Physician Practice

Creating a culture that puts an end to sexual harassment in healthcare

Medical Environment Update, March 27, 2020

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by Megan Headley, from Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare magazine

The #MeToo movement has encouraged a wide range of industries that once looked at sexual harassment as “part of the job” to start taking steps to improve working conditions. Healthcare is among those industries that are not only finally recognizing the extent of the problem but looking for ways to prevent this behavior in the future.

And the behavior is widespread. When Medscape surveyed 6,200 physicians and clinicians in 2018 about sexual harassment incidents over the prior three years, it found 7% of physicians and 11% of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants had experienced sexual harassment. Reported harassment ranged widely from sexual comments or leering (reported by 52%) to the offer of a promotion in exchange for sexual favors (reported by 3%). Nearly half (47%) of the perpetrators were physicians.

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