From the President
The More Things Change... or Do They?
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 13 page 3-3

I am 64 years old. I didn't have to walk a mile to school in the snow, study by the light of the fireplace, or milk the cows at 4 a.m., but some things were different in "my day." When I was in medical school, internship, and residency, family responsibilities were supposed to be delayed until after training was completed, and then seen to by the nonmedical spouse (in other words, wife). Medicine was meant to be not just a job, not even just a profession, but a life. Women who applied to medical school were warned that we would get married and waste our medical training. If admitted to medical school (there were four women in my class), we often had to prove we deserved to be there. Women physicians who had children were accused of neglecting them, and women physicians who didn't were assumed to have unconscious resistance to femininity. Fathers bragged that they had never changed a diaper.

My husband and I got married shortly before I started medical school. We agreed to share household chores. Our first daughter's birth was carefully timed for my "off" quarter in medical school; over the next nine years, we had three more daughters. With parenthood came years of joy, guilt, conflict, and negotiation. As our children were born and grew up, I spent time as a medical student, intern, resident, stay-at-home mom, part-time worker, and full-time worker.

One of our daughters is a physician. No one told her that women shouldn't go to medical school. She had reasonable maternity leave from her university medical center, but there is no provision for part-time work. Child care is harder to find and more expensive than when she was a little girl. The nanny does not do laundry or clean the house or cook meals. There is no school bus for her 5-year-old. As in many families, her husband is much more comfortable with diapers, babies in front carriers, and laundry than the men of my generation, but she still carries most of the responsibility for the house and children. In many ways, her life is harder than mine was. Here are some of the suggestions I have given her:

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