Joint response statement to the published report on sexual misconduct in surgery - ASiT and Specialty Surgical Training Associations
The Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery (WPSMS) has published a full report on sexual misconduct in surgery. We unanimously acknowledge the severity of the issues presented in the report and affecting the surgical workforce. The extent of the problem highlighted in this report can only be described as shocking.
The published academic paper highlights the endemic nature of sexual misconduct in surgery, with around 90% of women and 80% of men witnessing sexual harassment, and 35% of women and 17% of men witnessing sexual assault by a colleague. A disproportionate number of female surgeons (63% vs 23% of men) have been a target of sexual harassment, and almost 1 in 3 female surgeons (compared to 6.9% of male surgeons) have been a target of sexual assault by a colleague in the workplace. Despite the widespread nature of sexual misconduct, only 16% of those impacted have reported it. The report highlights a lack of trust in accountable healthcare organisations’ ability to deal with sexual misconduct appropriately.
ASiT and Speciality Training Associations state that:
● We condemn any form of sexual misconduct or harassment and normalisation of such behaviours, which has no place in society, the workplace and in healthcare.
● We fully support the WPSMS Report’s recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care and accountable organisations.
● We are fully committed to working in conjunction with the WPSMS and professional stakeholders to achieve the report’s recommendations.
● We firmly believe in zero tolerance towards sexual misconduct and are committed to supporting surgical trainees who experience unacceptable behaviours.
Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT)
ASGBI Moynihan Academy (ASGBI MA)
Association of Otolaryngologists in Training (AOT)
BAUS Section of Trainees (BSoT)
British Orthopaedic Trainees Association (BOTA)
British Neurosurgical Trainees’ Association (BNTA)
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellows in Training (OMFS FiT)
Plastic Surgery Trainee Association (PLASTA)
National Trainee Committee - Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland (SCTS)
Trainees in Paediatric Surgery (TriPS)
Defence General and Vascular Surgery