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J Grad Med Educ. 2018 Apr;10(2):209-213. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-17-00386.1.

Awareness of Bullying in Residency: Results of a National Survey of Internal Medicine Program Directors.

Abstract

Background :

Bullying of medical trainees is believed to occur more frequently in medical education than once thought.

Objective :

We conducted a survey to understand internal medicine program director (PD) perspectives and awareness about bullying in their residency programs.

Methods :

The 2015 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) annual survey was e-mailed to 368 of 396 PDs with APDIM membership, representing 93% of internal medicine residency programs. Questions about bullying were embedded within the survey. Bivariate analyses were performed on PD and program characteristics.

Results :

Of a total of 368 PD APDIM members, 227 PDs (62%) responded to the survey. Less than one-third of respondents (71 of 227, 31%) reported being aware of bullying in their residency programs during the previous year. There were no significant differences in program or PD characteristics between respondents who reported bullying in their programs and those who did not (gender, tenure as PD, geographic location, or specialty, all P > .05). Those who acknowledged bullying in their program were more likely to agree it was a problem in graduate medical education (P < .0001), and it had a significant negative impact on the learning environment (P < .0001). The majority of reported events entailed verbal disparagements, directed toward interns and women, and involved attending physicians, other residents, and nurses.

Conclusions :

This national survey of internal medicine PDs reveals that a minority of PDs acknowledged recent bullying in their training programs, and reportedly saw it as a problem in the learning environment.

PMID:
29686762
PMCID:
PMC5901802
[Available on 2019-04-01]
DOI:
10.4300/JGME-D-17-00386.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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