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MEdIC Series: The Case of the Post-Paternity Leave Blues – Expert Review and Curated Community Commentary


Our sixth case of season 5, The Case of the Post-Paternity Leave Blues, presented the scenario of an early-career attending physician anxious to return to clinical work after taking a 6-month paternity leave. If you haven’t had a chance yet, we urge you to check out the case and share your thoughts on this important topic!

The MEdIC team (Drs. Tamara McColl, Teresa Chan, Sarah Luckett-Gatopoulos, Eve Purdy, John Eicken, Alkarim Velji, and Brent Thoma), hosted an online discussion around the case over the last 2 weeks with insights from the ALiEM community. We are proud to present to you the curated commentary and our expert opinions. Thank-you to all participants for contributing to the very rich discussions surrounding this case!

This follow-up post includes:

  • Responses from our solicited experts:
    • Dr. Carolyn Snider (@DrCarolynSnider) is an academic emergency physician and injury prevention researcher in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her focus is on violent injuries and while she prefers to prevent trauma, 15 years into her career as an emergency physician she admits to the ongoing rush of adrenaline that comes with a tough trauma case. More importantly, Dr. Snider is a mom to a 7-year old daughter and wife to a sport historian. She is a singer, reader, weightlifter, cook, and obsessive adventure traveler.
    • Dr. Brent Thoma (@Brent_Thoma) is an emergency physician and trauma team leader in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He also engages in educational scholarship with a focus on technological innovations that enhance learning with the goal of helping good people to provide exceptional healthcare. His work can be found online at,, and
  • A summary of insights from the ALiEM community derived from the Twitter and blog discussions.
  • Freely downloadable PDF versions of the case and expert responses for use in continuing medical education activities.
Expert Response 1: Returning to Clinical Work: Embrace the Apprehension! (Dr. Carolyn Snider)
Expert Response 2: The Struggle is Real - Returning to Work After Parental Leave (Dr. Brent Thoma)
Curated from the Community (Dr. Eve Purdy)

Case and Responses for Download

Click here (or on the picture below) to download the case and responses as a PDF (207 kb).

Tamara McColl, MD FRCPC

Tamara McColl, MD FRCPC

Associate Editor, ALiEM MEdIC Series
Emergency Physician, St. Boniface Hospital, WRHA
Academic Lead, Educational Scholarship
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Manitoba