UMEM Educational Pearls

This disturbing study out of the UK details the prevelance of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape within the hospital environment.  

Overall it's clear that women surgeons in this study were the victims and witnesses of sexual violcence at a substantially higher rate than men.  89% on women report being witnesses of sexual harassment and 63% being the victim of it; 30% of women report being the victim of sexual assault, and 35% report being witness to it; and most concerning 0.8% of women report being raped by a colleague, with 1.9% being witness to it.

The study also asked respondents about their faith in higher organizations' (the Royal Colleges and the General Medical Council) ability to respond to these issues.  For women, the percentage of people who felt that there was an adequate response was only between 15-30 percent.

There is a huge and persistent gap between men and women both witnessing and experiencing sexual harassment and assault at work.  Everyone has a responsibility to immediately interrupt any form of sexual harassment or assault, no matter how inocuous it may seem to the perpertrator, in order to provide an environment we can all thrive in.


Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape by colleagues in the surgical workforce, and how women and men are living different realities: observational study using NHS population-derived weights Christopher T. Begeny1,* , Homa Arshad2, Tamzin Cuming3, Daljit K. Dhariwal4, Rebecca A. Fisher5, Marieta D. Franklin6, Philippa M. Jackson7, Greta M. McLachlan8, Rosalind H. Searle9 and Carrie Newlands10

BJS, 2023, 110, 1518–1526