#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 29 September 2020
Advertisement

Female doctor was told 'learn to suck c**k'

Several women have come forward after Dr Gabrielle McMullin made controversial remarks.

CONTROVERSIAL comments made by an Irish-educated doctor have led to several Australian doctors sharing their experiences of workplace sexual harassment.

Dr Gabrielle McMullin, who was educated at Trinity College, said sexual harassment in Australian hospitals is so rife that female trainees should not to complain, rather go along with it.

During the interview with ABC, McMullin said one neurosurgeon’s career was destroyed after she complained about sexual harassment by a superior.

“Her career was ruined by this one guy asking for sex on this night. And, realistically, she would have been much better to have given him a blow job on that night,” she said.

Her comments were largely criticised, with the President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons describing them as “appalling”.

If nothing else, the remarks have got people talking the subject.

More than a dozen female doctors have contacted Fairfax Media since McMullin’s interview. The Sydney Morning Herald said the women backed up her assertion that sexual harassment is common in their field, as is a culture of silence.

‘Dumb b*tch’ 

One female surgeon said the problem was particularly bad in surgery because it remains a male-dominated profession.

She said women are advised to “keep quiet about sexual harassment, assault and rape … because there is a long history of such reports being dealt with poorly”.

Another female doctor told the Herald she was subjected to misogynistic insults and explicit sexual harassment while training.

She said surgeons routinely told her she was a “dumb bitch”, and that women were “f***ing useless” and men should be hired instead.
On one occasion, she alleges a consultant surgeon told her to “get some knee pads and learn to suck c**k”, while other colleagues laughed.

She also said she was ostracised after rebuking sexual advances from a senior male colleague.

They think they own you, a lot of these guys. As soon as you stand up, you cop a lot.

Another surgeon claims she was regularly subjected to commentary about her appearance, including how tight her skirt was and whether she had slept her way through the training program.

Dr Saxon Smith, president of the Australian Medical Association in New South Wales, told Radio Australia sexual harassment is not tolerated and that women should speak out.

“For your personal health and welfare but also to ensure that you are able to look after those around you as well because you shouldn’t allow this thing to continue,” he said.

What do you think of McMullin’s comments?


Poll Results:

She made a fair point (4614)
Her advice is inappropriate (3605)
I don't know (855)



Background: Surgeon tells female trainees it’s best for their careers to comply with sexual advances

About the author:

Órla Ryan

Read next:

COMMENTS (94)