Access to Paid Parental Leave for Academic Surgeons

Dina S. Itum, Sarah C. Oltmann, Michael A. Choti, Hannah G. Piper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Parental leave is linked to health benefits for both child and parent. It is unclear whether surgeons at academic centers have access to paid parental leave. The aim of this study was to determine parental leave policies at the top academic medical centers in the United States to identify trends among institutions. Methods: The top academic medical centers were identified (US News & World Report 2016). Institutional websites were reviewed, or human resource departments were contacted to determine parental leave policies. “Paid leave” was defined as leave without the mandated use of personal time off. Institutions were categorized based on geographical region, funding, and ranking to determine trends regarding availability and duration of paid parental leave. Results: Among the top 91 ranked medical schools, 48 (53%) offer paid parental leave. Availability of a paid leave policy differed based on private versus public institutions (70% versus 38%, P < 0.01) and on medical center ranking (top third = 77%; middle third = 53%; and bottom third = 29%; P < 0.01) but not based on region (P = 0.06). Private institutions were more likely to offer longer paid leaves (>6 wk) than public institutions (67% versus 33%; P = 0.02). No difference in paid leave duration was noted based on region (P = 0.60) or rank (P = 0.81). Conclusions: Approximately, 50% of top academic medical centers offer paid parental leave. Private institutions are more likely to offer paid leave and leave of longer duration. There is considerable variability in access to paid parenteral leave for academic surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-148
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Academic surgery
  • Maternity leave
  • Parental leave
  • Paternity leave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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