Will Smartphones eradicate the bullying culture of Medical School?

This article by Dr Pauline Chen in the New York Times suggests that bullying is endemic in the US’s medical education system to such an extent that 85% of students reported that they had been abused (by colleagues) during their third year and that the mistreatment ranged from being yelled at and told they were “worthless” or “the stupidest medical student,” to being threatened with bad grades or a ruined career and even getting hit, pushed or made the target of a thrown medical tool.

The article goes on to suggest that researchers believe such mistreatment “could be eliminated, or at least significantly mitigated, if each medical school acknowledged the behavior, then created institutional anti-harassment policies, grievance committees and educational, training and counseling programs to break the abuse cycle“.

I can’t help but think that with the worlds top medical schools and hospitals already providing their students and staff with smartphones and tablets (eg. Leeds Medical School, Ottawa Hospital, Kardinal Schwarzenberg’sches Hospital, etc) this is a problem that will find it’s own solution as a result of mHealth adoption.

The only question is who’s going to be the first bully to get their antics recorded and shared with the Dean…

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