Psychological and sexual abuse; Complaints
Sex discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, defined as the
use of one’s authority or power, either explicitly or implicitly, to
coerce another into unwanted sexual relations to punish another for
his or her refusal, or as the creation by a member of the University
community of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational
environment through verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, is
a violation of the University’s human rights policy. (University
Handbook, vol. IV, p. 44).
Sexual harassment and exploitation (a) abuse the rights and the trust
of those who are subjected to such conduct; (b) may influence the academic
and professional advancement of medical trainees in a manner that is
unrelated to their scholastic or clinical performance; (c) may harm
professional working relationships; and (d) are likely to jeopardize
patient care. Sexual harassment and exploitation in medical training
programs are therefore highly unethical.
Consensual sexual relationships between a medical trainee and a supervisor,
when the supervisor has professional responsibility for the trainee,
are objectionable because of the potential for exploitation and the
potential impact on patient care. Consensual sexual relationships
between a medical trainee and a supervisor when no professional relationship
exists may also be a cause for concern.
Anybody who experiences sexual harassment should contact the Residency
Training Director or any faculty member who can discuss the formal and
informal actions that are available.
Psychological abuse is defined as any communication or interaction
with a Resident that is patently anti-educational or dehumanizing (examples:
insults, name calling, harassment, inappropriate shouting at the resident,
withholding clinical guidance or supervision, etc.).
Residents who experience psychological abuse will follow the procedures
outlined in the conflict resolution policy, or will directly contact
the Residency Training Director to discuss alternative action plans.
Residents who have a complaint, or who wish to notify the Residency
Training Director of an incident, may wish to contact the Director personally,
or may use the “Faculty/Resident Incident Report” (see Appendix C).
The filing of this report is a first step and only documents the Resident’s
side of the incident. In further discussions with the Residency
Training Director, or your Preceptor, or the Site Coordinator, you may
wish to plan further action along the procedural lines outlined above.
The Residency Training Director is especially responsible for assuring
the rights of both trainees and supervisors to due process and for protecting
the confidentiality of those involved to the greatest extent possible.
Psychological and Sexual Abuse
The Statues of the State of Washington (RCW
70.124) mandate the protection of patient rights.
Child and Elderly Abuse
Psychological abuse, in this context, is defined as any communication
or interaction with a patient that is patently anti-therapeutic, dehumanizing,
or that places the patient under excessive duress for non-therapeutic
reasons (examples: name calling, use of derogatory nicknames, social
slurs, demeaning remarks, inappropriate shouting at patient, inappropriately
supporting a patient’s delusional system, anti-therapeutic social
involvement with patients, etc.)
Sexual abuse is defined as any sexual contact between Resident and
patient, physical or psychological (e.g., suggestive remarks, sexual
jokes, inappropriate sharing of sexual stories), solicited or unsolicited.
Any person hearing of psychological or sexual abuse is required to
immediately notify the site coordinator or Residency Training Director,
who will initiate the formal procedures set forth in the residency
performance evaluation policy.
Washington State laws require health professionals to report
child abuse and elderly abuse. When you suspect abuse, immediately
contact you rotation Attending to discuss reporting.