Is There A Bullying Culture in Medicine/the NHS?

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Lisagurlxx
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Apparently there's one in America and also in a lot of UK hospitals - is this something a uni student might face? (asking for a prospective applicant)
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Etomidate
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No of course not. Now give me your lunch money.



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It's not something I've personally seen or experienced. But that's not to say it doesn't occur. I've been on the receiving end of harsh words and abrupt personalities, but I've never had a systematic campaign against me. Nor have I heard of it happening with any of my colleagues.

I have heard of toxic work relationships whereby people are indirectly/implicitly intimidated against seeking senior support, or for rocking the boat regarding working conditions etc. This is often a means of maintaining the status quo, rather than an attempt to individually pick on people.
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username1060297
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(Original post by Lisagurlxx)
Apparently there's one in America and also in a lot of UK hospitals - is this something a uni student might face? (asking for a prospective applicant)
Yes. As with any organisation, especially one so big and under scrutiny from all sorts of people it's only natural that the workers/members including medical students will experience bullying of some sort. I remember reading a book about a doctors' time in his/her foundation years and it pretty much discussed stuff like hospital politics, bureaucracy and the egoism of superiors - of which surgeons are apparently renowned for.
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superwolf
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I think it depends entirely on your workplace. I volunteer with the NHS (at an intermediate care centre) and everyone's lovely and supportive of each other. I'm going to be studying occupational therapy at uni and have found so far that in general OTs and OT students are very friendly and happy to help each other.

On the other hand you have to look at hospitals like West Staffs and see that there is a problem in some NHS workplaces, and the whistleblower with that situation really did get hounded out of the area from what I've read.

I'd say the key thing to remember is that we're all responsible for how we treat other people, and also for reporting when we are mistreated. You've got to have accountability in the workplace, especially in one with such high stakes as the NHS.
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CTe
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Yep, as a nursing/medical student you are the bottom of the pile. Whilst most staff members are perfectly lovely- theres always a few more interesting staff members. For example I recently witnessed the following exchange:

Doctor: Describe to me the course and distribution of the vestibulocochlear nerve
Student: I don't know
Doctor: Stand in the bin
(Student stands in bin)
Doctor: Why are you standing in the bin?
Student: Because you told me too?...
Doctor: No, its because your rubbish and thats where rubbish goes

Unsurprisingly the doctor was an 'old school' surgeon, with something of a reputation.
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Etomidate
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(Original post by CTe)
Yep, as a nursing/medical student you are the bottom of the pile. Whilst most staff members are perfectly lovely- theres always a few more interesting staff members. For example I recently witnessed the following exchange:

Doctor: Describe to me the course and distribution of the vestibulocochlear nerve
Student: I don't know
Doctor: Stand in the bin
(Student stands in bin)
Doctor: Why are you standing in the bin?
Student: Because you told me too?...
Doctor: No, its because your rubbish and thats where rubbish goes
Featured in this post: Things that never happened.
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CTe
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(Original post by Etomidate)
Featured in this post: Things that never happened.
I'm sorry, how do you know that?
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superwolf
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(Original post by CTe)
I'm sorry, how do you know that?
Bin monitor?
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Etomidate
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(Original post by CTe)
I'm sorry, how do you know that?
Because no student in their right mind would get inside a bin. Don't be ridiculous.
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CTe
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(Original post by Etomidate)
Because no student in their right mind would get inside a bin. Don't be ridiculous.
Nope, I don't think she was in her right mind. When I asked her she wasn't exactly sure why she did it. Though this was a resit and she thought she was going to fail the module. Said consultant has a bit of a reputation for messing with people like getting juniors to stand on one leg during rounds amongst other things. Unfortunately this sort of thing isn't unheard of and standing up for ourselves is something beaten out of us very early on in clinical years on threat of death (fitness to practice).
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Etomidate
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(Original post by CTe)
Unfortunately this sort of thing isn't unheard of and standing up for ourselves is something beaten out of us very early on in clinical years on threat of death (fitness to practice).
Complete nonsense. I would strongly advise growing a pair.
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CTe
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(Original post by Etomidate)
Complete nonsense. I would strongly advise growing a pair.
I have seen 'did not appreciate criticism' as a justification on more then one occasion for failing someone on grounds of professionalism. This happens to the graduate students more as they tend to stand up for themselves more. As I have said situations like this are not common, but unfortunately do happen. Perhaps at your medical school things are different.
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Etomidate
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(Original post by CTe)
I have seen 'did not appreciate criticism' as a justification on more then one occasion for failing someone on grounds of professionalism.
For what exam or assessment, specifically?

What medical school is it that you attend which encourages their students to pander to such nonsense?
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CTe
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(Original post by Etomidate)
For what exam, specifically?

What medical school is it that you attend which encourages their students to pander to such nonsense?
It's not an exam per se. At the end of every rotation we had an identical professionalism page on the final sign off. One of the criteria was: "[was there evidence that] the student did not respond positively to feedback". Other criteria include "demonstrating respect for staff members" "demonstrating appropriate conduct" etc.

It is rare, but if a staff member takes a dislike to a student and ticks the wrong box, then its an instant fail- with disqualification from sitting the exam, that can't be appealed. This is the same for all of the modules in the clinical phases. This means that the module has to be redone during what is supposed to be the elective. I was a peer supporter for the medical school and saw this maybe three times a year. It can happen in any module but geriatrics seemed to be a particular problem for some reason.
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Lisagurlxx
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(Original post by CTe)
Yep, as a nursing/medical student you are the bottom of the pile. Whilst most staff members are perfectly lovely- theres always a few more interesting staff members. For example I recently witnessed the following exchange:

Doctor: Describe to me the course and distribution of the vestibulocochlear nerve
Student: I don't know
Doctor: Stand in the bin
(Student stands in bin)
Doctor: Why are you standing in the bin?
Student: Because you told me too?...
Doctor: No, its because your rubbish and thats where rubbish goes
lol wtf. I guess its hard to prove stuff like that happened but I'd be inclined to knock someone out if they said that to me, as I imagine a lot of students on other courses would.

Does the NHS not deal with stuff like this well?
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Lisagurlxx
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(Original post by Ki Yung Na)
Yes. As with any organisation, especially one so big and under scrutiny from all sorts of people it's only natural that the workers/members including medical students will experience bullying of some sort. I remember reading a book about a doctors' time in his/her foundation years and it pretty much discussed stuff like hospital politics, bureaucracy and the egoism of superiors - of which surgeons are apparently renowned for.
interesting , it seems to be more prevalent in the NHS though. obviously everywhere from IBs to law firms has bullies, but bullying cases seem to be dealt with better there. the NHS especially seems to hush a lot of stuff up and come down on whistleblowers
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KittyAnneR
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Yes, but I think you will experience bullying at some level or other in all types of work. Whether it's from the public, the big bosses, your supervisors or nasty colleagues.
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Lisagurlxx
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(Original post by KittyAnneR)
Yes, but I think you will experience bullying at some level or other in all types of work. Whether it's from the public, the big bosses, your supervisors or nasty colleagues.
True, my cousin's worried about dealing with it at uni tho (heard some horror stories). I did English but I never had to deal with bullying from those who taught me - have heard it's common in medicine.
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KittyAnneR
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(Original post by Lisagurlxx)
True, my cousin's worried about dealing with it at uni tho (heard some horror stories). I did English but I never had to deal with bullying from those who taught me - have heard it's common in medicine.
I'm talking about in the span of your career, not at uni. There will be more bullying in courses like med/nursing as you're placed in real working environments wih people, a lot of whom aren't fans of students haha.
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Beska
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Worth a read if you're interested - recent document from the GMC about the supportive learning environment and bullying in medical education of postgraduates: http://www.gmc-uk.org/Under_embargo_...f_59988406.pdf
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