Views & Reviews Personal View

Should pregnant doctors work in termination of pregnancy clinics?

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 17 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c867
  1. Megan Millward, F2 doctor, Bristol
  1. doctormillward{at}

I found clinic days as a foundation year 2 (F2) doctor strangely satisfying. After three months of on-calls in obstetrics and gynaecology, running between emergency department and labour ward, I was ready for some clinic time. I was also seven months pregnant and getting round, heavy, and tired. Imagine my confusion when I was assigned to repeated sessions of the weekly termination of pregnancy (TOP) clinic. On questioning the rota coordinator on the appropriateness of this decision (imagining that someone may have overlooked my rapidly swelling gravid uterus), I was told that as most of the other doctors had conscientiously objected I was the only junior doctor available for those weeks.

Discussions with doctors in other fields and with non-medical friends and family only heightened my unease about being a pregnant doctor consulting on and certifying terminations. In my experience most junior doctors don’t want to get involved …

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