A Harvard student must be given extra break time during a medical licensing exam to pump breast milk, a Massachusetts appeals court judge ruled yesterday.
The student, Sophie C. Currier, 33, of Brookline, Mass., had sued the National Board of Medical Examiners after it denied her request for more than the standard 45 minutes of allotted breaks during the nine-hour exam, which she will take over two days. [emphasis added]
She said she risked medical complications if she did not nurse her 4-month-old daughter, Lea, or pump breast milk every two or three hours.
In a word...WTF???
First of all, I want to
OK, all of that aside...Ms. Currier is taking the nine-hour exam over two days (more on that in a minute), which presumably means that there will be roughly two, 4.5 hour sessions. So if she...you know, gets pumped or whatever...immediately before the exam, takes a 22.5 minute break in the middle to do it again, and then again after the exam, that's two periods of 2.25 hours each that she's managed to go without doing her best impression of a Holstein. Did I miss something?
Was a lawsuit really necessary here, is what I'm asking?
It gets better. At the end of the article, we learn that:
Ms. Currier has already received some accommodation from the board for dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She can take the test over two days instead of one, for example.
Thank goodness she isn't going into a profession that requires long hours, sustained attention, rapid decision-making, and clear judgment in the face of high-pressure situations.
A bit of advice, Ms. Currier. People google their physicians these days (at least I do). When I do, I'm not really looking at whether they went to Harvard, or how experienced they are, or whether they've published anything. What I am looking for are obvious red flags like...did they sue the medical board for special accommodations for their licensing exam?
You should really think about the impact of this kind of publicity on your career.
(Though, I suppose you could always just sue.)