More than 1 in 10 female doctors and over 15 percent of all female residents have experienced sexual harassment within the last 3 years according to a Medscape Sexual Harassment of Physicians 2018 Report. Roughly half of the doctors reporting said that the person that harassed them was another physician.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment against women in medicine has yet to have its #me-too movement despite over 50 percent of women in medicine reporting that they have experienced sexual harassment dating back as far as 1995.
Last year an NBC investigation shone a light on the widespread misconduct at hospitals and other health care settings, with females medical trainees reporting they are often sexually harassed, but do not report it for fear of retaliation.
Not only is the medical field traditionally male, but the hierarchical system of many hospitals lends itself to abuse from the top down. “Sexual harassment is a form of intimidation, a way to show someone where they stand in the pecking order”, says one victim, and the inherent power structure makes sexual harassment more common in the field.
One professor at the University of Michigan who is the director of the School’s Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine agrees, “I think that things can get pretty bad pretty quickly in medicine in a way that might not happen in other workplace environments as readily…strong hierarchies and power differentials are at play”.
A recent EEOC report reveals that sexual harassment charges increased over 13 percent in 2017 alone and that reasonable cause findings rose to nearly 25 percent. The EEOC recovered $70 million for victims of sexual harassment in fiscal year 2018 alone, pointing to persistent sexual harassment in the workplace that many suffer. If you are a victim of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, at your Iowa workplace, contact the Des Moines sexual harassment law offices of Marc Humphrey for help at 515-331-3510.