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Workplace Bullying in Medicine?

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8 years 6 months ago #79406 by southernmd
Very good point. Thanks for adding your perspective - gave me something to think about. Probably need to make sure I don't judge women too harshly due to my terrible experience.

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8 years 6 months ago - 8 years 6 months ago #79407 by Doc201X

joyfulMD wrote: I'm interested to hear from ladies that have been in leadership positions, both in medicine and in other fields--did you ever feel discriminated against as a woman leader/ boss? Had trouble attracting potential hires, and suspected your gender had something to do with it? Embraced your role as 'the b*tch' if that's what being an effective leader as woman means?


Your first question of "why women" is a good one.

Study after study shows women tend to bully women, FAR more than men bully women, and I have my own personal experiences to "back this up".

I was formally a lab director and lab manager, and I think the fact that I didn't have Dr. in front of my name was a HUGE issue. IIronically (or not), it wasn't a huge issue for the men I worked with as much as it was for the women who perhaps felt I hadn't "paid my dues" as they had, I didn't deserve the position as Lab Director. And one one woman PhD said that exactly!

No doubt working for a guy who's a jerk can be difficult, but at least you know where he's coming from. Women are FAR more sneaky and sly and when they don't like you, they tend to smile in your face, while putting a knife in your back.

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com
Last Edit: 8 years 6 months ago by .

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8 years 6 months ago #79410 by SW to MD
Leadership positions are a constant 'walking on a tight rope' kind of feeling. I always felt as if I was fluctuating between praising people and coming down on them.

Part of the problem was the field I was in- low pay/horrible benefits for college-educated individuals. I had a lot of staff with 20K, 50K, 80K in student loans making 24K/year starting. Ouch.

I had high expectations of staff, quite frankly, because their clients were often in really bad positions and needed someone who knew what they were doing, was compassionate, and able to perform their job. And with how hard I had to advocate for better hourly rates/benefits, I needed to be able to demonstrate WHY we should jeopardize losing a grant by increasing pay for workers in the budget.

Overall I feel I did well- I had a good handle on the rumor mill and was cognizant of who was not happy and why. I did not go out with the staff- which I think is a huge pitfall a lot of younger managers fall into, but I was friendly enough to know the basics of everyone's lives and compassionate when people were having issues outside of work. Those who didn't do their job either found something somewhere else or were encouraged to do so. Those employees who went above and beyond were compensated better and given upward mobility or great references when they moved on to better pay/benefits/went back to school.

There were times I made mistakes, and while I agonized a lot over them, I learned the best thing to do was own up to my mistakes and say I was wrong. But after that- it is time to move on. (Publicly at least- privately those things ate at me for quite a while.)

I had the opposite experience as Path- I was the only BS in a field of MSSW/MSW's and youngest manager in the leadership. I felt pressure to constantly 'overperform' as a result- because of my own high expectations for myself. I would go in at 6, stay til 6, and work for another 2-3 hours after the kids were in bed + taking any and all calls/emails that came through. For 30K/year.

I think the some of the worst traits of those in leadership role is public ridicule of staff, illegal statements ('this place can't afford maternity leaves, so don't even think about getting pregnant'), and outright lying about benefits in order to save the company money. I have been on the receiving end of all three of those, and that is hardest to deal with. Oddly enough, most of that was from female leaders, but the field I came from is a female-dominated one.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - MLKJ

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8 years 6 months ago #79412 by Doc201X

SW to MD wrote: I had the opposite experience as Path- I was the only BS in a field of MSSW/MSW's and youngest manager in the leadership. I felt pressure to constantly 'overperform' as a result- because of my own high expectations for myself. I would go in at 6, stay til 6, and work for another 2-3 hours after the kids were in bed + taking any and all calls/emails that came through. For 30K/year.


Actually SW, your experience was a little similar to mine in that I was also the youngest Lab Director at the school and I also the only Black one.

And while I never felt like I was treated differently because of my race in this leadership position, I certainly felt that way in my most recent position as Lab Manager. LIke you, I think there are some things I could have done differently in both positions but overall, feel like I did a pretty good job.

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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