If you are planning to start a family or are already pregnant, be sure to attend to the following things:
- See your family doctor or find a family doctor if you don’t have one already. Most provincial medical associations have support programs that will assist you with the process of finding a family doctor.
- Notify your residency program director if you are planning on taking maternity and/or parental leave as soon as you are ready to do so. In most cases, earlier is better. For birth mothers, it can be helpful to do so before you are through the first trimester, in order to facilitate planning your rotations, maternity leave, and coverage of call during your second and third trimester. Sit down with your program director and have a look at upcoming rotations. In many cases, adjustments to rotations with heavy on-call requirements and high physical demands may be needed especially in the third trimester.
- Plan for child care, as the process of securing child care can take upwards of a year. Particularly if you are considering putting your child in day care or hiring a foreign nanny, start putting your name on the wait lists or get connected with a hiring agency as soon as possible. Although many residents find childcare towards the end of their parental leave it can become a significant source of angst and worry.
- Notify your Post Graduate Medical Office.
- Contact the wellness office at your university for local resources and to help guide you through the process.
- Notify the Canadian Medical Protective Agency (CMPA) if you are taking maternity and/ or parental leave and they will pause your coverage while you are away from work.
- Apply for Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) though Service Canada or QPIP (Quebec) once the baby is born, or sooner if you’ve elected to start maternity leave prior to your due date.
Maternity and/or Parental Leave Suspends Your Practice
Note that, when you are on maternity and/or parental leave, your clinical privileges are essentially suspended, including extender licenses. While on leave, you are not legally covered to be involved in any kind of patient-care activities.