A medical student tells his personal story of institutional intimidation and abuse at the hands of medical staff at the university.
THE NUMBER of horror stories that have emerged of Australian healthcare professionals whose careers and personal lives have been turned upside down by a disaster culture of personal and institutional wear and tear have reached a breaking point.
The situation is now so serious that the Senate is holding a second hearing to examine an unprecedented number of complaints alleging institutional abuse against Australian healthcare workers.
It has also been revealed that the abuse of healthcare workers starts early. It has been alleged that a disproportionate number of medical students face an extraordinary amount of hazing unrelated to their Medical training to the point that one in four students contemplates suicide.
Senate investigation into medical complaints process: perceptions can be poison https://t.co/B8pCyl8iS2
– Sir Clyde from Nob (@ nobby15) November 13, 2016
But what happens when bullying isn’t enough and a prestigious medical school sabotages a medical student’s career?
This is what happened to me.
I was an international medical student who started studying medicine at University of Melbourne in 2005. Before that, I was a doctoral student at Monash University. I have suffered from mild speech impediment all my life, but it has never stopped me from pursuing my life goals.
I advanced into the preclinical years and started clinical school in 2007. I began to be harassed by higher authority and clinical school staff early on regarding my disorder. word. It has become a daily ritual. The odd thing is that I was only bullied and harassed by the clinical staff at the school – the clinical staff at the teaching hospital always treated me with the utmost respect. My relationships with patients and clinicians in hospital departments have always been good.
Almost daily harassment by the high authority has become routine. When I was halfway through, the higher authority decided to issue an ultimatum: either I completely cure the speech impediment, or I fail for unacceptable communication skills. The behavior of this senior executive was relentless. No one else seemed to have that kind of passionate animosity towards me.
Things finally came to a breaking point when I decided to take a year off to reflect on my medical future. I returned to clinical school after the sabbatical with the hope that things would improve but, to my dismay, the harassment only intensified.
This time around it was made clear that I would not pass my exams due to my speech impediment and if I insisted on staying in class and taking the clinical exams I would have to ask for extra time for them. oral exams. This request made me very puzzled as I had never needed more time before. As I did not want to push the boat any further, I accepted all the demands made by the higher authority. I noticed that the extra time imposed on me was not really scheduled. I was not given an explanation when I was asked why I was forced to request the extra exam time, which I did not get.
Big Contenders: AHPRA, CMA and Specialty Medical Schools, by Dr Leong Ng. https://t.co/aQU92j8oHN
– IndependentAustralia (@independentaus) March 10, 2017
I was not surprised to learn that I had failed all year and had to repeat the year immediately at a cost of $ 100,000. Not only did I have to collect the extra money, but I also had to collect it in about 15 days or face “another gap year” which was tantamount to being expelled from the course. I knew something was wrong with the exams, so I contacted the medical school to have my results explained to me. I was told to stop my investigations and immediately start the repeat year and, most importantly, pay the “repeat” fees.
One oral exam in particular made me extremely concerned about the integrity of the exam. I had to perform a venipuncture examination on a simulated patient. All venipuncture procedures taught by the University of Melbourne and in most major hospitals are conducted exclusively with vacutainer pipes. These tubes were clearly not provided during the examination. The medical school reluctantly agreed to meet with me to try and address my concerns about the exams.
I met one of the Melbourne Faculty of Medicine managers who assured me that the vacuum tubes were “still a problem” and that I had in fact “passed” this particular exam station. At this point, I knew I was being lied to. I requested a copy of all oral exams that I allegedly failed through a lawyer. When I got the exam sheets themselves, what I found was shocking. Not only did I not pass the Vacutainer station as I was previously advised, but the reviewer also noted that I was not “familiar with Vacutainer tubes”.
– John Barry Myers (@ yaacovmyers1) November 16, 2016
During the clinical semester, I practiced the venipuncture technique dozens of times, all with vacuum tubes (as prescribed by the medical school curriculum). For the reviewer to say that I was not familiar with Vacutainer tubes was clearly absurd. Other examination anomalies were even more shocking. An exam corrector gave me full marks for obtaining correct clinical exam results, but no marks for actually performing the exam, which led to correct results, which made me failed for this station.
Another exam station failed to provide a crucial biopsy image, resulting in another failure. The examiner brazenly wrote on the exam sheet, “No image provided”, although the scoring sheet clearly called for the photo. These anomalies have continued to occur with several instances where the examiners marked my correct answers on the scoring sheet but did not credit me with any marks, causing me to fail.
When I sent all this evidence to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, I thought I would get a fair review of my grievances. What I received instead was an official letter threatening me with two years in jail and a fine of $ 20,000 if I ever made this evidence public.
At this point I had no choice but to leave Australia as I ran out of money. Over the next few years, I went bankrupt because I couldn’t repay my student loans – and my professional and financial situation gradually deteriorated.
This work is under license Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
– Michael Hill (@complaints_guru) Dec. 19, 2016
Demand fairness! Subscribe to IA for just $ 5.