Using data from a 2016 survey of over 21,000 internal medicine residents, a new JAMA study examines bullying in residency programs.
Nearly 14% of respondents said they’d been bullied by a colleague in a position of greater power at some point in their training.
“The bullying estimates in this study most likely represent an underestimate of mistreatment because less consequential hassling or microaggressions by superiors and harassment by those of equal or less power would not have been counted,” the study’s authors wrote.
Of those who reported being bullied, 31% sought help. Trainees also noted the types of harassment they experienced and how the bullying affected them.
Most common forms of bullying
|Type of harassment||Percentage of bullied residents affected|
The two most common ways bullying affected residents include burnout and worsened performance, according to the study.
Consequences of bullying
|Consequence||Percentage of bullied residents affected|
|Feeling burned out||57%|
|Change in weight||15%|
Residents whose native language isn’t English, international medical graduates and those with lower scores on a widely used internal medicine self-assessment exam were more likely to report experiencing bullying. Nearly equal numbers of male and female residents said they’d been bullied during training.