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A Personal Perspective: Is Bullying Still a Problem in Medicine?

Authors Taylor-Robinson SD, De Sousa Lopes PA, Zdravkov J, Harrison R

Received 17 December 2020

Accepted for publication 19 January 2021

Published 10 February 2021 Volume 2021:12 Pages 141—145


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Simon D Taylor-Robinson,1 Paulo A De Sousa Lopes,2 Jey Zdravkov,3 Rachel Harrison4

1Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London, UK; 2Department of Medicine, UAI Universidad Abierta Interamericana, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 3Dean Street Sexual Health Clinic, London, UK; 4Department of South East Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK

Correspondence: Simon D Taylor-Robinson Email

Abstract: Bullying of whatever form should have no place in the Medical Profession. Reforms to junior doctor training and reduction in working hours have helped to control most of the individual bullying which may have existed in the past. However, the complexities of institutional bullying still exist. In the United Kingdom, centralised monitoring systems, such as Athena SWAN, are designed to reward academic and medical institutions for positive steps to introduce equality and mitigate bullying. However, the reality is that such processes may be conducted in healthcare or educational establishments that have little intention to address the problem thoroughly. We report the personal experience of both individual and institutional bullying in the medical career of a medically-qualified interviewee and reflect on ways to mitigate the problem. We also consider whether unconscious bias affects our relationships with patients. In a caring medical profession, there should be no room for intolerance, unconscious bias or bullying.

Keywords: bullying, institutional bullying, personal bullying, unconscious bias

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The full terms of the License are available at The license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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