1. Douglas Bowerman, MD FACP SFHM

    1. It seems that the article targets a distribution of men/women in positions of leadership in medicine at 50/50. Why is that equal ratio the “ideal?” If the ratio was 70/30 in favor of women, would the authors be advocating for more men to be advanced ‘up the ladder?’
    2. The article mentions “…harassment from colleagues, supervisors, and patients.” This was surprising to read, since having been a hospitalist for 25 years, working in many different hospital in many different environments, I have never witnessed, nor heard of any type of harassment of a woman physician based on gender. I have however, witnessed discrimination against male physicians, albeit rare.
    3. I agree with the authors that institution-level policies that emphasize maternal rather than paternal leave perpetuate gender inequality, but disagree with the reference to household and parental responsibilities being referred to as “burdens.” Rather, the acts involved in parenting and structuring/maintaining a household are a privilege and gift that men have been discriminated against from being able to experience to the same extent as women. This is due to the long-held assumption that men will continue to bear the burden of leaving the home to go to work to earn the needed money to support the household, and necessarily suffer the consequences of having to be away from the family. I would call this a “fatherhood tax.” It seems to me that this perspective is not considered here. The authors paint a picture that achieving a position of leadership in medicine is of greater value than motherhood. Considering the fact that motherhood is a choice, if a woman views the value of the roles of mother versus the role of leader as these authors seem to do, it is certainly reasonable, if not admirable, to conclude that these two roles in life may oppose each other, with the more committed a person is to one role, their performance in the other role will necessarily suffer. We are human, after all.


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