TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among ophthalmologic residents, there are no differences across performance metrics between residents taking parental leave versus their peers not taking leave, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Dana D. Huh, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues reviewed educational records of 283 ophthalmology residents who graduated between 2015 and 2019 to examine the association between parental leave and ophthalmology resident physician performance.

The researchers found that 15.5 percent of residents took a median parental leave of 4.5 weeks. There were no differences observed in average Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program percentiles, research activity, average Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education milestones scores, or surgical volume between residents taking parental leave and those who did not. Parental leave was less likely among residents who pursued fellowship, while residents who practiced in private settings after residency were more likely to have taken parental leave. For female residents who took parental leave versus residents who did not take leave, there were no differences identified in performance except a mild surgical number difference in one subspecialty category of keratorefractive procedures.

“These findings may provide reassurance to trainees and program directors regarding the unlikelihood, on average, that taking adequate parental leave will affect performance metrics adversely,” the authors write.

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