An Irish-trained doctor based in Australia has claimed she tells her female trainees they should comply with the sexual demands of their superiors for the sake of their careers.
Speaking at a book launch, Gabrielle McMullin, a Sydney-based vascular surgeon, told Australia’s ABC News she has seen doctors’ careers “ruined” because they turned down the advances of supervisors.
She spoke of one doctor, whom she named ‘Caroline’, who had excelled at school, had always wanted to be a neurosurgeon, and was “the daughter that you’d wish to have”.
A surgeon took ‘Caroline’ under his supervision.
“And he kept asking her back to his rooms after hours,” said Dr McMullin. “But after this one particularly long session, she felt it was rude to refuse and they ended up back in his rooms, where, of course, it was dark and there was nobody else around, and he sexually assaulted her.
“She was horrified. She ran out of the office. She didn’t tell anyone.”
The Trinity-educated doctor said ‘Caroline’ eventually won a legal case against the surgeon after he repeatedly gave her bad reports following the encounter.
“However, despite that victory, she has never been appointed to a public position in a hospital in Australasia,” said Dr McMullin. “Her career was ruined by this one guy asking for sex on this night.
“And, realistically, she would have been much better to have given him a blow-job on that night.
“What I tell my trainees is that, if you are approached for sex, probably the safest thing to do in terms of your career is to comply. The worst thing you could possibly do is to complain to the supervising body, because then, as in Caroline’s position, you can be sure you will never be appointed to a major public hospital.”
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