Unfortunately, I believe that the answer to that question, at present is, yes. There have been many examples of poor leadership in medicine that have reached the public eye in both Australia and other countries. A recent Four Corners episode 'At Their Mercy' exposed:
'A toxic culture of belittling, bullying and bastardisation is poisoning the lives of young trainee doctors in some of our major teaching hospitals.'
Perhaps the optimistic would prefer to believe this to be a few isolated individuals and media hype. The Australian Royal College of Surgeons don’t believe that’s so and have set up an Advisory Group to combat bullying and harassment, stating 'The College recognises there are problems, but is determined to be part of the solution.' And they aren’t the only medical body to respond.
Can we do better?
Whether there is a problem right now or not, I believe that we can always do better - both as a body of professionals and as individuals. And by talking about it, sharing best practice, ideas for personal and team development, we can build healthy relationships in our workplace. This will make our work a place we enjoy coming to each day, a place where we prosper both personally and professionally as we deliver excellent healthcare. I believe this is wholly achievable.
Please sign up for updates by email on the main page and share what you read here with your team. Together we can make our medical world a better place.