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Sexual harassment experienced by many female doctors

It is common for female doctors in California to experience some form of sexual harassment on the job. A study that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal found that nearly one-third of successful female doctors around the country have experienced sexual harassment. The study was conducted by surveying 1,066 male and female doctors who had been recognized by the National Institutes of Health with a career development award.

While 30 percent of female doctors reported that they had been sexually harassed at some point in their careers, just 4 percent of male doctors reported being victims of such behavior. Almost 60 percent of the women who said that they had been sexually harassed also claimed that the incidents had negatively affected their confidence. Nearly 50 percent of the female doctors who were sexually harassed said that the harassment had hurt their careers.

An author of the study, a female doctor from the University of Michigan, said that the results of the survey surprised her. She said that she expected fewer women would report sexual harassment because gender equity in the medical field is increasing. Though older surveys had shown that there was a lot of sexual harassment in medicine, the study author thought things would have changed at this point. She said that sexual harassment is not yet rare, though it may be more hidden today.

Sexual harassment in the workplace often results in a hostile working environment, and the perpetrators can be co-workers as well as supervisors. An employee who has followed all company-mandated procedures in reporting such behavior but who has not received a satisfactory resolution may want to have the assistance of an attorney in pursuing the matter through legal channels.

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