Medical students bullied while training

More than a third of medical students have been bullied, according to a new survey by the British Medical Association (BMA).

Some 35% of medical students who responded to the BMA Medical Students Committee welfare survey had experienced some form of bullying while at university or on a hospital placement.

One in four had been bullied by a doctor, while one in six had been bullied by a nurse. Forms of bullying ranged from racial or sexual discrimination to humiliation by teachers in front of patients.

One respondent had been victimised for not having come from a medical family and another had been put under pressure to carry out a procedure without supervision.

Leigh Bissett, chairman of the BMA’s Medical Students Committee, said the idea that students learn best when they’re terrified is outdated, bad for students and bad for patients.

“There should be no place for bullying in the NHS and it’s time we adopted a policy of zero tolerance,” she said

A fifth of respondents believed their medical schools needed to do more to address cultural issues. Problems highlighted included discrimination and lack of sensitivity to cultural needs such as fasting and prayer times.


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