A new mother who wants extra breaks so she can pump milk during a nine-hour medical licensing exam has asked a US judge to settle her dispute with the board that administers the test.
Sophie Currier, 33, requested additional break time during the test, saying that if she does not nurse her four-month-old daughter, Lea, or pump breast milk every two to three hours, she risks medical complications.
The exam allows a total of just 45 minutes in breaks, and the National Board of Medical Examiners has refused to give Currier the extra time she says she needs.
"If we are variable in the time that's allotted to trainees, we alter the performance of the examination," board spokesperson Dr Ruth Hoppe said.
I laughed as I read this because when my daughter was less then three weeks old, I had to take my Psychology licensing exam in Nashville, two and a half hours from Knoxville. I had to leave a three week old for a day-and-a half with breast milk in a bottle for relatives to give her while I took a breast pump with me to get rid of the excess milk while on the trip.
I asked the board if I could take the next scheduled test six months later but they said, "no," and I would not be able to practice with the temporary license they had issued me in the interim. I had to go. It was a mess. I leaked milk all over my shirt and down onto the floor during the exam, but I was determined to finish and figured if they wanted me there just after giving birth, dripping milk was the least of my (and their) problems. But I did it, got no special treatment and ended up doing very well, despite my discomfort. By the time I got out of the exam, I got to the car and pumped milk as I drove two and a half hours back to Knoxville. There is still a truck driver out there somewhere who got a real thrill (or fright) that day. But hey, that's the breaks.
I never once thought of suing the board, but then, I actually believe in personal responsibility, unlike the woman mentioned in the article above who wants to have children but also wants everyone else to accomodate her in the work world.