1. Rahul

    May 2, 2017 at 6:26 am

    What do you do when you are trying to get a consult from a Reg who is obviously not interested in the good of the patient, demeans you over the phone and is junior to you.

    • Ken Liu

      May 2, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Rahul,

      This is an unfortunate situation and probably occurs not infrequently in the hospital system.

      I think in the first instance, I would refrain from judging/badmouthing the registrar. We have no idea what is going on in their lives and what pressures they have from their job or supervisors or even at home. To others, he/she may appear to be disinterested in patients, but he/she may be suffering from mental illness and that’s how he/she is coming across. They may actually be a trainee in distress. You just don’t know. I have lost count of all the times I’ve seen situations like these turn out to be something more than just because the person was being a jerk.

      Having said that, it does not make his/her behaviour of demeaning people acceptable. In my opinion, there are a few options to proceed and which one is appropriate depends on your situation:
      1. You could bring this issue up with the registrar if you are close enough to them and/or you feel they are willing to take on board your feedback
      2. If you feel can discuss such matters with the registrar’s supervisor, you could bring it up with them
      3. Or you could pass this onto your supervisor, the DPET, someone senior, who can in turn discuss with the registrar or their supervisor
      4. Each hospital has an employee assistance program (EAP) which can help with these situations. http://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/pds/ActivePDSDocuments/PD2016_045.pdf

      You should remember that it is highly likely that you are not the only one who is exposed to such behaviour by this registrar and by doing something about it you could be helping not only the registrar themselves but also the other people affected.

      You also brought up the point that this person is junior to you, but I would argue that it is not relevant whether someone is more senior or junior to you. This does not excuse bullying or unacceptable behaviour. Indeed, far too many junior doctors suffer silently because the person who is treating them badly is more senior to them. We still have a long way to go before we achieve a culture where a person can be and IS called out for their bullying by ANYONE, regardless of their seniority.

      Wish you all the best for your situation and hope this has helped



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