PETALING JAYA: A majority of junior doctors in the country say they have been bullied at their workplace, with about 17% saying it was so bad that they thought of ending their lives, according to a survey.
The poll, conducted among members of the Doctors Only Bulletin Board System (DOBBS), an online forum which brings together medical doctors in Malaysia, found that 79.63% of respondents said they had experienced bullying.
Of these, 71% said their experiences were serious enough to be categorised as “symptomatic bullying”.
“It seems there is an unhealthy work culture in the training of junior doctors in Malaysia. While some amount of admonishment is to be expected during the training period, it should not reach a level of bullying,” said Dr Alan Teh on behalf of DOBBS which has over 16,000 members comprising medical doctors.
The survey comes just three weeks after police began an investigation into a report by a houseman at a government hospital in Kuala Lumpur against a senior doctor.
The houseman told he had wrongly presented a case during one of his rounds, and that the doctor had begun “screaming and shouting profanities”.
Adding that the doctor regularly shouted at other hospital staff as well, the houseman said the doctor later grabbed him by the collar on two occasions and also threatened to punch him.
He said this was witnessed by patients, nurses, housemen and medical officers who were there at the time.
“This was the second time it happened. In April, I made a police report after he threatened to punch me in the confines of a procedure room,” he said.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the case was under police investigation and that firm action, including disciplinary measures, would be taken if the relevant party was convicted of wrongdoing.