A jarring new Medscape report has found that 46 percent of dermatologists have been a victim of sexual harassment over the last three years. This was the highest percentage out of the 29 specialties evaluated.
The Medscape Patients Sexually Harassing Physicians 2018 Report featured responses from over 6,200 physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and residents across the country about their workplace experiences over the last three years. Survey participants were asked about the nature of the harassment, which could fall under the following categories: “unwanted sexual text messages/emails, comments about anatomy/body parts, propositions to engage in sexual activity, being asked repeated for a date, rape, deliberate fondling of self, threats of punishment for refusal of sexual behavior, unwanted groping/hugging/physical contact,” among others.
According to the results, 27 percent of physicians say they’ve been sexually harassed by a patient, and 7 percent of respondents said they had been harassed by a clinician, medical personnel or administrator. Out of the group of residents between 28 and 34 years old, 79 percent claimed they had experienced sexual harassment. Only 10 to 13 percent of physicians in older age groups reported sexual harassment. Dermatology had the highest instance of sexual assault claims from patients, and emergency medicine came in second with 43 percent. Plastic surgery/aesthetic medicine, diabetes/endocrinology, and nephrology also had frequent claims of sexual harassment.