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Exploitation and Abuse of Female Doctors

  • February 26, 2019
  • KBA Attorneys
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Female doctors and trainees have been dropping out of their respective programs in Victoria, Australia because of the continuation of a misogynistic, abusive, and exploitative culture fostered in the medical system, which has been worsening over the years.

Victoria’s peak medical lobby group has asked the government to conduct an investigation into the culture of the medical system to detect and destroy any and all traces of gender discrimination and sexual harassment within hospitals, as it is causing more and more females to not pursue being a doctor. This horrendous treatment of women has been rampant in the Australian medical system for a long time and has been highlighted by many scandals throughout the years, however it seems that the abuse may be getting worse. It seems that in one case, a trainee may have committed suicide based on what she had to deal with during her training program.

Australian Medical Association Victoria president Julian Rait has gone on record saying that the culture within the system is intolerable for these women, and while some extreme conditions can be expected from the job, what they have had to deal with in certain cases is absurd and irresponsible. He has also stated that many times if these women speak up, they are shunned and labeled as whiners, which hurts their reputation with their coworkers and in some cases the industry.

Some examples of cases are one woman who was hospitalized for exhaustion after working for a continuous 180 hours and who regularly worked around 70 hours per week. Allegedly, she had approached senior staff several times and had been blown off, despite her asking for help. Another woman in the industry, a senior female surgeon, went on record to say that the sexual harassment in the workplace is so normal that most women should just accept the advances, as if they do not it could hurt their career instead of making things better. Some women have been making it through training and voicing their opinions about how they are treated, but so far it has not been enough to stimulate change.

Other issues in the industry seem to be that taking maternity can be hard or even impossible, forcing women to take annual leave instead and then having to work on-call shifts prior to starting their maternity leave. They are even pushed so far to the point where it is suggested to them that they do not get pregnant during their training terms and to think of their fellow trainees instead of themselves.

These heinous acts of bullying, sexual harassment, and unfair workplace treatment are all unacceptable, especially considering that these acts can affect how the doctors and trainees are able to perform their jobs. It could be putting lives at stake and is already tearing apart the lives of the doctors and trainees dealing with it. No one, no matter their career, should be subjected to unfair treatment such as this. If you or anyone you know is dealing with workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, contact KBA Attorneys. With years of experience in the industry, we will ensure that you see justice for your ordeal.