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Medical culture ravaged by bullying tendencies

The medical field is a high-stress industry. Those who are nurses, doctors and surgeons know this all too well. They have to work long, tough hours and perform incredibly dangerous medical procedures on a routine basis. But even with all of this stress, that still doesn't give a doctor the right to bully his or her coworkers and make them feel as though they can't question anything the doctor does.

While this may sound like a personal issue that should be handled between the doctor and his or her bullied victim, it goes far deeper than that. The bullying can have a negative impact on the medical care that the parties involved provide to their patients.

A culture of bullying and suppression has left many nurses feeling as though they can't second-guess a doctor's call or decision, or even report certain errors that were made. In many cases, the doctor is on such a power trip that it would seem impossible for any nurse to know exactly how to support his or her doctor.

This culture easily lends itself to corrupting medical professionals, or at the very least emotionally-scarring lower-ranking professionals who are only trying to dot heir job and help patients. The culture of the medical industry is as much about the actual medical care that patients receive as it is about the behavior of individual medical professionals.

Bullying and other cultural phenomena in the medical industry are vastly important to the quality of care that patients receive, and something needs to be done about this apparent bullying epidemic in hospitals.

Source: Slate, "Doctors Throwing Fits," Alexandra Robbins, April 29, 2015

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