More Than Half of U.S. Medical Interns Experience Sexual Harassment

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Variation seen by institution and specialty training

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — More than half of U.S. medical interns report experiencing sexual harassment, according to a research letter published online Dec. 26 in JAMA Network Open.

Elizabeth M. Viglianti, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues investigated possible institutional variation in experiences of sexual harassment among U.S. medical interns. The analysis included data from 2,027 interns from 28 institutions participating in the Intern Health Study (June 2016 to June 2017).

The researchers found that nearly two-thirds of interns experienced sexual harassment (64.7 percent; women: 77.2 percent; men: 50.9 percent). There was significant variation between institutions in the prevalence of sexual harassment when adjusting for respondent characteristics (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC], 0.01), with an absolute difference of 12.2 percent between institutions for low and high prevalence. For two interns with the same characteristics, the intern at the institution with a higher prevalence of sexual harassment had 20 percent greater odds of experiencing sexual harassment. In a fully adjusted analysis, there was significant variation in sexual harassment among the nine training specialties (ICC, 0.01; median odds ratio, 1.22).

“This data could inform interventions and facilitate the sharing of best practices, ultimately reducing the unacceptably high frequency of sexual harassment experienced by resident physicians,” the authors write.

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