When Nursing Affects the Rest of Your Life
But this is different. This is a story of a nursing mother who is in her final year of medical school. She needs to take a 9-hour test (and pass it) in order to take up her already matched residency in November. Her problem? The testers refused to allow her time off to nurse her baby. Or to pump. She has one 45 minute break half way through the test. Her baby is 4 months old. She is going to be so engorged and leaky that she is fearful she can't do her best on the test. She's asking for a short break of 20 minutes to pump. She was categorically refused by the NBME, who told her "Nursing is not a permenant condition."
This test affects the rest of her life. If she cannot take the test, she cannot become a doctor. If she can't take the test, she can't take up her residency. She's obviously brilliant, in a PhD/MD program at Harvard and was matched at Mass General, one of the worlds greatest hospitals. She's obviously serious about her career. She's asking for a small accomodation in order to relieve her engorgement and pump for her nursling. That she was refused is outrageous. That people polled here in Boston agreed with the agency by 69% makes me ballistic. What the fuck?
The testing board says that the only accomodate for disabilities covered under the Americans with Disabilities act. Nursing is obviously not a disability. I mean, nobody can argue that it is. But you gotta wonder if any women serve on that board, and of the women that might be on the board, did any of them ever nurse? Experience engorgement? Mastitis? You really gotta wonder.
I don't have an answer to this problem other than to schedule 2 20-minute breaks instead of one 45 minute break. If kids can gobble down a meal in 20 minutes, adults should be able to as well. But what I do know is that something is very very wrong with a medical institution if they don't know the simple facts about nursing mothers. Stumble It! JBlog Me