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The Importance of Allies

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2018 - Autumn


Regarding the article [Yale Medicine Magazine, Spring 2018] on Drs. Ment and Duncan: in service of focusing the issue on women, you downplayed the role of Dr. Duncan, senior—Dr. Ment’s husband, and a preeminent physician. As part of a two-academic-career Yale household (my husband is a Yale PhD), I suspect this inadvertently takes Dr. Ment’s career out of its essential context. For them both to succeed, surely a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes sharing of roles and renegotiating of responsibilities had to occur.

Yale has a remarkable number of couples in medicine who have excelled at this (so many that when I was a medical resident we had a whole trivia category on married Yale physician couples with different last names). They served as role models for younger physicians who aspired to balance career, marriage, and children with their equally talented and dedicated partners.

Dena Rifkin, MD ’01
La Jolla, Calif.

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