Medical Organizations Must Address Sexual Harassment

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 — Medical institutions and organizations need to ensure there are proactive interventions to transform the workplace in order to address sexual harassment and discrimination, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

According to a recent survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, about 30 percent of women on medical faculties reported experiencing sexual harassment at work within the past two years. Nearly 60 and 47 percent reported that they experienced a negative impact on their self-confidence as professionals and a negative impact on career advancement, respectively.

Symptoms of avoidance may result from experiencing sexual discrimination and harassment, according to the article; if people don’t know about the harassment, the victim may be seen as someone who is not invested in their education or career. Institutions and health care organizations should become proactive to address harassment. Interactive programs should be implemented to get people talking. In addition, follow-up should be conducted with anyone who complains to make sure there is no retaliation. Managers need to be trained to handle these situations.

“If you are a victim of sexual harassment or discrimination, regardless of whether you report it to someone, you still can get help,” AMA member Tiffani Bell, M.D., said in an educational session at the 2018 AMA annual meeting. “What we recommend is if someone were having the symptoms of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, you still want to at least get those symptoms evaluated.”

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Posted: July 2018

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