Medicine Is Family Friendly if You’re in the Right Field

So medicine is sort of family friendly, at least if you're in the right field.

Medicine has become something of a stealth family-friendly profession, at a time when other professions are growing more greedy about employees’ time. Jobs increasingly require long, inflexible hours, and pay disproportionately more to people who work them. But if one parent is on call at work, someone else has to be on call at home. For most couples, that’s the woman -- which is why educated women are being pushed out of work or into lower-paying jobs.

So while this is good, it also says later that Dr Hebert halved her income by going from oncology to the more family friendly internal medicine and geriatrics. Since unpaid care by far falls toward women, more women are going to earn less to gain flexibility.

It's not all roses and sunshine though:

There’s a downside when women cluster in certain specialties: In general, when a field becomes female-dominated, its pay and prestige drops. The risk of creating alternate, stunted career paths for women is "an issue that’s plaguing the labor force and companies in general," Ms. Goldin said. "It is a risk throughout that solutions today become a problem tomorrow."

The article says that maybe men will start choosing these types of arrangements as well and then the gender pay gap won't be so large. It even says that men are asking for more time off than they ever have before. When I wrote about All In by Josh Levs, we looked at the fact that men face a bunch of hurdles as well when they take time off to be dad.

Other men suddenly view them as not committed to their work. Even if they were "on the star track" when they come back they're essentially shunned and loose out on raises and such due to lack of commitment. If we want to help women get to pay parity and time freedom parity, then we need to work on these views about men not really needing to be in a primary caregiver role.

One of the good factors cited in the article is that instead of a single doctor owned practice you're more likely to go to a practice that is owned by a group of doctors. When one is on vacation, you see another in the practice. That's how our doctor works in Canada.