68% of female orthopaedic surgeons report sexual harassment during training: Report
Researchers say the frequency of harassment has "hardly improved" in decades.
More than two-thirds of female orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S. say they experienced sexual harassment during their residency training, according to a newly-published survey in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Researchers say the frequency of harassment has “hardly improved” in decades.
For the paper, 250 participants who belonged to a professional organization for women orthopedic surgeons were asked to complete an anonymous online survey.
Among the findings:
Common types of harassment included unwanted touching, sharing obscene images, and unwanted sexual invitations. Reasons for not reporting included fear of professional retribution, feelings that reporting would be “pointless” because no action would be taken, or a reluctance to report due to the harasser being a superior.
Orthopaedic surgery remains an area of specialty largely dominated by men. In 2015, only 5 per cent of orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S. were female, according to statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Dr. Zuckerman of NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital and a professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City says in a statement the findings should serve as a “wake-up call.”
“We need to listen to what our female colleagues have described and we need to learn from the experiences they have reported,” he argues. “And most importantly, we need to make it much, much better.”
The findings of the survey are reminiscent of an August 2019 paper which found approximately 14 per cent of internal medicine residents of all genders were bullied during residency training.
Among the findings:
Burnout and worsened performance (impacting 57 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively) were the most common consequences of the bullying followed by depression at 27 per cent.
According to the paper, some characteristics were more closely associated with perceived bullying, including:
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