Surgeons getting training on bullying, sexual harassment

by L&D21 Jul 2016
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has acknowledged that bullying is a real issue for their profession.

Consequently, they have launched mandatory education on discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment for all fellows, trainees and international medical graduates.

This is one of the main commitments of the RACS 2015 Action Plan: Building Respect, Improving Patient Safety.

The plan predominately focuses on culture and leadership; improving surgical education; and strengthening complaints management.

This campaign is a crucial part of their promise to deal effectively with bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment in Australia and New Zealand.

The training involves an e-learning module developed "for surgeons, by surgeons". It is designed to help them identify discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment, and give them the knowledge and skills to deal with it effectively.

The e-learning module is built into the RACS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, and all RACS Council members have already completed it.

RACS President, Philip Truskett said training surgeons and maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand is “at the heart of all our work”.

“This training will help give surgeons the skills and knowledge they need to operate with respect,” said Truskett.

“We want all of our fellows, trainees and international medical graduates to do the 45 minute e-learning module as soon as they can.

“There is a clear link between respectful behaviour in operating theatres and improved patient outcomes. This training shows surgeons how their behaviour affects patient safety and what they can do to build a culture of respect.”

The training forms part of the RACS ‘Let’s Operate With Respect’ campaign, which is a "call to action" for the 7,000 surgeons and 1,300 trainees and international medical graduates in Australia and New Zealand.

Since it was launched in May 2016, there has been widespread support for the campaign.

It aims to get surgeons discussing these issues and supporting cultural change across the profession.