“Our incoming class at my medical school was just told by our Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs on our first day of orientation that he was there to crush our souls. His idea of welcome to medical school.”
Daily I receive messages from medical students like this one. I told this student to record all future lectures and to instruct classmates to do the same. Please contact Dr. Wible here to submit your recordings (your identity will be protected). Then a physician sent me a video of a junior doctor who did, in fact, record her abuse. Then she posted it online. To eradicate the culture of bullying and abuse in medicine, all medical students, residents, and physicians must begin recording the evidence. Then post your recordings online. Like Yumna.
Hi. My name is Yumna Moosa. I want to tell you why I don’t want to be a doctor anymore. Last year I worked under a man who sexually harassed me. It wasn’t only me. It wasn’t aways sexual. It was open and it was every day. Humiliating and degrading lower-ranking doctors is a big part of medical education. So he is an award-winning teacher.
I had to say something.
I had my phone with me while the hospital management explained that actually there was nothing wrong with my supervisor’s behavior. First, the racism.
Supervisor #1: “Are you defining yourself as Coloured? By race?”
Yumna: “Well, it’s tricky for me.”
Supervisor#1: “Pick one.”
Yumna: “I don’t want to.”
Supervisor#1: “No you’re saying that this is a racist problem so you must pick a race and then we work from there. . . In the last two years, as far as I can see, there’ve been 16 Whites, 43 Indians, 33 Blacks and 10 Coloureds, of which this one, I’m going to classify you as Coloured whether you like it or not. In this diverse group of people BEEP is in your group, he must have experienced the same process because he’s part of, he’s a Coloured and he is in the department of BLEEP.”
Yumna: “An example of something I mean is to say to a particular Black person, ‘You’re being stupid like a Black person.’ So it’s not to all the Black people, it’s to that person, but it is referring to their race in the insult. And that has happened.”
Supervisor #1: “Okay, so that’s individualizing.”
Supervisor #2: “It’s not racism then. Racism is against a particular race. If I’m racist I will be racist against every White man in the room.”
Yumna: “Otherwise it is not racism?”
Supervisor #1: “It’s not racism. No.”
Supervisor #2: “It’s individualizing. Or say let’s use sexual harassment. Because sexual harassment the definition is something that you personally feel uncomfortable with. So if he makes the remark and I’m comfortable with that remark, then it’s not sexism.”
Supervisor #1: “Friendly banter.”
Yumna: “But does it have to make every woman that has ever spoken to him uncomfortable?”
Supervisor #1: “Yes. That’s the definition of sexism.”
Yumna: “If a single woman doesn’t mind being told that women are stupid and irrational and incompetent, then it is not sexisim?”
Supervisor #1: “Then it’s not sexism. No.”
An essential skill for doctors is speaking with absolute authority. But saying that we did take that nonsense seriously, how do you count how many people are uncomfortable?
Yumna: “The first time I came to you to speak about Dr. BLEEP, one of the things you said to me was that I wasn’t the first person who complained. What was that?”
Head of Department: “That was what I heard from a previous consultant.”
Head of Department: “But that’s, you know, there’s no, there was no formal hearing or anything about that, you know, so . . .”
Yumna: “Okay so if it’s not formal, then it didn’t happen.”
Head of Department: “No, It didn’t happen if there was no formal hearing.”
Yumna: “Sure, um . . .”
Since then I’ve found five junior doctors who have submitted written complaints about the behavior of seniors at this hospital. Silence will not save us. Please submit your recordings. In one case as part of a large group. Nevermind verbal complaints. But these cries for help never became formal. Strange? Here’s why.
[In this recording the head of another department who recently qualified in medical mediation with the University of Cape Town was brought in as a neutral third party.]
Physician mediator: “You know you never when you’re young want to do something that’s going to impact upon you for the next fifteen or twenty years. It will. This will. You’ll never get another job! When I say, ‘Never get another job,’ you’re unlikely once this gets out, this is what you, this is your conduct.”
Yumna: “But, Dr. BLEEP my conduct is explaining that I felt uncomfortable with the behavior of my senior.”
Physician mediator: “You’re welcome to. You’re welcome to. But what I’m trying to get across to you: you’re one out of 360. If 359 have agreed with it you’re stok, steen, aleen [ Afrikaans: stok, steen, aleen = English stick, stone, alone = completely alone] and the departments, no department wants a person who is the loner. So if everybody is happy with a certain setup, we all drink beer at lunch time and you wanna come say, ‘I don’t drink beer’ then ‘No. Fuck off. This department drinks beer at lunch time. We don’t want you.’ You know, whatever the decision, whatever the processes are, if you want to be the loner, people will not want you in the department.”
Yumna: “It’s confusing because a lot of these things that happen are problematic. It is problematic.”
Physician meditator: “Only to you.”
Yumna: “The fact that there’s a workplace that is sexist is problematic.”
Physician mediator: “Only to you. Only to you.”
Yumna: “That’s not true, Dr. BLEEP, it’s not.”
Physician mediator: “Yumna. I’m an old man in this game. Only to you under these, this circumstance. And nobody is 100% happy at work. I’ve been in this game a long time. I’m telling you, grow up.”
Physician mediator: “Act like a doctor and you’ll be treated like one. Act like you’re a little spoiled brat and you’ll be treated like one. Grow up. My advice to you.”
Yumna: “I appreciate the conversation.”
[Yumna shows him her Medical Internship Logbook that contains feedback about harassment.]
Physician mediator: “Chuck that book away. Stand up and say, ‘An Act of God has occurred’ and God works in mysterious and wonderful ways and that your book has been lost. You’re applying for a new one and having thought about it and that you had a long chat and you realize that maybe what you said was inappropriate. Whether you do or whether you don’t, it’s not my problem.”
Yumna: “You just think that’s the main solution.”
Physician mediator: “Well I’m telling you it’s the solution.”
The book contains the only full record of my two years of supervised medical work as an intern. I didn’t throw it away. And then I heard that I couldn’t continue with my career. The head of the department wrote that after two years of notoriously grueling work as a doctor in South African hospitals I still have worse clinical skills than a university student and need to be retrained because I’m unsafe.
Head of department: “The reason why she’s not been signed off is regards some serious clinical performances and mismanagement of patients. As HOD of the department I cannot sign off an intern who I feel whose training has not been sufficient for her to learn the basic principles.”
In order to assist my career they were deliberately sabotaging it so I would learn a lesson about what it means to be a good doctor and more importantly so would my colleagues. Very long story short the Health Professionals Council of South Africa overturned the HOD’s decision. They finally said I’m allowed to work as a doctor. Why am I posting this video about how I don’t want to?
I’m doing this publicly because I want attention. Every day other junior doctors in South Africa and around the world are subject to the same kind of institutional coercion that I was. STOP PUTTING UP WITH THIS.
As a former doctor I have nothing left to lose. I can take some risks and hopefully show how the law will provide support. Meanwhile those with influence must deal with the systemic culture of abuse in medicine. It is tricky. One sympathetic health official is now considering removing the feedback section from internship logbooks so other junior doctors can’t get themselves into trouble by complaining.
Contact Dr. Wible if you’ve suffered abuse. Your identity will be protected.
It comes up over and over again. The harms I’ve suffered are my own fault. I brought them upon myself by not just keeping my head down. Medicine is a military hierarchy. Juniors are constantly told this is what your seniors went through and we must just do our time and get it over with. Some think this “just obey orders approach” is the best way to deal with emergencies or an overwhelming war against poverty and disease.
Silence will not save us. Please share your story.
Me? I genuinely believe in the healing power of kindness and mutual respect and the importance of honest communication for avoiding deadly mistakes or learning from them. I’m a young educated person who is committed to making a contribution to my society so I am doing everything I can to prevent anyone else having my experience and I am looking elsewhere for my true calling.
Yumna Moosa is currently a research fellow preparing to register for a PhD in bioinformatics. Two of the senior doctors are facing charges of professional misconduct for what they did to her.
What YOU can do NOW
- View movie trailer & pledge your support the documentary Do No Harm.
- Record abuse & send files to Dr. Wible. (Your identity will be protected).
Want to heal? Attend our retreat!
Here’s what happens if we don’t address the culture of abuse in medicine:
Pamela Wible, M.D., is a family physician who has dedicated her career to eradicating bullying and abuse from medical education and to preventing medical student/physician suicide. Contact Dr. Wible.
Per Dr. Tom Horiagon: All but 11 of the states have “one party consent” laws that apply to recording conversations. In a one party consent state, it is perfectly legal for someone to record a conversation that are engaged in. The exceptions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington, which are all two-party consent states.
I remember my residency at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago well. This was 1987-1990. Constant verbal (and many other kinds of) abuse. I remember on one occasion our residency director Dr. Currie called in all residents in my year and informed us that we are all “worthless pieces of shit”. Very colleageal, don’t you think? This is what residency is like. Probably in most places. As a medical student I worked in several places, and it was all about the same. We were slaves, and the attendings, and especially residency officials, appeared to enjoy abusing us. So now I work in my private practice and won’t set foot in teaching hospitals. They bring up very uncomfortable memories. We are supposed to help people in need. Yet, we were trained not to feel, brainwashed to become wheels in this industrial medicine machine. Yes, people, record this stuff! I tried to sue after I finished my residency for abuse and battery, but no lawyer would take the case. Maybe the court of public opinion will work better in the current generation.
Terrible. Yet so common. The court of public opinion will weigh in our favor. We can’t wait for the fox guarding the henhouse to be nice to the hens. I encourage everyone to speak up. Patients are the recipients of trickle-down abuse from these absurd fear-driven teaching methods. Unreal. This is 2016. Still happening.
I am interested in this issue. How to call you?
Am writing a web site about hospital-choice and medical money. Virginia has tax-credits for doctors, dentists, and lawyers who help indigent people: Why not the I.R.S.? Unfortunately Virginia also has nonprofit hospitals which sometimes pay millions to administrators who sue indigent minority patients.
Schedule a strategy session any time you like via my website.
“Two of the senior doctors are facing charges of professional misconduct for what they did to her.” And well they should. Any manner of punishment would not be enough for the head of department and the mediator. I hope they get what they deserve.
Time to speak up folks. These tactics will not stop without public outrage and professional resistance. I call on everyone to stop being victims (to continue the cycle of abuse victims must at some point agree to the victimization). Stand up for your human rights. Remove all perpetrators from teaching positions. These individuals need mental health care and remediation in proper teaching methods for the 21st century.
I’m a US IMG (white Dude) and I have had MULTIPLE types of abuse heaped on me in my Mexican Medical School, in Clerkship rotations here in the States, in a Rotating Externship (Fifth Pathway) and then dealt with Double-Standards in Residency. The Dean of the Med School was like Elliott Arkin in “Bad Medicine.” My Pakistani Podiatrist Supervisor in the Midwest was a MAJOR PITA as were some others in that Hospital. Fifth Pathway cost Ten Grand plus living expenses in New York. The Boss’ Secretary even Lied about the starting date because she was too Lazy to give me info on housing and health insurance (OH-don’t Worry, we start in Late July!) BULL. It was Early July, along with the Residencies. And we got scutted, and had to take a tough OB Test against folks from other institutions who were on call every Fifth Night (we were shlepping from being on call every Third) and the Other places had the info Spoon Fed to them. I passed on the third try. In Residency the pecking order was: Allopathic Doctors on Top, Osteopathic in the Middle, and IMG the Child Molesters of the Prison. I had a Resident over me who thought being a Bitch was Funny. She would say “I’ll let you sleep while I do the Midnight to 6AM admissions.” Sounds NICE-Right?? But if there was a transfer between floors and I didn’t tell her about it, she’d Rat me out for being Disorganized. Also, in Our institution, most of the admitting “Action” was from 4-10PM, and she would only do ICU admits during that timeframe-she didn’t care if she dumped a Dozen admissions on me. The Program Director played Favorites and Politics.
OMG. Horrible. Please speak up. We all must unite to stop this abuse. Everyone is at risk. And the people who perpetuate this abuse need serious mental health care. This is a cycle that will continue from generation to generation unless we stand up and stop it. Now. Thank you all for sharing your stories. This is 100% unacceptable behavior in any professional. Especially health care.
Parts of my training remind me of “Full Metal Jacket” and “The Junction Boys” (the latter about Bear Bryant torturing his players in the Texas Heat to see what they were Made of.) In one hospital I got cussed at and threatened with Termination because the Big Boss saw me leave at 5PM the night before Thanksgiving (never mind that their Favorites had snuck out hours earlier.)
” YOU act like a RETARD-or a little Kid! The Boss thinks you’re hear until 8PM every night! OK-everyone stay until 8PM from now on!” (This didn’t happen-but it was the Jelly Donut moment from FMJ.”
Doctors are very abusive to patients and others who they assume or profile condition and situation, i have personal stories ready and available. For interns and brown nosing members of a team lead by rules and medical corruption. Legally monitored, and censored data to reflect medical and financial blame on the odd man out, or the weakest link. I get the program. On the outside looking in. I have been inside looking out. Do not let bully`s keep you from treating people. We need interns and i believe in practicing and treating to the best of your knowledge. I would highly commend people open eyes to a new way of health care. Already we are not being treated by MD. They are sending us to assistants, and billing the same as MD. They are not cleaver to think time of truth is all about to blow up, Welcome to social media. Medical cartel is the worst issue on the planet. So if you want to safe a degree, or a life. You may want to open up and explain who and why you follow such a practice. The truth shall set you free. Whistle blowers blow. Help fix and change the medical history of the past century. Time for the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundation to put their charity to benefit the people the profited from.Rockefeller is not going to get off on winning a game of power no more. Names need justice. Power is ours. please practice treating the needy not the greedy.
Yes Tina!!! Physicians must stand up and do the right thing for themselves and for their patients. We are all victims in the cycle of abuse and doctors must take the first step to stop the institutional abuse. For the good of all.
Funny how many years ago, doctors were not treated the way blue collar workers were treated, but ever since the rise of HMOs, now they know how blue collar workers were treated with disdain and contempt by white collar people especially high ranking managers. Maybe now, these white collar professionals will start supporting efforts for unionizations and workers’ rights. A high paying white collar job doesn’t protect a person from being treated like a slave anymore especially in the last 36 years.
We are all in this together. Truly.
“Medicine is a military hierarchy. Juniors are constantly told this is what your seniors went through and we must just do our time and get it over with”
Sounds like the old phrase, I had to eat you know what, now it is your turn to eat you know what.
The actual military is far more professional. It isn’t perfect, but no one in the military has the level of autonomy that senior doctors have. Every single military person can be fired. Commanding officers, who sometimes think they are god, are routinely fired for mistreating their subordinates. Military subordinates have multiple avenues of redress. Junior doctors having nothing.
Congratulations for sharing your story and persevering to get some justice. Hopefully it will give other young doctors the courage to protest this kind of harassment and abuse.
I am curious Pam as to why you never respond to physicians having problems with the Oregon Medical Board (OMB)? You don’t return phone calls or emails to these individuals. I have never seen nor heard of you speaking out against the OMB even though they are destroying patients, physicians and their families on a routine basis. You only seem “concerned” after those effected off themselves. Is it that you are afraid of the OMB, OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University)and the rest of the criminal allopathic medical establishment? Do you have any knowledge about the HCQIA of 1986 and how that is used to destroy physicians? What I really want to know is: do you really care?
Personally, it seems to me that you are more concerned about your notoriety and being on TED, as opposed to getting into the trenches and helping physicians and patients from total destruction.
I encourage you and your readers to go to the two websites below that document the destruction done to docs by the OMB and how the OMB criminally and unconstitutionally destroys docs and other healthcare professionals. Both of these docs, along with others, have been to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but because of the HCQIA of 1986 all healthcare peer review groups have absolute immunity for any of their criminal behaviors. Pam, I encourage you to get much more deeply involved instead of just documenting more physician suicides. At the point of suicide it is too late.
Dr. Wible, you or your readers are free to contact me at 971-207-5738.
Of note, Assistant Attorney General Warren Foote, who is “legal advisor” for ALL Oregon healthcare boards, is the biggest criminal in this state regarding healthcare board abuses as you will see at the above websites. He is involved with witness tampering, ex parte meetings with ALJs (Administrative Law Judge), intimidation, withholding of evidence, etc., etc. etc. Hearings are a sham and mean nothing. These hearings are nothing but a façade of justice – the healthcare boards in Oregon are able to make any decision they like regarding a licensee regardless of what the ALJ at your hearing says. Just look at the two above websites that document this in detail. Kathleen Haley is the big criminal at the OMB along with the Medical Director Dr. Thaler. Again, all documented at these two websites.
I have dozens of other examples of healthcare provider abuse by Warren Foote and their respective healthcare board if anyone is interested. I have also been in correspondence with a woman for over two months now who is seeking political asylum because of medical blacklisting criminally perpetrated by the OMB, OHSU, Peace Health and numerous physicians. I have seen this woman’s documentation and it is horrific what is being done to her. More details of this in a couple of weeks when she will most likely be granted political asylum
Eric Dover, MD, CTTH
PS: If any healthcare provider in the US is looking for a means to practice legally without a state license please feel free to contact me and I will explain. Note my CTTH designation (Certified Traditional Tribal Healer). I am now free to practice medicine as I like, not as a bunch of bought, sold and brainwashed allopathic docs, their authoritarian bureaucrats and the medical establishment/industry dictate to me.
I return all calls and emails from doctors, medical students, and my patients. I have dedicated the last 4 years of my life to this. I have spoken to the OMB numerous times. I have lectured at OHSU. I am available for all in medicine who need my assistance. Granted I am one person with no staff so I do my best. In fact, I am calling you now.
Addendum: Well you didn’t answer your phone Eric. Tag. You’re it. I sense a lot of anger in your email. No idea why it’s directed toward me.
P.S. Interestingly when a position opened up on the OMB I contacted them to potentially apply for it just to help docs. They never returned my call either. I’m on it babe!
In my senior year of medical school, I made several diagnoses that the chief resident did not make, and when I was proven right, he failed me and made me take the rotation over again. In one case, a patient I had diagnosed as having (probably aspiration) pneumonia coughed up a Piece of Lung overnight. I got it into a sample tube and hand carried it to the lab with an order for path. When it came back “Lung tissue, showing staph pneumonia” the chief resident threw the result away, saying “I didn’t order this.” And ignored this patient’s condition, treating this elderly man with lasix for CHF. All because the guy didn’t pop a fever. Old guys sometimes don’t. And yes he probably had CHF, by the time we were done with him. One of the patients had three iatrogenic diseases caused by this inept resident in one hospitalization(pneumonitis from fluid overload, over-sedation with somnolence from excess valium for 48 hours during which he told the family she would die, and C-difficile from treating the fluid overload with two broad spectrum antibiotics). When the family said they wanted to move the patient I concurred. Meanwhile, this chief resident was harassing me in a number of ways; having races up multiple flights of stairs, assigning me to get the notes done by 5 AM, and so on. Later it turned out he was an addict; to those people the best defense is a good offense.
Verbal abuse and sexual harassment were rampant in medical school. Like most of my peers, I was very hard working, somewhat perfectionistic, and very idealistic when I entered medical school.
During my medical training I was repeatedly criticized for responding to patients in distress, told I should have been a social worker (which I took as a compliment, although it was intended as an insult), and several times told I should “drop out of medicine and become a teacher, because that’s a good profession for women.”
The chair of Ob-Gyn at the public hospital, Dr. J.J. Smith, repeatedly harassed and downgraded anyone who was: female, of color, spoke Spanish, was LGBTQ, etc. In other words, if you weren’t an “American enough” white male. I had made a complaint to Dr. Smith when I couldn’t get help for a 14 yr old girl in labor who was terrified and screaming for help. I as a second year medical student didn’t have the training, nor the authority, to help her. The intern was not available and the residents refused repeatedly to come and help, just laughing and continuing to banter with each other.
Because I complained, I was flunked on the final exam. Each page was graded by a different professor, and students were anonymously coded to prevent prejudice. Dr. Smith had clearly erased the A’s and B’s at the tops of the pages and put in “D’s and F’s” instead. I complained to the Dean, who sighed and made him give me a “make-up exam,” to be taken in the one room Ob-Gyn library. This chair’s own secretary told me the exam was harder than the ones he gave the residents, that she thought it was terribly unfair for a medical student. She encouraged me to use the reference books in the library if I needed them to answer the questions! I knew many other students complained about this horrid man, who also treated the patients very disrespectfully, yanking off the sheets, and asking them, “Do you suck?” At my med school graduation he was given an award for “excellence” by my school… As far as I know, he was never sanctioned.
At a different residency program, after a positive pregnancy test during my internship physical, I was told my prestigious institution “had never had a pregnant intern, and didn’t intend to start with me.” I was strongly pressured to get an unwanted abortion. During my first trimester of pregnancy, I was assigned to a kidney transplant unit where TORCH viruses abound. When the head RN heard I was pregnant, she said she’d never allow a pregnant RN to work there, and that I needed to speak with my chief resident about being moved to another unit. She said, “And if he gives you any guff, you send him to me!” This was typical of the kindness I frequently received from the nursing staff, in sharp contrast to the frequent abuse on the wards from our attendings. The RN’s also urged me to sleep any time I had a few minutes, and told me they’d call me if I was needed, as I was chronically exhausted.
I was worked over 120 hours/week while pregnant, and when I started spotting, was told there was nothing to be done, “If you’re going to lose it, you’ll lose it [the pregnancy]. Being ignorant, I didn’t realize I should have been on bed rest, or at least less call. I didn’t want others to have extra work because of me, so I didn’t ask for help except for a single night when I was so exhausted after about 10 admissions that I called my Chief Resident for help. Luckily he was a really nice and supportive person and did the admission for me.
I did have a few wonderful and supportive attendings who taught me a lot, and who led by example, as well as an empathic chief resident. I am truly grateful that they were there to counteract the poisonous behaviors of some of their peers, and they helped me to maintain my faith in medicine as a healing profession, at least potentially.
Thank you SO much for opening up this topic. Being a somewhat progressive school (really, I’m not being sarcastic), my school screened the entire class for depression. Over 50% of the students met criteria. I personally intervened with several students who were feeling suicidal and tried to get them some help and therapy. This is a national problem and a national emergency that needs to be addressed.
Please help us by supporting the upcoming documentary that will expose these bullies to the world. Thank you for revealing the truth. It’s time. http://www.donoharmfilm.com
I’m very concerned by your story.
Please keep me posted.
Wow, nobody know’s how it is for Med Student’s, Doctor’s, and those who are learning, and trying to help in the healing profession. I empathize, and now I understand why my niece recently dropped out of medical school. She’s a sweetheart of a person, and this would have just Killed her, so in a way I am thankful, but so disheartened. I will help promote the documentary on this subject, and do what I can to spread the awareness. Most of us patient’s really don’t know what Doctor’s go through, and when we are out here suffering due to the recent cut’s on pain medication’s, and such it’s easy to think they just don’t care. I hear that often, but it’s not that simple, I know. Thanks Pamela for being the bright light you are, and for all you Healer’s for telling it like it is. This is a start, and hopefully a broadcast station will pick up on your stories, and air them. I think the public at large has a right to know also. It affect’s everyone to some degree. Keep up the faith, and I do believe change is coming!!
Thank you Sanday! We do care! We have all be victimized by similar forces. Docs and patients are allies here. And yes!! Change is coming!!! Media glass ceiling breakthrough any day now and the film will mobilize a lot of great action. 🙂
One of the problems here is the ACGME. They don’t have any authority to audit on behalf of an individual. Also, the programs control what gets sent to the ACGME. The coordinators and directors can change the percentages and answers as well as comments on summative evaluations. Until evaluations are entirely electronic (which happens in some places) and the ACGME surveys don’t pass through the hands of faculty and coordinators, the programs can fudge. That being said, these people complain to the wrong place. They have to complain to the ACGME. If the complaints pile up, then things will change. It may not help the immediate situation, but it is the only way things change. I implore people even if they are done and through, to complain and tell the ACGME what happened. Even if the ACGME can’t address their individual circumstances, chronicity can be eventually be proven. Please complain through the right channels. Use whatever power you have. They can complain anonymously, but they have to speak up.
Was this recording at a US institution? They’re speaking Afrikaans and the conversation just doesn’t seem like it could happen here.
I’m at a US MD school and have had the opposite experience. We have multiple outlets for reporting learner abuse and those complaints are taken seriously. I think it’s mostly driven by LCME demands.
This is recorded in South Africa. Abuse is in every country. Still in US med schools. I get stories like this all the time: https://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/professor-tells-med-students-kill/ (and this guy is still on the loose)
Well I still do not understand why doctors in USA can’t work after medical school graduation. In the rest of the world as soon as you graduate the school you can work as a GP, you have internship in emergency 1 year and then you could go and study (if you wished!! before) to specialty for next 4- 6 years in residency otherwise you can work as primary doctor.
Forced labor is residency programs for nearly minimum wage for 3-7+ years. Yet NPs can open outpatient clinics after a 12-month accelerated program with far less training than a physician.
When I was in my Ob/Gyn residency, there was a culture where several of the male faculty (including and most notably the chair of Gynecology) had sexual relationships with their residents. This garnered these residents with a certain amount of protection from the faculty at M&M rounds and if things went sour in the relationship or the faculty member was rejected by a resident then things were very difficult for that resident. Our M&M rounds were often Brutal public humiliation and brought many a resident to tears. If you cried at M&M rounds then it was like being chum in shark infested waters.
while residency was exceedingly difficult, I have found the burnout of private practice and the unspoken expectations for long hours, 15 minute appointments and the hassles of insurance companies and employers to be just as abusive (if just not as blatant). There is often a feeling of oppression and despair that accompanies private medical practice and induces a helplessness from raging against the system.
I have been in Ob/Gyn for over 20 years and tried multiple jobs and I am burned out at 52 and trying to figure out how quickly I can retire.
Any audio or video footage of this mistreatment? I’ll email you now.
Dear Yumna, Thank you for being so brave. I am shocked. Words escape me. I would like to send you a e-hug.
I will forward your message.
I am in awe of Yumna Moosa! So proud of you for standing up and refusing to remain silent, both on the sexual harassment and on the myriad other forms of perverse abuse done under the extortion over your ability to practice.
While yours is about harassment from senior staff, another group of us in the US is working on confronting medical boards and Physician Health Programs in their abuse of physicians coercing them into humiliating evaluations on flimsy anonymous complaints and then into forced and costly treatment (at “preferred” cash only facilities) while denying throughout their guaranteed right to due process.
I encourage all physicians to stand up – for yourself and for each other – in speaking your truth to these renegade abusive powers. It is the only way that we will regain respect and control over our careers.
As an example of hope and what CAN be done, think back 10 or 15 years ago – the problem of truly disruptive behavior (e.g. scalpel-flinging surgeons with OR tantrums) was just then coming to the fore. Many wrung their hands saying that these high-end surgeons simply couldn’t be contained, that they brought in so much $$$ and exerted so much control over the medical staff. Well, that changed. They can be confronted and they can lose their privileges and there now are some definitive policies in place to direct the protocol of behavioral correction. They work, as long as the system itself is not corrupt and buying into the abusive behavior.
It’s stances like yours that bring about change. I’m proud – and deeply appreciative – of your efforts. Clinical medicine I’m certain lost a wonderful healer. I hope your re-designed career path works well for you and that you’ll stay an assertive voice in compelling change.
And remember, you can be a healer in ways perhaps even larger than simply that of medical doctor.
Kernan Manion, MD
And I forgot to add … heartfelt appreciation to Pamela Wible MD for having the deepest courage of her convictions and dedication to the cause of physician and med student well-being. Indeed, speaking of assertiveness, you’re making a huge difference; you’ve done more to bring physician distress and the urgent need for ensuring wellness to medical and public attention than the entire collection of national associations lackadaisically bemoaning their helplessness in addressing depression and stemming the tide of physician and med student suicides.
Yumna is exceptionally courageous. It is not unusual for a medical student to take a hiatus at 3rd year to pursue a PhD before completion of medical school nor to add such a terminal degree post medical program completion. As earnestly as Yumna presents herself, my hopes for her include a door opening not only toward success for all she pursues but a consideration of addition of completion of medical studies post terminal degree in medical informatics. In any event, her tenacity – in meeting demands of her strenuous two years to her credit in such a program so shamefully mistreating her – will, assuredly, provide her a most advantageous medical perspective to future work and inspire others to speak out.
Problems Yumna shares so generously with each one of us has no exclusivity bearing on medicine. Turning to behavioral medicine contributing aspirant pool, I can attest to parallel treatment by a particular prior school chair and then continuing on in role of senior faculty member at one college in relation to a masters program completion attempted in half time who took every step he could conceive of to bar advancement of this individual — followed by a major university department chair approached for research experience. Both reiterated a point included in Yumna’s video — ‘I had to pay my dues and I’m not about to stand by and see someone invest less time (Case 1) or provide assist to anyone coming after me (Case 2). Both representatives of academia, male.
End of story? Case 1: that master’s completed in 2 semesters + one course. Case 2: (post completion of a second master’s in half time) career aspirations not deterred. Achievements: entirety of higher education taken in half time/substituting library resources for text access purchase ability (not required at that time to be kept at the institutions as On Reserve)/socio economic status beneath the national poverty line/working 15-30 hours a week during first master’s in the Office of Development & Alumni Affairs — with two early primary education children put to sleep under the desk in a shared sleeping bag/ family of origin near abandonment over seeking an education. I can attest there has been no waning of motivation. I am that individual.
May every assist find its way to you in pursuit of your most recently chosen program, Yumna. The world is so much richer because of people like yourself committed to making a difference.
Thank you a thousand times for your courage and persistence.
Such a loss for the future patients who are now deprived of the caring doctor this young woman was.
I don’t agree with you. I wish you and your supporters were Half glass full and had less anger and negativity toward your very own profession! How do you call yourself healer by being so angry toward your own profession that has given you everything you have? !
I am really concerned you are trashing the profession !
These are outrageous made up stories! or Isolated stories!
I am a doctor too.
I also teach.
Please do something positive for our profession!
Listen to the audio again Naghmeh. These are not made-up stories. Racism, sexism, threats, bullying is used to manipulate and control students in medicine. I am a glass-half-full person and I adore my profession which is why I (and others) are trying to save it from some of the psychopaths in power positions who favor intimidation as a method to control the loving, idealistic humanitarians who enter medicine just wanting to serve humanity.
I am so sad to hear that. In that case I am so proud that I was at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, mentored by excellent, kind, compassionate, professional, moral, caring, uplifting instructors, doctors, and professors. I am so happy I had a good experience all through my dental school training. Thank you Tufts.
Many Blessings to you Pamela and those suffering from the kind of treatment you are describing here.
the abuse makes doctors tougher. its a right of passage.
And they say women are cut out to be doctors… sack up, residency is suppose to be difficult. Attending doctors do not have time to care for resident feelings when they have patients who’s lives are at stake. If you can’t deal with it, pick another career.
Wow. Are you for real?
WOW, really? Mr Doe, you are so tough you forgot your name… And Mr Samur, get a clue, residency is difficult: responsibility for the lives of others, too much to do, too little time, no sleep, constantly learning new things; no need for abuse by our mentors and peers as well.
I hope that neither of you are physicians, it would be a blemish on the profession.
This has gone on for years and no one speaks because you are threatened. I have been out of residency for 30 years. I still remember being told that if I filed with the EEOC they would never give me my training certificates. 5 years of General Surgery down the toilet. Interesting thing is that I had not mentioned filing anything but they knew I had grounds.
A few years later, a female 4th year resident in GS killed herself. It was quoted in the newspaper that “if she couldn’t stand the fire, she should have left the kitchen”. What a disgusting pile of crap.
I have 2 grown daughters who, thank God, didn’t go into medicine. They had heard me talk all their lives. If I had it to do over again, I would probably go into something else. It is sad since I enjoy my job.
I personally know 3 doctors who have suicided. That is more than I care to know. When are the medical schools and hospitals going to confront and deal with this problem?
Can you please share their names and obituaries here or email me confidentially via my site: https://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/contact/
How horrific! Such bullies in healthcare deserve the worst punishment for their sins. How shameful these bullies of this field bring to the field.
My comment is a bit late, but does anyone here know if incidents of abuse can be reported to a training institution many years after the incident occurred and the ‘victim’ has already graduated from that program? Is there a time limit for reporting? And will a report be taken seriously if there is no physical evidence such as a recording?
Hi Catherine, I do believe these cases (especially when brought to the public through media attention) can lead to “me too” grassroots momentum that can create system change. I’m thinking of Hollywood elites like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby where women came forward years later with the same stories so DEFINITELY worth being a voice for the voiceless and aligning with your cohorts (whether through legal or media channels or both). Criminals can only hide in dark corners so shine a light please—for the sake of your own healing and for ALL of us. Of course, get legal counsel in your jurisdiction. If you want to share your story with me, I could de-identify you and help find others with similar experiences. Contact me here confidentially.