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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Friday, October 5, 2007

Breast-feeding medical student wins break time

A Harvard medical student battling for extra time to pump breast milk during a licensing exam plans to take the test as soon as she can after a court ruling in her favor today.

The state Appeals Court declined to reverse a ruling made by a single justice last week that cleared the way for Sophie Currier to have extra time.

"I'm going to take the test as soon as possible," Currier said in a phone interview before referring other questions to a spokeswoman so she could return to studying.

The 33-year-old Brookline mother of a five-month-old girl sued the National Board of Medical Examiners when it refused to give her more than the standard 45-minute break allowed to students taking the nine-hour exam. Currier, who must pass the test before beginning her residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been granted permission to take the test over two days because of her dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Joseph Savage, the board's attorney, argued that granting Currier extra time would not be fair to other test-takers. Savage did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Today's ruling did not consider the merits of the case. Instead it was based on whether the single justice whose decision overturned a superior court's denial of Currier's claim showed abuse of discretion or a clear error of law. The court found neither.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 01:53 PM
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