The RCSI has added new areas to its training syllabus for radiology on how to deal with “difficult interactions” after another survey found bullying was an issue within the specialty, this newspaper has been told.
The issue of bullying within radiology was discussed at the February meeting of the RCSI surgery and postgraduate faculties board, minutes of which have been seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information request.
The board discussed a series of results from an RCSI trainee subcommittee survey of radiology SpRs and the issue of bullying. The minutes from the February board meeting noted that the Medical Council’s Your Training Counts survey had highlighted bullying in radiology.
In light of these findings, a “trainee subcommittee was asked to carry out a survey of radiology SpRs to verify these findings,” read the minutes.
The minutes noted that some respondents to the follow-up survey raised “unmanageable workloads” as an issue.
The board meeting also heard that “bullying is a universal issue and not limited to trainees and there are internal and external contributing factors”.
“In 2018, the Faculty of Radiologists (FoR) carried out a series of surveys of its trainees and fellows,” an RCSI spokesperson told MI.
“These surveys were designed as a follow-up to the Medical Council study that showed a significant number of trainees in all specialties had experienced bullying during their training.
“The FoR surveys replicated the Medical Council’s findings and indicated that about 1/3 of trainees and consultants had experienced difficult interactions, including bullying in the workplace.
“The FoR subsequently engaged with experts from other healthcare organisations, such as surgical affairs in RCSI, RCPI and the NHS, to help develop strategies to address inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.”
Asked what actions the RCSI has taken following the results of these surveys, the College spokesperson said new aspects to the radiology syllabus were now being introduced.
“We have added significant areas to the training syllabus for all years in radiology to cover the areas surrounding difficult interactions and bullying behaviour in radiology,” the spokesperson told MI.
“With NDTP [National Doctors Training and Planning] support, the faculty has produced instructional videos in this area that will be introduced into the training scheme.
“We will also work with other PGTBs [postgraduate training bodies] who have additional training materials in this area to incorporate elements of their content and develop content of our own on a collaborative interdisciplinary basis.
“Issues surrounding difficult interactions and bullying will form a significant part of the FoR’s assessment of sites going forward.”