Many GPs experience parenthood at some point in their career but balancing maternity leave, children and your GP career can present a unique set of challenges.
From a GP’s perspective, what is maternity / parental leave like in General Practice? And how can you make your GP career suit your new life as a working parent?
We asked Dr Katy McCready, a former salaried GP and mother of three, about her thoughts on the maternity process, adjusting to working part-time hours and whether we may see an increase in male parental leave in the near future.
Here we’ve summarised Dr McCready’s top tips for GPs returning to work after maternity leave:
- Make the most of your keep in touch days: Use these days for training updates (such as CPR and clinical training) that you might otherwise have missed. This will help keep your skills up-to-date and get paid for it. It will also make you feel more ‘in touch’ with what’s happening to help make a smoother transition back to work.
- Work part-time: Being a GP is a vocation; the exams are costly and the training takes a lot of effort. Luckily there are vast opportunities for part-time working within general practice so GPs can have a family and not waste years of training. This could be more difficult for trainee GPs who would need to buddy up with someone, or hospital doctors due to shift work.
- Have an open discussion with your employer: If you’re going to do a three or four-day week, talk to your employer about which days might be best to take off - ideally not a regular crucial training day where you’ll end up having to arrange extra childcare to attend, as getting the time back is not always straightforward.
- Shared parental leave: This is an option worth exploring. GPs are at high risk of burnout, which may lead to a rise in shared leave in the future. It’s like that mothers will tend to take a set time off around the birth to recover and breastfeed if she wants, then the other parent takes on the child caring duties for the latter few months of the parental leave whilst the mother returns to work.
Read Prospect Health’s original blog post: From a GP's perspective, how can your career and parenthood be balanced?