Friday 2 December 2016

Young doctors are bullied most by nurses, claims report

Published 08/12/2015 | 02:30

More than one-in-three trainee doctors at various stages of
their careers say they are bullied
More than one-in-three trainee doctors at various stages of their careers say they are bullied

More than one-in-two medical interns, who claim they are bullied during their first year working in a hospital, blame nurses for their intimidation.

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All doctors must spend an intern year working in hospital after getting their medical degree as part of their training to be a doctor.

While nurses are accused of being the main source of bullying by this group, it is hospital consultants who are mostly blamed for making life unpleasant for older trainees who are working to become specialists, a new report by the Medical Council has revealed.

Overall, more than one-in-three trainee doctors at various stages of their careers say they are bullied - four times more than their colleagues in the UK.

Nearly one in 10 did not report being bullied to anyone in authority.

Of those who did report it, almost 40pc felt no action was taken.

Medical Council chief Bill Prasifka said the problem needs to be addressed but pointed out: "I am fully aware the issue of bullying cannot be dealt with overnight."

Asked to comment on why so many consultants are accused of bullying, president of the council, Freddie Wood, a retired cardiac surgeon, pointed out specialists involved in training do not receive any special education in leadership skills.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Health Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed he has asked the council for a view on whether doctors who are subject to fitness to practise committees should not be named while a hearing is underway.

Currently patients can opt to be anonymous and parts of a hearing can be held in private.

It is only in recent years that inquiries into doctors have been open to the public and press, ending years of secrecy.

The council also wants changes to speed up the phase where a complaint is made against a doctor but it takes months to determine if a full inquiry will be held.

Irish Independent

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