Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Breastfeeding Mom Denied Extra Time for Medical License Exam

This just in . . . a Massachusetts judge has denied a Massachusetts woman’s plea to compel the National Board of Medical Examiners to afford her additional breaks during her nine-hour medical license exam so she can properly express her breastmilk for her 4-month-old baby. The National Board of Medical Examiners initially denied her request for extra time saying that lactating doesn’t qualify as a disability and therefore they don’t need to give her extra breaks.

“The plaintiff may take the test and pass, notwithstanding what she considers to be unfavorable conditions,” said Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Patrick Brady (who has likely never tried to express breast milk for a newborn baby). “The plaintiff may delay the test, which is offered numerous times during the year, until she has finished her breastfeeding and the need to express milk.”

Did I mention that the dispute is over time to take a medical exam? So that the mom can become a doctor? And that doctors’ associations and the federal government are the ones who love to admonish new mothers that if they don’t breastfeed their babies for the first year that they’re condemning their children to myriad health problems? (Let us not forget that some officials have likened baby formula to poison.)

Yet . . . when a woman has a medical need to express her breastmilk every few hours so she will not develop an infection, and so her breasts won’t explode all over her test (that would constitute “unfavorable conditions” Judge Brady), they tell her to kiss off, to pick one, her career or breastfeeding.

And they wonder why more women – particularly working moms – don’t breastfeed?


maverick9465 said...

Wow. This is amazing. You would think doctors would be more supportive. Crazy.

marzeelee said...

You failed to mention that they had already extend her extra time to take the exam because of a "learning disability". The test is only four hours long. She was given two eight hour days to take this exam. I am a mother also. I do know about breast feeding. I also feel this woman was asking for too much.

marzeelee said...

I was wrong the test is a whole day not 4 hours. The following is from the news story.

Sophie Currier, 33, sued after the National Board of Medical Examiners turned down her request to take more than the standard 45 minutes in breaks during the exam. She said that if she does not nurse her daughter, Lea, or pump breast milk every two to three hours, she risks medical complications.

Currier has already received special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

She has been granted permission to take the test over two days instead of one, but is seeking an additional 60-minute break on each day.