Workplace Bullying among US Surgeons

"Dr. Kevin Pei (Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Lubbock Texas) presented a timely topic titled “Workplace bullying among US surgeons, a national survey of the Society of surgical Chairs”. ​ Dr. Pei explained that "bullying is pervasive in the workplace and other countries have shown that nearly half of surgeons have experienced bullying at work. Yet workplace bullying is not part of the national conversation about burnout and un-wellness. There is good evidence that durable change can only come from leadership, so we sought to find out experiences with and perceptions towards bullying among academic surgical leaders. When we surveyed the influential members of the society of surgical chairs, more than 30% reported having been bullied in the last 6 months and more than 60% reported witnessing bullying in their department. Respondents largely attributed workplace bullying to strict hierarchy, tradition, and accepted culture. Most chairs state they have a zero-tolerance policy, yet only half report having a specific policy against workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is really difficult to handle, one expose noted that many surgeons denied the presence of it and refused to participate in development courses about workplace civility. I think our study starts the conversation and hopefully sheds some national attention on a worthwhile discussion. There is a lot of room for collaborative research in workplace civility and more research is needed in efforts to eradicate workplace bullying.” Thank you Dr. Pei for bringing this timely topic to our attention at our annual meeting. Hopefully this can become a part of a broader panel topic at our upcoming annual meeting.

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