Fisher Taubenfeld LLP

Workplace mistreatment harming female physicians

Female physicians in New York and throughout the country are facing high rates of burnout related to gender discrimination. Burnout is defined by the World Health Organization as fatigue, emotional stress and lost productivity caused by stress at work. According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, burnout seems to impact female surgical residents. To obtain their data, researchers asked roughly 7,400 doctors to take a survey about their working conditions.

Roughly 40% of the respondents were women, and participants were asked to describe whether they had faced harassment or discrimination on the job. They were also asked to talk about their working hours and the impact that it had on the emotional health. The survey found that 42% of female surgical residents said they were burned out compared to 36% of male surgical residents.

It was more likely that female respondents would claim that they were victims of sexual harassment during their training. They were also more likely to say that they were discriminated against because of their gender or parental status. Researchers determined that this mistreatment was the main cause of their burnout and higher likelihood of having suicidal thoughts. They also noted that patients and their families were the main cause of the sexual harassment and mistreatment that they faced.

Individuals who experience sex and gender discrimination on the job may be entitled to compensation from their employers. This may be especially true if they terminated primarily because of their gender or sexual orientation. Generally speaking, employers are not allowed to subject workers to verbal abuse or other behavior that may create a hostile workplace. An attorney may help a worker resolve a sexual harassment or discrimination case either in court or through a negotiated settlement.

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