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Perceptions of support and policies regarding pregnancy, parenting, and family planning during veterinary training at United States veterinary medical training institutions

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  • 1 Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To gather information about issues associated with pregnancy, lactation, and parenting for US veterinary students and house officers (trainees) and their perception of pregnancy and parenting support services available at US veterinary training institutions.

DESIGN Cross-sectional mixed-method survey.

SAMPLE 2,088 veterinary students and 312 house officers from 27 US veterinary training institutions.

PROCEDURES An email with a link to an online survey was sent to the associate dean for academic affairs at each of the 30 AVMA-accredited US veterinary training institutions with a request that it be forwarded to all veterinary students and house officers (interns and residents).

RESULTS Among the 2,400 respondents, 185 (7.7%) reported that they were a parent, were pregnant, or had a significant other who was pregnant. Several significant differences in attitudes and perceptions of pregnancy and parenting support services provided by veterinary training institutions were identified between males and females, veterinary students and house officers, and respondents who were and were not parents.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results provided crucial information about an important facet of well-being for veterinary trainees and suggested that veterinary students and house officers face substantial challenges in becoming parents during their training programs and that perceptions of those challenges differ between males and females.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 126 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Rosenbaum (Marieke.Rosenbaum@tufts.edu).