Bullying in medical schools
Harassment in medical schools is still rife and must be tackled, says Diana F Wood
Recent changes in undergraduate medical education have been rapid and profound. Faced with the explosion of knowledge, ongoing technological advances, patients' changing expectations, the recognition of health inequalities worldwide, and better understanding of educational theory, medical educators have striven to provide undergraduate programmes that equip students with basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes that recognise their immediate progression into independent practice and their need to develop skills as lifelong learners.
What remains familiar at the core of medical education is exposure to patients with their multifaceted problems and the experience of health care at the point of delivery. Sadly, clinical practice also exposes medical students to some of the best recognised yet least easily solved problems in medical education: bullying and harassment. A study by Frank and colleagues in the BMJ reports the experiences of US medical students of this important but uncomfortable issue that needs to be tackled.1