Dermatology who is also a member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.