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Re: bullying in medical school


but i dont need to talk to someone about it. i called up lifeline when I had cancer and they were pretty useless, i doubt they would have any legal connections.

like most people i just want the bullying to stop.

Re: bullying in medical school

it is quite strange that this site doesnt have any information regarding taking lkegal action against bullying


its nice to takl and give and get support, but the bullying needs to stop


Re: bullying in medical school

Hi me2, I'm sorry to hear about your awful experience with bullying at your university. I'm really glad to hear you want to take it further and put a stop to this despicable behaviour.


Reach Out does have some information on Bullying and the Law, however we are not lawyers and cannot offer specific legal advice. Your university has an obligation to provide education free of harrassment and they should be taking your complaint seriously. If you feel their response is less than satisfactory, you can lodge a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission. For more information on how to go about this, please click here.


It sounds like you have plenty of evidence, having submitted previous complaints plus the recent incidence of cyber-bullying, and you deserve justice so you can get on with your degree.


Re: bullying in medical school

thanks Smiley Happy

Re: bullying in medical school

Hey me2 - the factsheets do actually tell you about how to lodge a complaint with the Human Rights Commission...


Here are some other tips about what you can do:

I'm being bullied – what can I do?

  • checking your workplace/university/hospital's policy on bullying and harassment
  • writing down what happens so you've got records of the bullying
  • talking to people you trust – whether it’s a friend, counsellor, or other support person
  • talking to the bully about their behaviour, if you feel safe doing this
  • telling a manager or supervisor
  • taking it further: if you can't resolve the issue in your workplace, you can talk to the Australian Human Rights Commission, a union rep, or if the bullying is violent or threatening, the police
  • Good luck and keep reaching out

Online Community Manager

Re: bullying in medical school

What the hell doctors as bullies don't these people have to have some form of compassion to become doctors. Christ I wonder what they will get up to with a scapel in their hands. 


Re: bullying in medical school


I am so sorry to hear this! That is awful!
I am a naturopath, and I must say, that as practitioners, we do come across some very condescending and bullying GPs working in the area of health.. so unfortunate!!

Can you address them on a one-on-one basis?
Write them emails? Are they truly aware of how they are effecting you? Maybe they don't think what they're doing is that bad?

Re: bullying in medical school

Hi me2, 


I am so sorry to hear about that and I hope that it gets better!


I completely feel for you right now because this also happens when you study a science degree where students are doing it to get into medicine!


It is fairly common for medical students to bully others as they compete against each other for future jobs and placements once they graduate. Although, this is no excuse to act towards someone horribly. With that character build, most patients would probably prefer to stay away from them anyway. 


The fact that they're mature age students who are doing this to you is ridiculous and atrocious.  But then again, age does not equal maturity and vice versa. 


There are some strategies that you could implement to make medical school a safer and friendlier environment for yourself and also to ease away from bullying.Talking to a higher authority figure (like a supervisor, manager or co-ordinator), a counsellor or student services may help. Developing and improving coping skills and social skills could also supportive of your situation. In regards to legal actions, you can place a report filing their actions as harassment in the workplace. All  hospitals have an OH&S Department where you can lodge reports of harassment and abuse. Although, in some reports, they may require you to provide evidence (e.g. recorded dates, times & places where the bullying has taken occurred) before they begin an investigation. You can also lodge a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission. 


If you address them one-on-one, it may be best to talk to them separately rather than as a group. As a group, they are more likely to conform to each other's opinions and attitudes. If you talk to them separately, they are defenceless because they won't have anyone else to protect them - they'll have to stand on their own. 


With your personal medical records, if they are viewing them for their personal benefits and not for any genuine medical  or academic purposes, you can classify that as harassment and it is a violation of privacy and confidentiality. As for the blogs and online posts, they should be aware that everything that you post online stays there forever. It can be easily retrieved and when future employers find them, they will be in serious trouble. If you choose to use the blog posts and online posts as evidence, keep the urls of them (including cached pages) and screenshots as evidence. You would have to keep it up-to-date as they may change over time (e.g. adding to the posts) or even taking them down. 


Hope this helps


Stay excellent

Re: bullying in medical school

You are not alone! I have been bullied by my fellow students and my consultants as well. In a roundabout way I was called fat by a psychiatry consultant. My fellow students went so far as to set up a Facebook account in my name and posted pictures of me, ridiculing the way I look. There is no recourse. If you report them you look weak, and it requires a good portion of your very limited time to do so. The consultant will get a little slap on the hand, the students might have a bit of a scolding, and then they continue on their way to residency without a second thought.

Where does this leave us? Wounded, frustrated and wondering why we are in medicine in the first place.

Personally, I ended up taking a leave of absence for a month from my third year. I started going to hot yoga and counseling. The yoga helps me to shed some pounds and find some peace. I sometimes feel that if i can make it thru this 105 degree F heat for 90 minutes, then the bullying is insignificant. Smiley Happy The counseling helps to develop coping strategies that I need...let's face it....these people have been there from grade school and will still be there in the geriatric homes lol. Smiley Happy So, while I am learning these skills/tools a little later in life, at least I am learning them.

As for the bullies? I find solace in knowing that I am trying to be as compassionate a person I can be. Eventually, perhaps many years from now, karma will catch em and bite em in the bum. Or something along those lines.

Please know you are supported, are not alone, and that we know people have the capacity to be so heinous. One of the things I struggled with was people's disbelief that these students -those who appeared to be so nice, smart, funny, congenial, ect- were actually very spiteful and cruel....Were the students really doing this? Are you just paranoid? But they seem so nice! That isn't behavior that educated adults would do...Facebook bullying is for children or teens.....The individuals I confided in about my fellow student's behavior were resistant to the idea that adults would do this. Sadly, most responded with something similar to: "Welcome to the way the world works" or "Life isn't fair now is it?".

In my opinion, med schools aren't going to be able to control the bullying, whether it comes from other students, residents or consultants. I offer my support if you need to talk. Please do not feel alone because you certainly are not. May many winds of peace head your way, friend. Smiley Happy
-US med student

Re: bullying in medical school

@medstudent wrote:
I sometimes feel that if i can make it thru this 105 degree F heat for 90 minutes, then the bullying is insignificant. Smiley Happy

Hey welcome @medstudent ! I really liked this line. I think having perspective is important and it looks like you've got it in droves…!