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‘Other doctors’ the main source of trainee bullying – Medical Council

The findings are included in the Your Training Counts 2015 report launched this morning in Dublin. The Medical Council report compiles trainee experiences of clinical learning environments in Ireland.

On the doctors who were sources of bullying, consultants and GPs accounted for 48 per cent of trainee bullying, with other trainees accounting for 32 per cent, and doctors not in training accounting for 20 per cent.

Some 36 per cent of trainees reported that nurses and midwives were the main sources of bullying that they had experienced in training.

Overall, some 35 per cent of trainees said they had experienced bullying and harassment in post, with 56 per cent saying they had witnessed someone else being bullied and harassed in post.

Almost 7-in-10 trainees who experienced bullying in their learning environment did not report their experience to someone in authority. Of those trainees that reported their experience to someone in authority, almost 40 per cent perceived nothing to have happened about it.

Trainees who felt action was taken when they reported their experience of bullying gave significantly higher ratings for their learning environments than trainees who perceived nothing to have happened when they reported their experience.

The prevalence of bullying was higher among interns, and lower among trainees in GP training and Higher Specialist Training programmes.

Trainees in GP practices (4 per cent) and mental health services (7 per cent) were significantly less likely to have been bullied frequently than trainees in larger hospitals (16 per cent) and smaller hospitals (24 per cent).

Intern trainees in surgery posts were significantly more likely (56 per cent) than trainees in “another specialty” posts (17 per cent) to have experienced bullying.

Medical Council CEO Mr Bill Prasifka said the findings on bullying were “worrying” and needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

“I am fully aware that the issue of bullying cannot be dealt with overnight and that a cultural shift needs to occur in this instance,” he added.

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