For decades, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons turned a blind eye to the entrenched culture of bullying among male surgeons. They have finally opened their eyes.
However, surgeons do not leave their bullying behaviour in the operating theatre. Many bully other healthcare workers and patients. Some take their bullying behaviour home.
Historically, medicine has operated on a hierarchical structure with surgeons positioned at the top of the pecking order. They call the shots. Changing this toxic culture requires structural change. Simply bringing females into the surgical boys’ club will not change this culture.
First published as a letter in The Age on 2 December 2015