Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Assistant Professor Awarded with PSI Foundation New Investigator Grant

Jul 12, 2019

Headshot of Dr. Andrea SimpsonDr. Andrea Simpson, Assistant Professor Recently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was awarded the PSI Foundation's New Investigator Grant for their research in pregnancy and parental leave for Ontario's female physicians. Dr. Andrea Simpson received this grant for the sum of $242,500 over three years for her research titled "The Dr. Mom Cohort: A Population-Based Study of Pregnancy Outcomes and Parental Leave Practices of Ontario's Women Physicians", working with her co-investigators Drs. Nancy Baxter, Maria Cusimano (ObGyn Resident), Rinku Sutradhar, Joel Ray (ObGyn Cross-Appointed Professor), Simone Vigod, Amit Garg and Mr. Eric McArthur.

In the last three years, Dr. Simpson graduated from the residency program and a fellowship program (Minimally Invasive Gynaecologic Surgery) with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. Simpson became a faculty member with the Department in October of 2018. The New Investigator Grant is available to clinical fellows or clinician researchers within the first five years of their first academic appointment.

Congratulations to Dr. Simpson and her co-investigators! Read more about this research below.

Women physicians may be at an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes compared to the general population due to prolonged working hours, overnight work, occupational exposures, and emotional and physical stressors. Older age is a risk factor for many adverse pregnancy outcomes, and many women physicians delay childbearing to complete their training or due to a lack of support by training programs or negative attitudes of their peers. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the reproduction patterns and adverse pregnancy outcomes of Ontario’s women physicians compared to non-physicians and explore work-related factors that may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes among physicians, such as overnight work. The investigators will also evaluate the impact of pregnancy and parental leave on practice patterns and subsequent work activity within Ontario. The study findings will inform physicians of factors that may place them at higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, some of which may be modifiable. The health and well-being of physicians are important to ensure that they deliver high-quality care to their patients; since 41% of practising physicians are women, many of whom are of reproductive age, this research also has implications for patients and Ontario’s healthcare system.

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