Residency

Physicians take on mentorship roles to combat sexual harassment during residency

Residency Program Insider, February 23, 2018

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Studies regarding sexual harassment against women in medicine have been going on for decades. And while the medical industry has yet to experience the same surge of public outcry as, say Hollywood, women in the field are hopeful that their day will soon come. 
NBC News recently spoke to several female physicians who want to see an overhaul of the entire medical profession so that is becomes abundantly clear that sexual harassment is expressly forbidden. To expedite this change, these veteran physicians have broken the cycle of silence and taken to mentoring the younger female physicians. Their goal is to encourage unity and support between women in the work place, a part of their duties is to protect one another.
The traditionally male field saw a major change in 2017 when, for the first time, the majority of entering medical students were female. But most female residents, surgeons, and nurses have said that instead of embracing the growing diversity, many male peers and/or superiors have begun acting inappropriately toward them instead.
One of the main problems identified with sexual harassment lie in its roots of intimidation. Medicine is a field with a very prominent, inherent power structure. Harassment becomes the means by which physicians and top administrators establish themselves “above the rest”—in particular nurses and residents. Many women have said that as they’ve advanced in their careers, the instances of sexual harassment generally went away. However, this leaves female residents, who are seen as subservient and hold very little power, at increased risk.
Source: NBC News



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