SYDNEY, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Nearly half of all Australian surgeons have experienced discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment, a new report has found.
An advisory group, appointed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), has reported back to the peak body and the results have been disturbing.
The RACS commissioned the report into the behavior after senior surgeon Dr Gabrielle McMullin said complaining about harassment could ruin a trainee's career.
The findings included stories of surgeons being expected to provide sexual favors in return for tutorship, with other surgeons suffering constant belittling, intimidation and public humiliation.
Head of the expert advisory group Rob Knowles said he was shocked by the findings, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday.
"I was surprised and disturbed at the depth and the entrenched nature of bullying and harassment both across the profession and the health care system generally," he said.
The report found bullying was the most common issue, reported by almost 40 percent of surgical fellows, trainees and international medical graduates.
Almost 20 percent of surgeons reported discrimination and workplace harassment, with 7 percent claiming sexual harassment.
The most common form of discrimination was cultural, with one response reading: "They want you out of the country or they want you dead."
In response, RACS president Professor David Watters has written a formal apology to all those who suffered bullying, discrimination or sexual harassment.
"The individuals who shared their stories have described the devastating impact this has had on their personal and professional lives," Professor Watters said.
"As president of the college, on behalf of all fellows, trainees and international medical graduates, I apologize."