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Lady doctors want to work while pregnant

Date Posted: 2006-11-10

Female doctors want to continue their professional careers in Okinawa, even when having a baby.

That’s good news for Okinawa officials, who are already struggling with medical doctor shortages in many specialties. The new survey from the Prefecture Public Servants Medical Association revealed more than 60% of women say they’d continue to work fulltime while pregnant, and even after childbirth.

While the survey specifically polled doctors in public hospitals, officials think the mindset would apply to doctors in the private sector as well.

Some doctors referred to their ‘calling’ as a reason to keep working, while others expressed interest in continuing their careers. Many acknowledged that it would be hard to keep working while pregnant, but that they were capable. Some 65% said they want to continue fulltime work as they answered the question about working after childbirth.

Another 20% of the doctors surveyed said they would work part time, while only 16% indicated they would resign, or simply did not know what they would do if they became pregnant. Asked about taking child care leave from their jobs, 77% said they would use it, then return to work. The bulk of the others, 21%, said they won’t know until the time comes whether they would take the one-year leave of absence.

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