or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Lactivism › Harvard med student breastfeeding mom sues the national licening board
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Harvard med student breastfeeding mom sues the national licening board

post #1 of 431
Thread Starter 
This woman is a breastfeeding mom who is a M.D./Ph.D. student at Harvard Medical School. She is scheduled to take her licensing exams, which take place over two 9-hour days. She has asked for one extra hour a day to take the tests so that she has time to pump milk for her 4 month old daughter, explaining that she cannot go more than 3 hours without pumping without affecting her milk supply and putting herself at risk for infection. The National Board of Medical Examiners has denied her request. She sued them, and the matter is now in federal court. Here is the news story:

http://wbztv.com/massachusettswire/M...rces_news_html

Here is the contact information for the National Board of Medical Examiners, if any of you would like to join me in sending them a strongly worded letter or two:

National Board of Medical Examiners
3750 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3102
General telephone number: (215) 590-9500
Examinee support services: (215) 590-9700; fax (215) 590-9457
webmail@nbme.org
post #2 of 431
: that she wins BIG TIME!
post #3 of 431
I hope she wins also, that is F'd up!
post #4 of 431
Personally, I think it would be a reasonable accomodation to let her have her 4 mo. with her and nursing in a sling WHILE she is taking the exam.

Also, with all that's on the line, I think I'd be willing to risk engorgement by only pumping during the allotted breaks. She may not be able to empty them, but she should be able to relieve the pressure in a 10-15 min. pumping session if she's in practice (which she presumably is having bf'ed through med school). Not to mention eat and pump at the same time during her lunch break.

OTOH, I don't think there is enough accomodation for nursing mothers needing to pump in work and work-related environments. My place of employment has a special separate break room for smokers, but no place one could pump at all.
post #5 of 431
I hope she wins. She shouldnt have to compromise what she wants on this it should be them making the effort.
post #6 of 431
The irony here is overwhelming. It's a licensing exam for MEDICAL DOCTORS, who should know and care about this kind of thing! Hello?!
post #7 of 431
I live in MA, and Fox news reported it as her wanting to be able to nurse her baby every two hours, so I'm not sure what the exact story is.

Quote:
Personally, I think it would be a reasonable accomodation to let her have her 4 mo. with her and nursing in a sling WHILE she is taking the exam.
I disagree. What if her baby starts crying, laughing, or making other distracting sounds. How is that fair to the other test takers?

Quote:
Also, with all that's on the line, I think I'd be willing to risk engorgement by only pumping during the allotted breaks. She may not be able to empty them, but she should be able to relieve the pressure in a 10-15 min. pumping session if she's in practice (which she presumably is having bf'ed through med school). Not to mention eat and pump at the same time during her lunch break.
I agree with this. If pumping is her goal, then the breaks would allow her time to express some milk. And she could always put a WhisperWear pump in her bra. In that way, she could pump while taking the test and not be concerned with distracting the other test takers.
post #8 of 431
I think she might already be in a separate room from the other testers. She has already received permission to take the test over 2 days instead of one due to her ADHD, so she might not be in the same room with the others, since her schedule is different.
post #9 of 431
Yay!!!!!!! I hope she gets freaking rich. Good for her.
post #10 of 431
My DH read this article and wondered why one 45 minute break wasn't enough and why couldn't she eat while pumping : I said, you obviously have not pumped. No, I could not eat while pumping. It isn't enough time to eat, go to the bathroom, AND pump.

He asked me what I thought a reasonable solution would be. I said split up the test into 3 - 3 hour sessions. That way she can pump before and after each time. And when my baby was 3-4 months old I sure as heck needed to go to the bathroom more than once in a 9 hour timeframe!
post #11 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissakc View Post
The irony here is overwhelming. It's a licensing exam for MEDICAL DOCTORS, who should know and care about this kind of thing!
Oh, since when?! : It sounds all too typical of medical doctor attitude to me.
post #12 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
I think she might already be in a separate room from the other testers. She has already received permission to take the test over 2 days instead of one due to her ADHD, so she might not be in the same room with the others, since her schedule is different.

Good point.

I would really love to know the specifics about this. And, FTR, MA has no BFing legislation at.all. :
post #13 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post
My DH read this article and wondered why one 45 minute break wasn't enough and why couldn't she eat while pumping : I said, you obviously have not pumped. No, I could not eat while pumping. It isn't enough time to eat, go to the bathroom, AND pump.

He asked me what I thought a reasonable solution would be. I said split up the test into 3 - 3 hour sessions. That way she can pump before and after each time. And when my baby was 3-4 months old I sure as heck needed to go to the bathroom more than once in a 9 hour timeframe!
But it's not a 9 hour timeframe, it's a 4.5 hour timeframe on two consecutive days.

I have never pumped (or nursed for that matter) but I do wonder whether 1 45 minute break to pump, and eat something very fast (not a meal, but an energy bar or something) isn't enough for 4.5 hours.

Momily
post #14 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
But it's not a 9 hour timeframe, it's a 4.5 hour timeframe on two consecutive days.

I have never pumped (or nursed for that matter) but I do wonder whether 1 45 minute break to pump, and eat something very fast (not a meal, but an energy bar or something) isn't enough for 4.5 hours.

Momily

Not being able to pump for 4.5 hours would physically bother me, but it would be possible.
post #15 of 431
Good for her!
post #16 of 431
The other issue is that the 'extra' time she already has wasn't given to her for pumping or etc., it was given to her because she needs it per her diagnosed medical condition (ADD I think, I haven't read the article in awhile). It's not for pumping. It's the amount of time which is reasonable to allot to an individual, regardless of their lactation status, given her particular medical diagnosis.

She needs the lactation breaks on top of the other concessions which have been given her. And their refusal to give them to her is horrifying, but a good illustration of the lack of support which many in the medical field give to lactating mothers.
post #17 of 431
I don't know. I'm a dentist and took the national boards. There were people taking them that were still nursing very young babies. I didn't hear anyone complaining. I could eat, pump and pee in 45 minutes. Thats a BIG test. Those administrators are not lenient. And I really believe for good reason. She did choose this profession. She also chose to have children in the middle of med school. To me that would be a FAR bigger challenge than a 45 minute break. I certainly wouldn't sue over it.
post #18 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravin View Post
Personally, I think it would be a reasonable accomodation to let her have her 4 mo. with her and nursing in a sling WHILE she is taking the exam.
With all due respect, this is not a reasonable accomodation.

Why?
1. The noise of a baby crying -- or making any noise -- is needlessly distracting to people taking a major, costly exam with a crucial impact on their careers.

2. An unscrupulous student would not hesitate to conceal answers in a sling.

Those are only two. I can think of more.
post #19 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post
My DH read this article and wondered why one 45 minute break wasn't enough and why couldn't she eat while pumping : I said, you obviously have not pumped. No, I could not eat while pumping. It isn't enough time to eat, go to the bathroom, AND pump.

He asked me what I thought a reasonable solution would be. I said split up the test into 3 - 3 hour sessions. That way she can pump before and after each time. And when my baby was 3-4 months old I sure as heck needed to go to the bathroom more than once in a 9 hour timeframe!
I ate while pumping all the time. If not, I would have had to have given up one or the other.
post #20 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by molarmama View Post
I don't know. I'm a dentist and took the national boards. There were people taking them that were still nursing very young babies. I didn't hear anyone complaining. I could eat, pump and pee in 45 minutes. Thats a BIG test. Those administrators are not lenient. And I really believe for good reason. She did choose this profession. She also chose to have children in the middle of med school. To me that would be a FAR bigger challenge than a 45 minute break. I certainly wouldn't sue over it.
Yes. Why can't she pump in 45 minutes? That should be enough time to relieve extra pressure, if not empty her breasts. And can't she eat while doing so?

I give up a lot to take care of my kids. If she can't reach a compromise, why can't she just take the test at a later date? I guess I don't get it. It seems more of an entitlement issue than anything else to me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Lactivism
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Lactivism › Harvard med student breastfeeding mom sues the national licening board