Pediatric Trainees as Parents: Perspectives From a Pandemic

Jayme L. Wilder*, Caitlyn M. Hark, Carolyn H. Marcus, Elliot C. Rabinowitz, Catherine D. Michelson, Ariel S. Winn, Elizabeth W. Pingree

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: Resident parents are at the intersection of converging challenges during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and their perspective has yet to be explored. This qualitative study aimed to identify themes related to the experience of pediatric resident parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We performed semistructured interviews with pediatric residents who were also parents. Using thematic analysis, transcripts were analyzed iteratively until theoretical sufficiency was achieved. Results: Twelve residents were interviewed from 9 pediatric residency programs. Five major themes, representing conflicts or tensions experienced by participants, were defined by the data: 1) Duty as a doctor versus duty as a parent; 2) Balance of work obligations versus childcare challenges; 3) Appreciation of added support versus worry about peers’ perceptions of accommodations; 4) Gratitude for the recognition of challenges faced by resident parents versus fear of reversion to the norm; and 5) Protective impact of parenthood versus challenges to mental health. Conclusions: Both parents and healthcare workers faced innumerable challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this exploration of the experiences of pediatric resident parents provides a unique lens for examining the tensions that this group faced. Our results may allow residency programs to better support their pediatric resident parents during this crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-933
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • parenthood
  • residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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