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Racism, Sexual Harassment: The Doctors Who Top The List

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Ghada Ali youssef, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Ghada Ali youssef

    Ghada Ali youssef Golden Member

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    The topic of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in surgery has hit the headlines this year but now research pinpoints precisely how systemic the problem is.

    Data from two quantitative surveys involving 3516 surgeons, trainees and international medical graduates shows that half have experienced some form of intimidation from senior staff, according to an article in the ANZ Journal of Surgery as reported in Medical Observer.

    This proportion was consistent across every speciality, according to the researchers, and “reflects the continuing male dominance within surgery”.

    More than 70% of hospitals and medical institutions report instances in their organisation of discrimination, bullying, or sexual harassment by a surgeon within the last five years.

    Male surgical consultants and surgical directors were identified as the most likely perpetrators of bullying with other medical consultants and nursing staff also commonly identified perpetrators.

    Administrators at two thirds of hospitals consider bullying by surgeons as a concern for their organisation. Bullying was most frequently identified as verbal abuse (40%), ignoring service requirement/denying breaks (23%) and aggressive behaviour (21%).

    Almost one third of hospitals identified race and cultural-based discrimination by surgeons as a problem, particularly for IMGs, while sexual harassment was deemed an issue for 14% of hospitals and medical institutions.

    “The scale of the problem will doubtlessly shock many surgeons, other healthcare professionals and the public,” write the researchers led by Dr Wendy Crebbin, who is a member of the RACS.

    “The studies focus on the behaviour by surgeons, but it is likely that similar issues affect other medical specialities and healthcare more broadly.”

    The surveys also highlight the current lack of reporting.

    Comments from employers highlighted that most of their information about behaviour of their staff comes through informal rather than formal reporting channels.

    “There is now an imperative for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to act,” write the authors. “Likely solutions will require leadership and then broad commitment from the

    profession.”

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