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Exclusive: Medical council to clamp down on abuse and bullying claims

A New Zealand medical council is vowing to clamp down on hospitals nationwide, following fresh claims of abuse and bullying.

ONE News can reveal that more than half of medical students surveyed experienced racism, bullying, and sexual harassment. Source: 1 NEWS

ONE News can reveal more than half of medical students surveyed said they experienced racism, bullying, and sexual harassment forcing some to give up their careers.

One senior student said a student was told she was "far too attractive to be taken seriously as a doctor" and should consider a career in nursing.

Last month a survey of students showed widespread bullying, and the Student Council was so staggered by the number of responses that they expanded the survey leading to a further 500 people coming forward.

Fifty four per cent of students reported that they'd been bullied or sexually harassed, but only 13 per cent have officially complained.

"Students taking time out of med school to recuperate and get there confidence back, some people are completely put off medicine altogether," NZMSA's Liz Berryman said.

One fifth year medical student told ONE News: "You are clearly out of your depth as a medical student. And the whole idea of the training is that you want to arrive in an environment that is supportive of your leaning and supportive of your training."

Some Muslim students also reported feeling marginalised because of their head scarves, while one consultant is reportedly notorious for referring to Asian students as Bill or Bob, rather than learning their names.

The council has now set up a task force to consider disciplinary action, and an anonymous complaints system.