Apology over 'toxic culture' among surgeons

After a survey finds nearly half of all surgeons have experienced discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment, RACS President apologises for the 'devastating impact' on surgeons and trainees.
Bullying allegations against a senior neurosurgeon at one of Victoria's most prestigious teaching hospitals have reportedly been upheld after a formal investigation.
Helen Maroulis, a surgeon and former training director at Monash Health, was investigated by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Neurosurgical Society of Australia for allegedly bullying a trainee.
It is understood she was dismissed from Monash Health in June, weeks after bullying allegations against her came to light.
Three out of five female surgeons have experienced bullying, mainly at the hands of male surgeons. Three out of five female surgeons have experienced bullying, mainly at the hands of male surgeons.
Dr Maroulis has since lodged an unfair dismissal claim against Monash Health with Fair Work Australia, in which she alleges she herself was bullied by higher-ups in the centre's neurosurgery unit and was denied a promotion because of her sex.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, which is responsible for training programs, concluded its investigation into the case in July and upheld the damning allegations against Dr Maroulis, according to ABC News.
Imogen Ibbett, a former neurosurgery registrar at the Monash Medical Centre who spoke out about bullying she had experienced, said she felt constant fear while working under Ms Maroulis, who was "extremely abusive".
The investigation reportedly found Dr Maroulis' bullying to be so serious that the panel was justified in stripping Monash Medical Centre of accreditation to train neurosurgeons.
But this action was not taken following Dr Maroulis' departure from Monash Medical Centre and assurances that new procedures would be put in place to prevent such behaviour happening again, the ABC reports.
Dr Ibbett, who worked at the centre from 2011 to 2013, told Four Corners that, overall, she had a positive experience at Monash and found most surgeons supportive educators, "but certainly a predominant theme was bullying from one of the female surgeons there, and really just a sort of constant feeling of fear".
It comes as a College of Surgeons-commissioned report published this week found bullying was endemic in the surgical profession but that people were too afraid to report abuse.
The report found three out of five female surgeons had experienced bullying, predominantly at the hands of male senior surgeons.
- with Craig Butt