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Medical News and Perspectives
March 18, 1992

Abuse At Work Drains People, Money, And Medical Workplace Not Immune

JAMA. 1992;267(11):1439-1440. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480110015003

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ABUSE in the workplace can plague a staff's morale, productivity, and health. In some recent studies, employees across all professions have reported that they experience abuse at work as much or more often than they do at home, and that this abuse contributes to a host of medical problems.

For the medical profession, workplace abuse is a double-edged sword. Not only must it treat the many stress-related illnesses caused by abuse, and intervene to prevent their recurrence, but it must also cope with abuse that happens between its own professionals. The medical workplace, despite its dedication to health and well-being, is not immune from abusive staff members and the toll they exact on the people they work with.

A recent survey of medical students, in which a high proportion reported suffering psychopathological consequences from abuse during their training (JAMA. 1991;267:692-694, 738), and the temporary resignation of Stanford neurosurgeon Frances K.