Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sexism Amongst Surgeons

Dr Gabrielle McMullin is to be commended to bringing the debate about sexism in the surgical profession into the open.  I do not agree with her advice to young surgical trainees that reporting sexual harassment or sexual assault should be avoided as it may ruin their career  but have found the discussion over the past two days to be a good start at breaking the silence.
No one in any workplace should have to put up with sexual harassment or sexual assault. Surgeons work in private and public health care networks.  These organisations need to tighten their policies and make it clear that, no matter how senior you are, sexual harassment, innuendo and sexual assault will not be tolerated. Maybe it is time for a campaign targetting sexual harassment and sexual assault across private and public health organisations.


  1. It is all very well to come up with platitudes in this situation. Look at what happened to Caroline, the example Dr McMullin gave. She did what you would say is right and yet she paid for it professionally and continues to pay for it. Why should someone who has studied/trained something like 12 years put everything they have worked for into jeopardy by reporting sexual harassment. Words are empty unless they are backed up by real action.

    1. The problem is that people who use sexual harassment and constantly put women down will continue to do it until they are challenged. Women need to make reports so that the situation does not become worse. In this case if people think the College of Surgeons is an old boys network this also needs to be dealt with. They need an independent way of looking at complaints. Health Care Networks need confidential independent procedures for dealing with complaints.