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Click here for Bullying Links


Watch out ! There may be a silent epidemic of bullying going on in the workplace. It may even be an endemic part of some organisational cultures. Some observers suggest that this can happen within medical services where traditional hierarchical structures may support bullying type behaviours.

Bullying has been increasingly recognised as not only harmful to the physical and mental well-being of targeted victims, but is also very damaging to organisations failing to respond to, or even inadvertently supporting, such behaviours. Policies designed to limit and eradicate any coercive (bullying) behaviours in the workplace are common.

Yet some organisational structures may allow perceivably bullying type behaviours on the pretext of facilitating re-structuring or downsizing their organisations. In these types of circumstances, the deliberate use of coercive behaviours could go "unrecognised" or even appear "supported" by colleagues or administrators. The bully may be too valuable to the organisation, (after all it is they who get things done - by coercion).

CMOs frequently report that they work in positions with relatively little or no supports. Our apparent isolation may allow us to become targeted and subjected to "bullying" type behaviours. Bullying has various forms, but the most sinister appears to be a cumulative ('drip-drip") phenomenon where isolated incidents appear trivial. Yet, put them all together and a pattern emerges where bullying type behaviours are contributing to a steady decline in your physical and mental well-being, and your level of enjoyment at work.

Feeling stifled and threatened, work can become a confusing circumstance. Everyone is reluctant to recognise or admit to feeling bullied in their workplace. Colleagues and administrators may even be unaware of their complicity when they become unwittingly drawn into working with a bully who appears to be achieving the sorts of results they have all been seeking. So if you're starting to dread going to work, this could be happening to you. Its time to get educated.

You could go and attend a training seminar on " Understanding, tackling and eradicating bullying at work" .. (these do exist in the UK). You could learn all about "Coaching", a practice some consider to be the opposite of bullying, and the way forward for organisational cultures that allow or encourage negative behaviours, especially in hierachical systems.

Some argue that zero-tolerance for bullying maybe wrong. Better to recognise it as a potential sign of stress or limited coping skills in any alleged perpetrator, where the situation might be best approached by a system that quickly interviews any alleged "perpetrator" to see if they are under-resourced, under-supported or responding to unrealistic expectations from their supervisors or themselves. A process of re-education and ongoing support to all those surrounding any alleged "perpetrator" is probably more important than any threatened "repudiation" or "punishment". A systems approach could probably be arranged so that this issue could be comfortably directed to all levels within the organisation, including the very top.

So why not scan the following literature, readily available on the internet, before you end up leaving or dreading to go to work. The following links can even tell you how to take action (if you dare !! most observers report escalation of tensions when fighting back => you need to be properly prepared)


This page is designed for the sole use of medical practitioners
The information contained within has been provided in good faith.
However, it may contain opinions and errors in fact. Therefore all information is not to be relied upon by any party.
It is presented to stimulate debate amongst the medical profession only

page maintained by David Brock for ASCMO