College Supports Medical Student Following Shocking List Of Sexist Comments Faced

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18 Apr 2019

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) have a huge focus on supporting equality in the Surgical Profession and our #LetsRemoveIt campaign, exists to tackle any issue of bullying, undermining and harassment (including sexism).

Dr Judy Evans, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Honorary Secretary of RCSEd, responded to Hannah Yard’s story, commenting: 

“I was saddened to read of Hannah’s experiences, I’m a senior female surgeon and have experienced similar comments.

In the last year, while in the surgeons coffee room, a visiting equipment rep mistook me for a nurse, and, as I was in scrubs, asked me to go in to another theatre to fetch a surgeon out to speak to him. I meekly did exactly that, but the embarrassment my simple action caused that young man was profound.

So, bad apples occur in every profession, not just in medicine.

Nurses can be upset when females are insulted to be identified with them, it demeans their profession too. The days of nursing as a subsidiary profession to the whims of Lancelot Spratt like creatures are long gone.

There are huge efforts being made to change the surgical working environment. There is a fine line to be drawn between bullying and harassment, and banter.

At the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, we are leading this change with our #LetsRemoveIt campaign aimed to eradicate bullying and sexism. We are also working closely with the “Civility Saves Lives” campaign and collaboratively with other healthcare organisations to make these changes happen. Ultimately, this is a real patient safety issue.

Support is available to Hannah, and others in her position, I hope she will contact us, rather than just give up aspirations to be a female surgeon. It’s the best ever job to have.

We really do believe we can change this, and wipe out such appalling behaviour."


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