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What Happens When the Harassment is Personal?

What Happens When the Harassment is Personal?


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by G. Michael Barton, M.B.A., S.P.H.R., and Eileen Morrison, Ed.D., M.P.H.
The medical field has long endured the destructive forces of personal harassment in work environments. Personal harassment, often called workplace bullying, has historically been kept quiet. The targets of personal harassment suffered in silence. Many of the targets either left the organization or became passive-aggressive members of the work team. Personal harassment is no longer tucked away in the shadows, however. This issue is now being cited as a major cause of low morale, high employee turnover, and increased workplace violence. The intent of this article is to provide an awareness of personal harassment and how it has had a catastrophic impact on the medical field. Awareness of this issue is the first step toward its prevention. Medical practitioners, leaders, and employees must commit to addressing this issue before it can adversely impact their organizations.