WE can mull over the delayed promises of our reform-minded government but we cannot deny the efforts made by the Health Ministry to address all forms of bullying and abuse. And for that we say “thank you”.
Over the past few weeks, the term bullying has been better explained and explored on social media. Every fresh medical graduate fears the daunting years of housemanship. We had learnt the term of being “the lowest life form” in a hierarchical system even prior to graduation. Getting through each rotation with no extension was a cause for celebration. Yet it was a season of learning, relearning and unlearning. I can say that many of us came out just fine with the best of memories and learning experiences.
Reviewing the discussion on bullying with junior colleagues and comments posted on social media, we can generally agree that it is not the work hours, firm reprimanding, sleep deprivation or loss of weight and appetite that becomes an “issue”. It is merely the act of being disrespectful to a junior colleague that becomes upsetting. Using profanities, public shaming and sexual innuendos top the list of complaints.
With a new Malaysia, it is wonderful to note that the pitfalls in a noble practice is being evaluated thoroughly. The downside of this “culture of abuse and bullying” leaves the medical professionals to consciously or subconsciously adopt the same style as they progress.
After all, every superior was once a “subordinate” who had gone through similar routines and shaping to become a better practitioner. While we seek to improve skills and knowledge, may our ethics and character speak greater volumes of truthful service.
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