Neeranjali Jain, Helen Danesh-Meyer
Purpose: Survey of ophthalmologists and trainees regarding discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment (DBSH), and in balancing career and family.
Method: A validated conftdential questionnaire was sent online to Australian and New Zealand RANZCO Fellows and Trainees.
Results: 47% (n=57) of trainees and 28% (n=282) of ophthalmologists responded. More female than male trainees reported frustration in balancing per- sonal and professional commitments (79% vs. 45%, p=0.03). Female trainees and ophthalmologists were more likely to report that child-rearing slowed career progression (79% female vs. 30% of male trainees, p=0.04; 75% female vs. 16% of male oph- thalmologists, p<0.001). Women also reported unequal career advancement opportunities (66% female vs. 30% of male trainees, p=0.03; 50% female vs. 14% of male ophthalmologists, p<0.001). Family commitments were cited as an obstacle to pursuing an academic career and serving on College committees (51% female vs. 16% of male ophthal- mologists 16%, p<0.001).Overall, 56% of trainees and 42% of ophthalmolo- gists reported DBSH experiences. Female compared with male trainees and ophthalmologists reported more frequent discrimination (31% vs. 8%, p<0.001), bullying (47% vs. 34%, p=0.02) and sex- ual harassment (20% vs. 1%, p<0.001). Receiving less respect or responsiveness from medical team members was the most common gender-speciftc dis- criminatory behavior (26% female vs. 2% of male respondents, p<0.001). Conclusion: This is the ftrst survey of ophthalmol- ogy registrars and ophthalmologists in Australasia about DBSH experiences and experiences managing family and career commitments. It suggests signift- cant discrepancies exist between male and females in terms of work/life balance and DBSH.