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Starting a family during medical studies? Results of a pilot study on family friendliness in the study of medicine at the University of Ulm

, : Starting a family during medical studies? Results of a pilot study on family friendliness in the study of medicine at the University of Ulm. Gms Zeitschrift für Medizinische Ausbildung 28(1): Doc14-Doc14

The Ulm pilot study aimed to explore factors for a successful combination of medical education and starting a family. The empirical data derived from this study constitutes the foundation for an evidence-based reform of the medical curriculum in Ulm. In 2009, qualitative interviews with 37 of the 79 medical students with children at University of Ulm were conducted and analyzed using content analysis. The detected problem areas were used to develop a quantitative questionnaire for studying parents and academic teaching members in medical education in Ulm. The parents were older, more often married and more likely to already have obtained a first training. One third of the students thought there was no ideal time to start a family during the years of medical education or specialist training. However, the majority of the students (61%) were convinced that parenthood is more compatible with medical studies than with specialist training. The interview data suggests that the end of medical school (4(th) to 6(th) year of studies), preferably during semester break, is especially suitable for child birth since it allows students to continue their studies without 'losing time'. The biography and career of studying parents in medicine have specific characteristics. Universities and teaching hospitals are required to no longer leave the compatibility of family and study responsibilities to the students themselves. Rather, flexible structures need to be implemented that enable students to start a family while continuing their education. This means providing more childcare and greater support regarding academic counselling and career development.


PMID: 21818229

DOI: 10.3205/zma000726

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