Parenting stories at Michigan Medicine

October 14, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

This Wellness Office grant-funded initiative is collecting narratives about the intersection of parenting and careers in health care. We invite you to share your own story or photographs / artwork (yours or your children’s!) to help create a community of awareness, insight, and compassion for all those working in this profession.

Work/life integration in medicine is challenging at the best of times. Parenting, as well as the journey to becoming a parent, adds an entirely new dimension to the challenge. Often, parents may feel lost, unsure, overwhelmed, conflicted, or guilty. Alternatively, they might feel joyous, hopeful, fulfilled, accomplished or proud.

Even though parenthood is a major part of many of our lives, we don’t often feel comfortable talking about it at work. We worry about being judged as being less career-focused and that there could be negative impacts on our career trajectory.

Additionally, some topics are stigmatized (miscarriage, loss or infertility) and/or are excluded from discussions (LGBTQIA relationships, single parent challenges, children with special needs) and are even more difficult to openly discuss.

The Wellness Office believes it is important to normalize and destigmatize discussions about the intersection of work and parenting. That’s why it wants to help all parents and would-be parents see that their feelings and experiences are normal, and that they are not alone on their journeys.

What is the goal of this project?

The purpose of this project is to create a lasting resource for anyone who is balancing the journey of parenthood with a career in medicine.

There will be three outputs:

  • A professionally published manuscript containing selected stories and artwork from Michigan Medicine learners, staff and faculty about parenting while working at an academic hospital.
  • An electronic compilation of additional narratives from Michigan Medicine learners, staff, and faculty.
  • A recurring, live panel hosted by the Michigan Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development where participants in this project will discuss and answer questions from attendees about parenting while working in medicine.

In addition, we hope that this will spearhead efforts to create a community of support for parents at our institution.

How to participate and more frequently asked questions

All Michigan Medicine learners, staff and faculty are invited to indicate interest in participating by filling out the brief survey here. Please respond by Nov. 1.

What kinds of stories is this project looking for?

All stories related to the intersection of parenthood and careers in medicine will be accepted.

Will anything else besides narratives be accepted?

Yes! Submissions can also include artwork, poems, songs or other forms of art that we can print. Artwork can be from children.

For more information, please visit