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Singlegrandad
06-25-2007, 06:40 AM
I would be very angry. How can these people not accept a simple fact of life such as a mothers need to lactate?

She already has a doctorate from Harvard. Now, after five years of medical training, all that stands between Sophie Currier of Brookline and an elite, double-barreled MD-Ph D is a daylong exam and her commitment to breast - feeding her infant daughter.



For Currier to begin her medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital this fall as scheduled, she must pass the clinical knowledge exam run by the National Board of Medical Examiners by August. The exam is nine hours long and allows a total of only 45 minutes in breaks.
But Currier is still nursing her 7 -week-old daughter, Léa, and if she does not pump milk from her breasts every two or three hours, she could suffer blocked ducts, the discomfort of hard breasts, or an infection called mastitis.
When she called the board last week to ask for extra break time, she said she was told that the test provides special accommodations only for disabilities covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and breast-feeding was not one of them.
Currier agreed that breast-feeding is not a disability. But it is physically demanding : "What am I going to do, express milk all over your computer?" she asked a board official.
In a statement faxed to the Globe, Catherine Farmer, the board's manager of disability services, wrote that the disabilities act "does not cover temporary conditions, such as pregnancy. . . . Furthermore, lactation, breast-feeding and breast pumping are not disabilities as defined by the ADA."
However, she added, examinees could use their break time outside the testing room for breast pumping, and if they finished sections of the test early, they could gain extra time for break.
Breast-feeding advocates, however, said the medical examiners' stance was unreasonable. Dr. Ruth Lawrence, chair woman of the breast-feeding section of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the board's decision was "possibly letter-accurate, but totally inhumane and insensitive."
Few women are likely to request such extra time, she said, and breast-feeding is a physical need that should be filled just as the need to eat should be. "One would hope they would accommodate this particular physiological need not just for the individual being examined, but for her child," she said.
Currier's predicament lands her in an area of hot contention nationwide. Medical evidence shows the health benefits of breast-feeding for mother and baby, and the federal government has made increasing breast-feeding a major public health goal.
But society at large often shows less support for breast-feeding than health authorities do, particularly in workplaces and public spaces.
A flight attendant's decision to expel a nursing mother from a plane in Vermont last year, for example, led hundreds of mothers to stage "nurse-ins" at airports.Continued... (http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/06/23/board_wont_relent_for_breast_feeding_mother?page=2 )

The Bigfella
06-25-2007, 06:51 AM
Just take the baby in to the exam. Stuff em.

ishmael
06-25-2007, 07:01 AM
Allan Funt, of Candid Camera fame, made a short film that was pretty funny, "What do ya say to a naked lady?" Well, what do you say to a lactating lady?

Jeez, nine hours. My advise would be for her to get on the phone with someone who has some control over the test(that will take some doing), and lay out her vitae and her special problems. This can't be a unique problem, and if she's copacetic with them, they'll be copacetic with her. If they aren't she can always take the test next year.

brad9798
06-25-2007, 07:45 AM
And after having four kids that were breastfed, she is full of crap ... more whiny, 'I'm gonna make a scene' BS!

My mom was an OB nurse for years ... that woman in the article take herself just a bit too seriously.

Women like that pi$$ off me.

Kaa
06-25-2007, 08:24 AM
This test, like all similar tests, is mostly about the ability to function well under stress. Having extra breaks would be quite unfair to other participants.

Kaa

Figment
06-25-2007, 08:30 AM
Her "commitment to breast-feed" is self-imposed, yes?

Nanoose
06-25-2007, 09:35 AM
Her "commitment to breast-feed" is self-imposed, yes?

You'd prefer state imposed? :rolleyes:

And why the word "imposed"? :mad: Chosen? Yes. Why? For the health of her child.

Puuuulleeeease.

Nanoose
06-25-2007, 09:51 AM
OK....I was mildly stirred at the "self-imposed" comment, and now, Norman, you're adding "alleged" to the ADD and dyslexia?!?! You don't think by this point in this type of education those would be adequately diagnosed? You think they'd still only be "alleged"?!?!?!? :eek: :mad: :eek:

OK...I came here as a nice way to start my day over my morning coffee and I'm getting ready to pop a cork. Time to go shower and get dressed.

Sheeeesh...

Figment
06-25-2007, 10:00 AM
You'd prefer state imposed? :rolleyes:

And why the word "imposed"? :mad: Chosen? Yes. Why? For the health of her child.

Puuuulleeeease.

"state imposed"??? where did that come from?
Perhaps "imposed" was not the proper word. My question (recognizing that I don't know much about such things) was whether breast-feeding was her personal choice, vs something "imposed" by a particular health condition of the child, etc. I assume that it's her choice.

I don't for an instant imagine that I'm in any position to question her choice. My point, I suppose, is that this woman has made certain choices, chosen a certain path. As this choice was made of her own free will, I have limited sympathy. That this path has certain inconvenient consequences should come as no surprise to her.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 10:10 AM
My point, I suppose, is that this woman has made certain choices, chosen a certain path. As this choice was made of her own free will, I have limited sympathy. That this path has certain inconvenient consequences should come as no surprise to her.

So in other words society should make no accomodations to encourage women to breast-feed their children? The problem with this attitude is that there is plenty of medical evidence that breast-feeding is better for children and it should be self-evident that healthier, stronger children are better for society as a whole. Therefore it is very stupid and short sighted of society as a whole to not support and encourage breast-feeding, because that is a sure fire way to reduce the number of women who breast-feed their children. Sure we could say that if a women really cared about her children should would overcome every obstacle society puts in her way, but that is not reality.

That said, in this particular case, based on what Norman said it sounds like there may be more to this story than initially meets the eye, so I'm going to stay out of what the appropriate resolution is in this particular case.

Figment
06-25-2007, 10:16 AM
What society should do and what society actually does are two very different things.
As was pointed out in the original article, society is less than ideally tolerant of issues related to breast-feeding. This was not a hidden condition. This mother made her choice in the real world, and it has real consequences, both good and bad.

Kaa
06-25-2007, 10:17 AM
So in other words society should make no accomodations to encourage women to breast-feed their children?

Accommodations, yes. Advantage in competitive events, no.


Sure we could say that if a women really cared about her children should would overcome every obstacle society puts in her way, but that is not reality.

You know, that woman -- "She already has a doctorate from Harvard. Now, after five years of medical training, all that stands between Sophie Currier of Brookline and an elite, double-barreled MD-Ph D..." -- doesn't look to me disadvantaged or even somehow unable to overcome obstacles.

I do think she's gaming the system and in the process doing a huge disservice to breast-feeding mothers.

Kaa

Nanoose
06-25-2007, 10:17 AM
No need to apologize, Norm. I'm starting to cool down....a little!...:rolleyes: ;)

JBreeze
06-25-2007, 10:44 AM
Hey, I was involved with something like that.....

Code in an ICU, nurse grabbing for the paddles, I'm drawing up epinephrine, we are both awaiting direction from the doc. ....

Doc starts looking for his missing pen.

I sure hope she gets involved in academic medicine, and stays away from patients.

brad9798
06-25-2007, 10:58 AM
Guys, you are missing the point ... breastfeeding is wonderful, healthy, innocent.

She is full of sh*t is she claims her exhaust manifold will clog if not used every two or three hours.

THEREIN lies her 'whiny, look at me attitude.'

Let her have her breaks ... just give me the same breaks. She wants to be equal, then she needs to ACT equal and accept responsibility for HER choices ... she cannot expect the rest of her 'competition' to give her special treatment.

BTW- Norman, where I live, there are family/nursing restrooms in shopping centers ...

This woman needs to grow up and face reality.

NO BREAKS!

George Jung
06-25-2007, 11:10 AM
ON the other hand, it does look like this woman is pretty adept at gaming the system for maximum advantage. From what I read, she's used her alleged ADD and dyslexia to already gain a substantive advantage over others she's essentially competing with (this other info was in the story I read in the paper, and not included in the C&P). As I recall, her diagnoses for these two conditions actually already DOUBLED the time she's allowed to take the test.... which is quite an advantage.


Good eye, Norm; and while she may, in fact, have legitimate diagnoses of ADD and dyslexia.... in my experience, she probably would not have made it to this level, with those particular syndromes to contend with.
Having taken those exams, they very purposefully attempt to ensure a 'level playing field'; getting nearly twice the time to take that same exam is a HUGE advantage (and I'd assume, over two, rather than one, day). Getting 'extra breaks' to breast feed would be one more break, and I can tell you, another advantage that I'd have loved (though I'd have had trouble with the lactating part).
Some folks just know how to work the system. Oh, and btw, she could easily pump ahead of time; she'd be in no danger of 'plugging up' or becoming unduly engorged. FWIW

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 01:18 PM
What society should do and what society actually does are two very different things.
As was pointed out in the original article, society is less than ideally tolerant of issues related to breast-feeding. This was not a hidden condition. This mother made her choice in the real world, and it has real consequences, both good and bad.

As I said, I don't think we know enough about this specific women's situation to comment intelligently on it. So, I was speaking in general terms, and in general terms statements along the lines of "this mother made her choice in the real world, and it has real consequences, both good and bad" can pretty much excuse society from doing anything to help anyone. It is the basic Libertarian argument that pretty much says that government should stick to things like national defense and individuals should be left to sink or swim on their own.

Let me emphasize again that in this particular case I am not at all convinced this women deserves special accommodations. I don't feel like we know enough about the details to decide that issue intelligently. But, I also think that the line about "real consequences" sounds a lot like a cop out on the part of society.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 01:21 PM
Accommodations, yes. Advantage in competitive events, no.

You know, that woman -- "She already has a doctorate from Harvard. Now, after five years of medical training, all that stands between Sophie Currier of Brookline and an elite, double-barreled MD-Ph D..." -- doesn't look to me disadvantaged or even somehow unable to overcome obstacles.

I do think she's gaming the system and in the process doing a huge disservice to breast-feeding mothers.

Kaa

Please re-read what I said. I made the specific qualification that I was "going to stay out of what the appropriate resolution is in this particular case" because I felt like there were too many open questions about important details of the situation. Your responses to my comments are all about the specifics of this case.

Kaa
06-25-2007, 01:27 PM
Please re-read what I said. I made the specific qualification that I was "going to stay out of what the appropriate resolution is in this particular case" because I felt like there were too many open questions about important details of the situation. Your responses to my comments are all about the specifics of this case.

Well, then, what was the point that you were making? That the government should support breast-feeding? I think it already does.

Kaa

John of Phoenix
06-25-2007, 01:30 PM
"We'll reschedule your exam when you stop breast feeding."

End of problem.

An ADD doc? I'm with JBreeze.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 01:52 PM
Well, then, what was the point that you were making? That the government should support breast-feeding? I think it already does.

Kaa

That the language Figment was using about "made her choice in the real world, and it has real consequences" can be used to justify just about any move to reduce government programs or actions that do everything from encouraging behavior that is beneficial to society as a whole to helping people who do face genuine disadvantages. It looks to me to be the foundation of the extreme Libertarian argument that basically leaves people to sink or swim on their own and who cares about the poor sucker dying in the bushes because he made some mistakes in life.

Of course the opposite direction would also be a mistake -- society cannot fix everyone's problems or stop people from making mistakes.

The basic point is that we need to look at the reality of the actual situation with all the necessary details in hand and consider what is fair and what is best for society as whole as well as the individual, rather than resorting to easy language about choices and consequences.

JBreeze
06-25-2007, 02:01 PM
Imagine the poor nurses, therapists and pharmacists reading her charts and trying to determine if "she may have meant...." ? Once a nurse and I looked at each other, as the doc ran down the hallway to another emergency....her verbal instructions to us were epinephrine, 50 mg IV stat! Patient received benadryl.

Also, don't forget, she struck out once already........

"As for postponing the test, Currier is behind schedule because she failed the test when she took it this spring, when she was eight months ' pregnant , she said."

Anyone know what the pass rate is for the exam?

Kaa
06-25-2007, 02:04 PM
The basic point is that we need to look at the reality of the actual situation with all the necessary details in hand and consider what is fair and what is best for society as whole as well as the individual, rather than resorting to easy language about choices and consequences.

As usual (not usual with you, but usual with this kind of arguments) you're forgetting a couple of important things. The important thing number one is freedom. Freedom, in case you haven't noticed, includes the right to do things which are not the best for society and/or for the individual. Thing number two is "who decides?" Who decides what is "best for society as whole as well as the individual"? And those who decide, what are their compentencies, their interests, their biases, their assumptions?

Kaa

Figment
06-25-2007, 02:06 PM
In concept, I agree with you, Bruce, but let's keep this in perspective. We're not talking about someone dying in the bushes because they made a mistake. We're talking about someone who is encountering an entirely predictable inconvenience as a result of a conscious choice. In light of this woman's level of education and field of study, one could further argue that it was a very well-informed conscious choice, further contributing to the predictability.

Note that the testing agency did not prohibit her from pumping milk during her test breaks, or during the informal breaks between the completion of one section and the start of another. They simply denied her additional break time specific to this activity. This seems entirely reasonable.

I may be wrong, but I'm under the impression that this exam (like most "certification" exams) is scored essentially on a pass-fail basis. There is no meaningful difference between scoring 80% correct vs. 95%.
I know that different people function differently in a testing environment, but I've never failed a test because I ran out of time. Either you know the material or you don't.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 02:28 PM
Figment,

The only thing I'd question in what you said is did she really know when she decided to breast feed her baby that this issue would arise with this exam? This seems like the kind of thing that might not enter one's mind to even consider when you are making the choice to breast feed. That said, as I've already said over and over again, I don't think we have enough information to really judge this situation.

Robmill0605
06-25-2007, 02:28 PM
Guys, you are missing the point ... breastfeeding is wonderful, healthy, innocent.

She is full of sh*t is she claims her exhaust manifold will clog if not used every two or three hours.

THEREIN lies her 'whiny, look at me attitude.'

Let her have her breaks ... just give me the same breaks. She wants to be equal, then she needs to ACT equal and accept responsibility for HER choices ... she cannot expect the rest of her 'competition' to give her special treatment.

BTW- Norman, where I live, there are family/nursing restrooms in shopping centers ...

This woman needs to grow up and face reality.

NO BREAKS!

I agree with you. She is already stacking the deck with her"extra" time. I'm quite sure my following comment will drive feminists/ liberals completely nuts, but, like everything else we have lowered the standards in many professions to accominate women and minorities.
A case in point.
My brother is a Chicago police officer. The police department was sued by the ACLU because there was a standard for height, weight, and strenght. The CPD was forced to lower the standards because women could not pass the test.
At all.
Moreover, if you were a woman, AND a minority, you were hired whether you were qualified or not.:eek:
He has seen qualified officers with years of service get passed over for promotions because, you guessed it, they needed women and minorities to satisfy Jesse Jackson , the ACLU and the Feds.
They cops have to send a male cop to rescue them in a fight. They have now changed the policy that a female officer must be with a male partner.
So why the hell is she in a cop in the first place?

now, we have to accomindate this womans breastfeeding choices because of her ambitions. after doubling the alloted time for her?
Let's just not have ANY standards then.
I'm sure that she is well versed in making a stink.
In the end they will back down and allow her even more time becuase her next she will threaten a lawsuit.

NO BREAKS!

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 02:31 PM
As usual (not usual with you, but usual with this kind of arguments) you're forgetting a couple of important things. The important thing number one is freedom. Freedom, in case you haven't noticed, includes the right to do things which are not the best for society and/or for the individual. Thing number two is "who decides?" Who decides what is "best for society as whole as well as the individual"? And those who decide, what are their compentencies, their interests, their biases, their assumptions?

Kaa

I already touched on this question in the part of my post you decided not to quote. This is the great liberal versus conservative debate and I don't have the time to get into what would clearly need to be a nearly book length discussion to get anywhere on the grand debate. I'll just say that freedom has a place, but that if you measure everything just based on freedom then you can wind up with a pretty ugly society. Also, deciding what is best for the society as a whole is not some nebulous thing that happens in smoke-filled rooms or some such. It can be based on very sound, hard scientific data.

George Jung
06-25-2007, 02:35 PM
I don't know what pass rates are now; a few years ago, it was greater than 90%, as I recall. I find it difficult to believe someone graduating from Harvard, esp. with an MD/PhD, would have any difficulty passing this exam. Personally, I suspect there are some other factors we're simply unaware of.
Most here hold MD's to a pretty high standard; just how easy do you think this test should be for this young lady?

George Jung
06-25-2007, 02:42 PM
Figment,

The only thing I'd question in what you said is did she really know when she decided to breast feed her baby that this issue would arise with this exam? This seems like the kind of thing that might not enter one's mind to even consider when you are making the choice to breast feed. That said, as I've already said over and over again, I don't think we have enough information to really judge this situation.

Didn't someone post she'd failed them once before? That, and they're very specific, when you first sign up for the exam, what the protocols will be. And they don't make exceptions.

For whatever reason, she's just having difficulty passing, and may just be looking for that extra 'edge' to make a pass mark. Again, how low do you, the treated public, want that bar set?

Kaa
06-25-2007, 02:48 PM
I already touched on this question in the part of my post you decided not to quote. This is the great liberal versus conservative debate...

Well, this is a libertarian vs. nanny-state debate. Liberals/conservatives is not exactly the right split here.


Also, deciding what is best for the society as a whole is not some nebulous thing that happens in smoke-filled rooms or some such. It can be based on very sound, hard scientific data.

Not exactly. The "very sound, hard scientific data" may tell you what the consequences of a particular set of actions will be (and the Law of Unintended Consequences will make sure that this forecast will be, at best, incomplete :-) ). But deciding on what is "the best" is not a scientific task. It's a function of the value system which in humans is notoriously unscientific.

Kaa

brad9798
06-25-2007, 03:17 PM
WELL said, Robmill!!!!

High C
06-25-2007, 03:26 PM
Yikes! It looks like the standards have already been jetisoned to accomadate this woman's numerous limitations.

How will the patients whose lives she seeks to hold in her hands be protected? Will they be safe from her inability to focus and her reading problems? Are not the patients the whole point of the standards in the first place?

Singlegrandad
06-25-2007, 03:31 PM
Some of the replies here sicken me almost as much as what is being done to this poor woman. How would you feel if this was your daughter or grand child? What then. The same men who seem to make all the rules for women to obey seem to forget that just by being a woman, this very smart lady has over come a great deal of bias to get where she is today. What makes me even angrier, is that the same people who make a huge point about developing pills so that men can have un natural erections, can not find it in them selves to let this woman pump her breasts, and stay healthy. I have often thought about things like this and have to say that surely if there is a such thing in the mind of women as penis envy then there is almost certainly breast envy among certain men. For some of them it is an un holy obsession which has made them turn society into a less than human place to exist. I hope that my beautiful grand daughters will not enter into an adult world like we have today.

High C
06-25-2007, 03:35 PM
Some of the replies here sicken me almost as much as what is being done to this poor woman. How would you feel if this was your daughter or grand child?

How would you feel if your daughter or grand child was killed by a disabled doctor who became confused during surgery?

Nice troll, Dutch. :D

Paul Pless
06-25-2007, 03:37 PM
Nice troll, Dutch. :D

LOL, kinda what I was thinking too...

John of Phoenix
06-25-2007, 03:39 PM
What makes me even angrier, is that the same people who make a huge point about developing pills so that men can have un natural erections, can not find it in them selves to let this woman pump her breasts, and stay healthy. I have often thought about things like this and have to say that surely if there is a such thing in the mind of women as penis envy then there is almost certainly breast envy among certain men. Dutch? Is that you?

Paul Pless
06-25-2007, 03:43 PM
Again, how low do you, the treated public, want that bar set?Her impact on public health could actually be much greater than just treating her own patients... Correct me if I'm wrong but since she has pursued a PhD its likely she wishes to enter into either teaching or research where her disabilities could well affect either her students or her research.

Memphis Mike
06-25-2007, 04:02 PM
I smell Underwood Deviled Ham.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 04:22 PM
Well, this is a libertarian vs. nanny-state debate. Liberals/conservatives is not exactly the right split here.

If you want to call one view the "nanny-state view" then I think in fairness we should call the other view the "extreme right wing view."

With that I'm out of this thread since it is starting to look very much like it was started by a troll...

brad9798
06-25-2007, 04:32 PM
dutch still sucks ... what a loser ... man, bro ...life is too short. What a wast of oxygen.

JBreeze
06-25-2007, 05:07 PM
And I wasted all sorts of time above the bilge finding links, etc. to his questions about a 1st time canal/lakes boat build, and a seaworthy hull:mad:

Thanks.

And if you aren't Dutch, the real issue isn't breast feeding with this young lady....it's ADD, Dsylexia and the fact she already flunked the exam once.

"As for postponing the test, Currier is behind schedule because she failed the test when she took it this spring, when she was eight months ' pregnant , she said."

I worked with dozens of young, talented female MDs during their residencies...they relished the challenges, and would resent any exceptions based on their gender.

Vince Brennan
06-25-2007, 06:55 PM
Dang it, High C, I was just composing a song...

"It's be-gin-ing to look a lot like Hol-land..."

Say... 12 posts! Is that some sort of a record for picking up on the troll?

LeeG
06-25-2007, 07:10 PM
breast envy. That takes the cake

High C
06-25-2007, 07:40 PM
Dang it, High C, I was just composing a song...

I'll premier it for ya. :D A high key, if you please.

The Bigfella
06-25-2007, 07:46 PM
Say... 12 posts! Is that some sort of a record for picking up on the troll?

Can I say that I thought about posting it last night after 11. Nah, she's been picked much earlier before.

Another One
06-26-2007, 08:21 AM
Okay, I was pretty sure after the first 5 posts of the thread - and me without my klompen! :)

Vince Brennan
06-26-2007, 09:00 AM
Okay, I was pretty sure after the first 5 posts of the thread - and me without my klompen! :)

Ethnically correct, but for dealing with Dutch's posts, Wellies would be more appropriate, eigh?

Singlegrandad
06-26-2007, 12:01 PM
I am so sorry, as being new here I do not know all of your code words. But I have decided that some people will never understand the plight of others less fortunate until they are in that position them selves.:(

LeeG
06-26-2007, 12:06 PM
boob envy

brad9798
06-26-2007, 12:14 PM
Shut the hell up, grandad ... you have not idea about less fortunate.

Get over yourself! :razz: