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Bullying rife among surgeons

Bullying and Harassment
Bullying rife among surgeons

Bullying rife among surgeons

Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment are rife among surgeons, according to a recent report from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

“Now that the extent and impact of these issues is clear, there can be no turning back,” said Hon. Rob Knowles AO, Chair, Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment advising the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

“We have been shocked by what we have heard. The time for action has come.”

EAG research has found that 49 per cent of Fellows, trainees and international medical graduates report being subjected to discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment. Bullying is the most frequently reported issue in 71 per cent of hospitals.

Part of the problem is attributed to unhealthy working conditions. There is an expectation that trainees should endure the same work practices that their supervisors had to put up with when they were training.

Some of those surveyed for the research complained of supervisors demanding unpaid overtime to ‘toughen up’ trainees.

Others pointed to grossly inappropriate comments, such as “you can join us in theatre – not to do anything, just for eye candy” and “I was told I would only be considered for a job if I had my tubes tied”.

A key finding of the Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment Survey was “that ‘known bullies’ are untouchable [by the College/societies and in the workplace] and that bullying has become normalised as a culturally accepted behaviour”.

For more details, visit the EAG report

Published on 24 September 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today.

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