Medical training and its impact on infertility

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Medical training, like law school education and other similar intensive post-graduate studies, happens during peak fertility years for female students. A recent survey of US female physicians showed that 24% of respondents had been given a diagnosis of infertility – and the number was highest among female surgeons who had the longest residency and training periods.

The survey from the Wake Forest School of Medicine went on to highlight how little attention this issue received during medical school education – including a lack of education, support, funding and time off for ART procedures including egg freezing during training periods.

In my own naturopathic training, I was the only student in my year who had already had children, and despite my program’s inclusion of numerous courses on reproductive health, there was also never any discussion or support for students who may want to preserve their fertility options until after their extensive training was complete. From discussions with other female peers who completed law school and graduate studies, this conversation was also missing between school administrators and female students.

The researchers’ proposal recommended a number of smart changes to support family planning that could be replicated in a number of academic disciplines. These ideas included:
– Discussions around infertility and family planning during intern orientation
– Providing insurance of subsidized coverage for consultations with fertility specialist
– Protecting time for egg freezing and ART procedure
– Allowing part-time training options and schedule modifications to facility family building

If we want to ensure that women have equitable access to their choice of fulfilling and contributing careers, we have to also support their ability to make fulfilling choices in their personal lives as well.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information for your fertility or pregnancy journey, visit for free webinars and complete programs.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your fertility or pregnancy patients, please get in touch with us at, or visit

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.


Lindekugel, S. Infertility: A Hidden Cost of Medical Training. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 14(6): 639–641.

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8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me