Along with numerous other challenges that medical residents face during their training period, problems encompassing sexual harassment are pretty prevalent. Such issues need to be dealt with strictly both on the part of the medical practitioner as well as the hospital or any other medical institution where one is appointed as a resident. Moreover, sexual harassment cases tend to carry long-term impacts on the trainees’ mental health, career, and lifestyle. Any issues with medical residency need to be addressed to the authority as soon as possible, along with consultation with an experienced education lawyer.
However, the departments and institutions should undertake necessary measures to make the place safer for everyone and to mitigate any such problems within the community concerning medicine. Some of these measures are mentioned below:
As numerous studies reflect the prevalence of sexual harassment during medical residency, the various institutions need to understand the enormity and importance of this problem and take proper measures to prevent such unfortunate incidents. Such measures might include conducting a survey of the environment surrounding the workplace that will help them get some idea of the culture inside the community of medicine.
The institution should consider developing strict organizational policies such as zero tolerance policies which should contain clear strategies for reporting the sexual harassment act, ensure confidentiality and describe prevention against retaliation with the utmost clarity. Additionally, the institutions should also make their trainees aware of such programs so that actions can be taken immediately.
Most trainees might find it uncomfortable to report sexual harassment cases if they find that other trainees of the institution are reluctant to report them. The creation of a cooperative and supportive environment will eventually help in fighting such issues in an efficient manner. Along with this, the institution should also encourage medical practitioners to come forward to report such matters. For this, they must include a confidential or anonymous reporting method to lower any fear of academic loss.
If a medical resident faces any sexual harassment at the workplace, the first step would be to report it. This must be followed by consulting an experienced attorney who has attended numerous hearings concerning medical residency issues or sexual harassment during medical residency, as they will be able to provide the best advice on the case proceedings.