Dena E. Rifkin, MD, MS; Nisha Bansal, MD, MAS; Esther K. Choo, MD, MPH
Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=L14-0213.
Rifkin D., Bansal N., Choo E.; Gender Differences in Time Spent on Parenting and Domestic Responsibilities. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161:534. doi: 10.7326/L14-5019-6
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(7):534.
TO THE EDITOR:
We read Jolly and colleagues' article (1) with great interest. As current National Institutes of Health career development awardees who are also mothers with employed spouses, we were not shocked to learn that women of our generation continue to bear a disproportionate burden of domestic work compared with men and that women with children devote less time to research than their male counterparts (with a gap that is roughly equal to the extra time spent doing domestic work).
What did shock us were the conclusions drawn by Cooke and Laine (2). They state that the “true measure of a successful life in academic medicine ... may no longer be measured in grants garnered, papers published, or salary attained but rather in the flexibility to balance” other life goals. At our institutions, grants and papers are the sine qua non of a research-based academic career and promotion from the junior faculty state. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, grants and papers aren't everything—they are the only thing. Although other career trajectories are now open in the world of academic medicine, the primarily research-funded academician still needs to produce publications and acquire independent funding to continue in that role and to advance up the academic ladder, regardless of sex.
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