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Policies and practice regarding pregnancy and maternity leave: An international survey.

BACKGROUND: As women become a larger part of the surgical workforce, policies surrounding maternity and parental leave play a role in professional practice. Little is known about leave policies worldwide. METHODS: A de novo survey distributed internationally to women surgeons assessed leave polices for surgeons, inclusive of the regulatory body or source of applicable policies, changes in surgical practice due to pregnancy, and duration of leave for both parents. RESULTS: The 1111 survey respondents in 53 different countries describe diverse policies ranging from loss of operating room privileges early in pregnancy to maintenance of full surgical schedules until term delivery. Policy creators include national governments (42.38%), employers/hospitals (60.46%), supervisors (18.06%). Self-determined (9.12%), and unknown (8.7%). Paid parental leave was available to 64.44% of women surgeons and 38.68% of partners. CONCLUSION: Maternity and parental leave policies vary markedly across the global surgical workforce with implications for professional practice.


Walsh, Danielle S., Nancy L. Gantt, William Irish, Hilary A. Sanfey, and Sharon L. Stein. “Policies and practice regarding pregnancy and maternity leave: An international survey.” Am J Surg 218, no. 4 (October 2019): 798–802.

Published Date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Published In: 
Am J Surg