More than half of women GPs in Australia have to face sexual harassment from patients, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne.
Researchers led by Dr Peter Bratuskins surveyed around 180 female practitioners from each state and territory and found that over 54.5 percent of the respondents admitted to being sexually harassed by their patients. Requests for inappropriate examinations, inappropriate exposure of body parts, gender-based remarks, touching and grabbing are some of the most common problems faced by women GPs.
Around two-thirds of the GPs said that they have had to change their counseling styles, such as changing the style of their dress, exhibiting a more formal manner, not performing certain examinations and keeping their personal lives more private.
"It's something we'd hear anecdotally about from general practitioners. We realized that very little was known about it but it has seemingly been happening quite frequently", Dr Bratuskins said.