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The Dilemmas of Mothers Who Are Physicians and of Physicians Who Are Mothers

Sophie J. Balk, MD
JAMA. 1986;255(4):466-467. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370040034016.
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To the Editor.—  The article, "Equal, Not Really,"1 written by an anonymous physician-mother, echoed feelings and ideas expressed by many women struggling to combine multiple roles. The anguish expressed by the author is not limited to professional women. The majority of working mothers in blue-collar and white-collar as well as in professional jobs have concerns about how their employment affects their children's behavior and development.As more and more women enter the work force—an estimated 45% to 50% of mothers of preschool children and 63% of mothers of school-aged children are currently employed outside the home—it becomes incumbent upon physicians and other professionals (such as the educators mentioned in the article) to learn the facts about the effects of maternal employment on children. It is known that pediatricians often make judgments about maternal employment based on their own personal experience and biases rather than on scientific data.2,3 In


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