Putting an end to the bullying culture in medical training

Several years ago when I was a senior clerk I often hear, “The senior clerk is the lowest form of animal in the hospital hierarchy.” If I remember it right, I even read in a research report about a graffiti seen in a hospital restroom in the form of a pyramid much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs wherein the written at the base of the pyramid is the senior clerk.

Some training hospitals never run out of stories of trainees (residents, interns or clerks) being yelled at, humiliated or insulted at any point during medical training – during endorsements, Morbidity and Mortality conferences, during the performance of procedures, etc. One justification reported for bullying is that medical training is considered as an initiation rite. “No pain, no gain.” “Bullying in medicine has been there since time immemorial.”

A definition by the UK Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration service (specialty of which is workplace relationships) describes bullying as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.”

Tonight at HealthXPh tweetchat, june 11, 9pm Philippine time, we discuss the following:

T1. Why do you think the bullying culture persists in medical training?

T2. What are the ill effects or consequences of bullying in medical training?

T3. How do we put an end to this bullying culture in medical training?

We invite you all to this very relevant tweetchat especially those involved in medical training, trainees and even patients.