October 19, 2022

Finding Childcare Solutions That Work for EM Physicians

In our latest episode of EM LIFERS, a webinar series brought to you by ACEP’s Young Physicians Section, we are diving deep into the complicated world of childcare! We’ve convened a panel of young physicians with different family structures who utilize a variety of childcare options, including au pairs, nannies, at-home daycare and more.

Keep reading for info about each panelist’s job and family structure, time stamps for specific topics of discussion and a list of additional childcare resources provided by the panelists.

Want to add to the childcare discussion? We welcome additional resources and perspectives! Feel free to email us any services you found helpful, or you can share your insights by writing for our award-winning YPS email newsletter. Contact us.

Meet our panelists:

Sara Andrabi, MD, FACEP, CPPS

  • Dual physician household in the Houston, Texas area
  • Had two kids during residency
  • Childcare: Nannies, night nannies, babysitters

Rand Michael, DO, MS, Capt, USAF, MC

  • Dual physician household
  • EM resident in Richmond, Virginia
  • Had two kids during medical school with another on the way
  • Childcare: Au pair from Brazil

Sandra Williams, MD

  • Single mother of one daughter
  • Works at a rural single doc coverage facility in south Texas
  • Childcare: Nanny

Zinta Zapp, MD

  • Married to a non-physician whose job has traditional hours with some travel
  • Works for UPMC Harrisburg in Pennsylvania
  • Two children under two years old
  • Childcare: at-home daycare in her neighborhood


Topics Discussed (and relevant time stamps)

Want to fast-forward to a particular topic within the longer discussion? This should help!

3:25 | Any tips and tricks you have found for finding a reliable nanny or babysitter? How did you find yours?

6:45 | What’s the main difference between an au pair and a nanny?

8:10 | Considering the varying work schedule of the average emergency physician, how do you work with the time limits for au pairs?

9:30 | Have any of you used traditional daycare or preschool?

11:30 | What are some additional childcare options? Do any jobs provide childcare or eldercare benefits?

14:00 | Did you have a process for vetting these childcare options so you can feel comfortable entrusting your children to them?

17:10 | Can you talk to us about utilizing childcare while you’re not working but have other life tasks to do, such as catching up on sleep, chores, errands, etc? How does that help you be a more present parent?

21:45 | What are some other things you can outsource to help you stay afloat when you’re balancing work and parenting?

24:30 | Dr. Williams, as a single parent who works at a single coverage rural facility, how do you manage certain scenarios such as your child getting sick while you’re on shift?

27:29 | What about fur babies? Any advice for balancing care schedules for kids and pets?

30:20 | How do you balance transitioning back to work after having a baby, especially for EM physician moms who are breastfeeding? How can we advocate for our employers to make this easier on new parents?

36:00 | How did you balance breastfeeding while working at a single coverage facility? Do wearable pumps work?

40:50 | Any final remarks or advice for others who are seeking the best childcare option for their personal situation?

Show Notes: Resources Referenced by our Panelists

For Childcare

For Physician Parents + Crowdsourcing

For Breastfeeding Support

Wearable Breast Pumps


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