Physicians: Be nice to your pregnant colleagues

After about the first week of anesthesia residency, I was told, “Don’t get pregnant, you are going to ruin the call schedule.”  Initially, I took it as a joke because I was getting married that year and I wasn’t thinking of having children yet, but I did think, “what if it happened accidentally?”

After it’s told to you over and over again by your male co-residents and even some of my attendings, it pretty much sticks.  Got it, don’t get pregnant; otherwise, everyone else is going to be ticked that they are now taking extra call to cover mine.

Fast forward a few years, and now I’m out as a first year attending. I’m taking a quick break, drinking coffee, and one of my male colleagues says to me, “You know we put birth control in your coffee.” I’m baffled at this point, but still just think it’s the culture of anesthesia and don’t make it a big deal.  I should have realized at that time; it is a big deal! It’s really not a joke, and why do people think it’s acceptable to say stuff like that to women?

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