June 18, 2018
The ‘cruel irony’ of doctors who bully
Editor’s note: This popular story from the Daily Briefing’s archives was republished on Oct. 30,
By The Advisory Board | Editor’s note: This popular story from the Daily Briefing’s archives was republished on Oct. 30, 2019.
The consequences of bullying
The harmful consequences of bullying are well known, and in health care they may include anxiety, burnout, depression, and even potentially drug misuse, Sekeres writes.
Sekeres points to a recent essay published in the New England Journal of Medicine in which Michael Weinstein, a trauma surgeon at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, describes how he spiraled into depression after “silently enduring feelings of inadequacy for years while working in a culture that wouldn’t allow him to share those feelings.”
“It is a cruel irony that doctors and nurses are drawn to medicine to care for others, yet the majority have been bullied by their colleagues and superiors,” Sekeres writes. “We should all be able to turn to one another for support, to be able to admit that we are hurting, and to ask for a system that allows for missing work in the event of illness, without suffering castigation for being weak. It’s in our patients’ best interests, and in ours” (Sekeres, New York Times, 6/14).
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