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Workplace bullying common for doctors

10 July 2014

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A report released by the British Medicine Journal (BMJ) has revealed that more than half of the doctors that responded to a survey have been bullied at work by a patient.

A range of bullying behaviour from rudeness and demandingness to physical violence was recorded by the 75 respondents of the poll.

It also showed that doctors had also experienced bullying from colleagues such as other doctors or nurses.

A Belfast GP, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Patients bully doctors regularly in getting their way. Too often, we give in because a complaint, however unjustified, is damaging and can cause misery and heartache for months or years.”

The survey discovered that more than one-quarter of those affected by bullying in the workplace did not decide to report the abuse.

One respondent said: “While the stereotype is of junior doctors being bullied by seniors, I also come across senior doctors being remorselessly bullied by juniors.”

The BMA’s Counselling and Doctors Advice Service offers a confidential free-of-charge service for doctors that have been affected by bullying incidents at work.