Consultants as victims of bullying and undermining: a survey of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists consultant experiences

Tariq Shabazz, William Parry-Smith, Sharon Oates, Steven John Henderson, Joanna Mountfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ABSTRACT Objective: To explore incidents of bullying and undermining among obstetrics and gynaecology (OG) consultants in the UK, to add another dimension to previous research and assist in providing a more holistic understanding of the problem in medicine. Design: Questionnaire survey. Setting: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). Participants: OG consultant members/fellows of the RCOG working in the UK. Main outcome measures: Measures included a typology of 4 bullying and undermining consequences from major to coping. Results: There was a 28664) response rate of whom 44229) responded that they had been persistently bullied or undermined. Victims responded that bullying and undermining is carried out by those senior or at least close in the hierarchy. Of the 278 consultants who answered the question on ?frequency of occurrence?, 50 or more, of all encounters with perpetrators and two-thirds reported that it had lasted more than 3 years. The reported impact on professional and personal life spans a wide spectrum from suicidal ideation, depression and sleep disturbance, and a loss of confidence. Over half reported problems that could compromise patient care. When victims were asked if the problem was being addressed, 73 Significant numbers of consultants in OG in the UK are victims of bullying and undermining behaviour that puts their own health and patient care at risk. New interventions to tackle the problem, rather than its consequences, are required urgently, together with greater commitment to supporting such interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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