Handling Sexual Harassment as a Medical Student

sexual harassment as a medical student

Changing dressings on diabetic ulcers is not particularly pleasant. The oozing, the meticulousness of laying down protective layers, and the smell make the task less than ideal for even the strongest stomach. There I was as a 3rd year medical student, working with the resident team for well over an hour assembling the dressings on the patient’s legs to apply a wound vac. To make matters even worse and more uncomfortable, the patient continued to make sexual remarks about me. I kept quiet and finished the job with the rest of the team. In fact, even when we were done, no one mentioned the inappropriateness of the patient. It just went unsaid that this is something that is encountered frequently, and I continued to see the same patient on daily rounds.

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Unwanted Sexual Attention From Patients

By The Short Coat Podcast

Do med students get training on how to deal with sexual attention from patients?

Listener Zipadee Doodah (not her actual name) was the victim of unwanted sexual attention from a patient.  Because her employer didn’t have a policy in place to deal with it, she fought for one.  But she wonders, what sort of training do medical students get on dealing with unwanted advances from patients?  Kaci McCleary, Erik Kneller, Eric Schnieders, and newbie co-host Cheryl Wang offer their perspectives. Plus we consider a clever approach from a restaurateur who was surprised to learn that her efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive place of business nevertheless masked a simmering harassment problem.  How she and her crew dealt with it might be a model for medicine.

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Challenges Remain for Female Medical Students

female medical students

It might actually come as a surprise to many would-be medical students that gender is an issue that still affects those who are training for a career as a doctor. After all, there are more women in medicine than ever before–and certain areas of practice have become largely female-dominated. Despite this, however, gender attitudes can color nearly every aspect of medical education.
Women in Medicine: Close to Parity – at Least In Numbers
Statistically, if you just look at the numbers, the participation of women in medicine has indeed come a long way. According to the AAMC, as of 2013, of the 20,055 students who were accepted into medical schools across the country, the split between men and women was almost evenly divided: 53% male and 47% female. It is important to look at these stats in terms of their historical context in order to truly appreciate them.

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