Parental leave policy information during residency interviews

Molly B. Kraus, Emily G. Reynolds, Jillian A. Maloney, Skye A. Buckner-Petty, Julia A. Files, Sharonne N. Hayes, Cynthia M. Stonnington, Laura A. Vallow, Natalie H. Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During interviews, medical students may feel uncomfortable asking questions that might be important to them, such as parental leave. Parental leave policies may be difficult for applicants to access without asking the program director or other interviewers. The goal of this study is to evaluate whether parental leave information is presented to prospective residents and whether medical students want this information. Methods: Fifty-two program directors (PD’s) at 3 sites of a single institution received a survey in 2019 to identify whether parental leave information is presented at residency interviews. Medical students received a separate survey in 2020 to identify their preferences. Fisher exact tests, Pearson χ2 tests and Cochran-Armitage tests were used where appropriate to assess for differences in responses. Results: Of the 52 PD’s, 27 responded (52%) and 19 (70%) indicated that information on parental leave was not provided to candidates. The most common reason cited was the belief that the information was not relevant (n = 7; 37%). Of the 373 medical students, 179 responded (48%). Most respondents (92%) wanted parental leave information formally presented, and many anticipated they would feel extremely or somewhat uncomfortable (68%) asking about parental leave. The majority (61%) felt that these policies would impact ranking of programs “somewhat” or “very much.” Conclusions: Parental leave policies may not be readily available to interviewees despite strong interest and their impact on ranking of programs by prospective residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number623
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Medical education
  • Parental leave
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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