Medscape survey on inappropriate behaviour among doctors

  • Date: 07 April 2022

A SURVEY of UK doctors has found that around 40 per cent have witnessed or experienced bullying by other doctors within the last five years.

The Medscape UK doctors misbehaving report 2022 also found that 14 per cent of doctors had witnessed or experienced sexism, and that inappropriate behaviours are more likely to occur within a hospital setting than in general practice (51 per cent vs 33 per cent).

Only 18 per cent of respondents reported that doctors displaying inappropriate behaviour in public were disciplined by their workplace or medical organisation, and 33 per cent doctors said they did “not take any action”.

The survey of 1,266 UK doctors also found that nearly half of respondents (43 per cent) feel society’s expectations of their behaviour are too high. Overall, younger doctors are more likely to think this – around twice as many under-45’s as 45 and overs (60 per cent vs 36 per cent).

Around 30 per cent of respondents reported seeing inappropriate behaviours on social media in the last five years, including comments (72 per cent) or pictures of themselves or sexually suggestive material.

Respondents also reported doctors posting inappropriate comments about patients (21 per cent) and inappropriate pictures of patients (9 per cent). These included inappropriate selfies (5 per cent) in medical situations, such as during a consultation, in an operating theatre or a morgue.

Most (88 per cent) did report taking patient confidentiality and privacy laws seriously.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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