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Preventing & Responding to Harassment and Mistreatment in the Medical School Lawrencina Mason Oramalu Associate to the Director Office of Equal Opportunity.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing & Responding to Harassment and Mistreatment in the Medical School Lawrencina Mason Oramalu Associate to the Director Office of Equal Opportunity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing & Responding to Harassment and Mistreatment in the Medical School Lawrencina Mason Oramalu Associate to the Director Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action September 22, 2009

2 Agenda EOAA Overview Nurturing the H.E.A.L.T.H. of the Medical School Mistreatment and Harassment It’s All About R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Resources

3 Medical School Mission & Values Mission –Committed to innovation and diversity –Educates physicians, scientists, and health professionals –Generates knowledge and treatments –Cares for patients and communities with compassion and respect. Values: –Excellence –Inclusiveness –Collaboration –Discovery

4 Fulfilling the Medical School Mission by Focusing on H.E.A.L.T.H. Humanity Excellence Acceptance Leadership Temperament Honesty

5 Who Gets Harassed Most Often Students and other persons in menial or low-level jobs Females in non-traditional fields Women in graduate school Women and girls of color Young, inexperienced, unassertive, socially isolated individuals Lesbian and gay persons Persons with disabilities, physical or emotional Undergraduate assistants or young female teachers at the college or high school level

6 Who is Most Likely to Be Harassed 62% of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university. 66% of college students know someone personally who was harassed. 10% or less of sexual harassment victims attempt to report their experiences to a university employee. 35% or more of college students who experience sexual harassment do not tell anyone about their experience. Source: AAUW Educational Foundation’s Drawing the Line report

7 Who is Most Likely to File a Sexual Harassment Complaint in the EOAA Office? Source: 2006-2008 EOAA Office Statistics

8 Who is the EOAA Complaint Likely to Be Filed Against? Source: 2006-2008 EOAA Office Statistics

9 Medical School Complaints (2005 – 2009)

10 What is Sexual Harassment? Sexual harassment is unwanted or gender based behavior that occurs when one person has formal or informal power over the other.

11 What is Sexual Harassment? Quid Pro Quo Hostile Environment Atmosphere that interferes with work or school Repeated behavior Strong preventive measures and clear and effective complaint process can be a defense Monetary damages available Something tangible given or withheld One instance is enough Liable if employee subjected to change in status Liable for student harassment – knowledge, failure to respond & indifference Monetary damages available

12 Belittlement and Harassment Among Medical Students

13 Where Should People File Complaints? See Handout EthicsPoint Reporting: To access by phone call toll-free 1-866-294-8680 To access by Web go to

14 Where Should People Report Complaints in the Medical School? Graduate Advisor Course Director Mary Tate, Director of Minority Affairs and Diversity Dr. Ted Thompson, Director of Clinical Education Dr. Kathleen Watson, Associate Dean of Students & Student Learning

15 Why Don’t People Report Harassment? Embarrassment Belief that the behavior will end if ignored Fear of losing one’s job or status Fear of retaliation Fear of being blamed for inviting the harassment Concern about not being believed

16 Concern about being labeled a troublemaker Fear of harmful rumors and loss of privacy Conviction that nothing will be done about the problem Fear that the complaint process could be worse than the harassment Why Don’t People Don’t Report Harassment? (2)

17 Why Should the Medical School Address Harassment and Mistreatment? Lower productivity Lower efficiency Increased absenteeism and turnover Court awards, settlements and fees Damage to an institution’s public image Deterioration of morale Damage to both alleged victim and perpetrator


19 Take Action Provide complainants with techniques to handle the harassment on their own. Ex. Letter to Harasser Address inappropriate behavior when you see or hear it Initiate activities to increase everyone’s awareness. Have a person of weight and authority speak to the offender.

20 Letter to Harasser Provide a factual account of what happened Describe how the incident(s) made you feel. Explain what you want to happen next. Deliver the letter in person or mail it. Keep a copy

21 Example of Letter to Harasser (See Handout X) Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. xxx: Six days ago, you commented on my arms and shoulders, told me I would probably look “dazzling” and “extremely inviting”…. I told you I was not interested in a social relationship and that I would prefer that you not comment about my body and clothing. This morning, you brushed up against me as we passed in the hallway … Your persistent comments on my clothing and requests to meet socially are upsetting to me and, as I have made clear, are unwelcome. … If you are unwilling to comply with my request to conduct yourself more acceptably in the workplace, I will ask our HR/EOAA Office to investigate.

22 Resource Materials (1) Experiences of Belittlement and Harassment and Their Correlates Among Medical Students in the United States Medical Student Abuse: A Student’s Perspective Mistreatment of Trainees: Verbal Abuse and Other Bullying Behaviors Reporting Compliance Concerns/Flowchart

23 Resource Materials (2) Sexual Harassment in Medical Education: Liability and Protection UMN Medical School Mistreatment Policy When Bad Things Happen in the Learning Environment You Learn Better Under the Gun: Intimidation and Harassment in Surgical Education

24 Thank You Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action 274 McNamara Center 200 Oak Street SE Minneapolis, MN 612-624-9547

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