Emergency medicine (EM) residents often report workplace mistreatment, with patients and/or patients’ families a frequent source of mistreatment, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in JAMA Network Open.
Michelle D. Lall, M.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the prevalence, types, and sources of perceived workplace mistreatment during training among EM residents in the United States and assessed the correlation between mistreatment and suicidal ideation. A total of 8,162 EM residents were eligible; 94.1 percent responded to at least one question on the survey and 79.7 percent completed the 35-item survey.
The researchers found that 45.1 percent of the total participants reported exposure to some type of workplace mistreatment during the most recent academic year. Patients and/or patients’ families were identified as a frequent source of mistreatment: 58.7, 67.5, 85.2, and 69.1 percent reported gender discrimination, racial discrimination, physical abuse, and sexual harassment, respectively, from patients and/or family members. Overall, 2.5 percent of residents reported suicidal thoughts occurring during the past year, with a similar prevalence by gender (2.4 percent for both men and women) and race/ethnicity (2.4 and 2.7 percent for non-Hispanic White residents and residents from other race/ethnic groups, respectively).
“Identifying and promoting best practices to minimize workplace mistreatment during residency may help optimize the professional career experience and improve the personal and professional well-being of physicians throughout their lives,” the authors write.