Medscape: 27% of physicians experience sexual harassment from patients

Over the past three years, 27 percent of physicians report facing sexual harassment from patients, according to a survey conducted by Medscape.

The survey consisted of 6,235 respondents across 29 specialties. Within the survey, 3,711 were physicians, with the rest being residents, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Here are four survey findings to know:

1. Among the physicians polled, 17 percent reported encountering a patient acting overtly sexual, while 9 percent were asked on a date by their patient. Seven percent of physicians reported their patient attempted to touch, grope or rub them.

2. The survey illustrated that female physicians are more likely to face sexual harassment than their male physician counterparts

3. The Medscape survey also found that female physicians were 62 percent more likely to stop a patient behaving inappropriately, compared to 29 percent of male physicians; however, male physicians reported they made sure they were no longer alone with the patient during their examination.

"A patient took off her shirt without being instructed to do so," a male physician reported in the survey. "I told her that was inappropriate and then had a female staff member come into the room with the patient.

4. Specialites most likely to face sexual harassment included dermatology (46 percent), emergency medicine (43 percent) and plastic surgery (41 percent). Obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, pathologists and radiologists are the fields least likely to face sexual harassment.

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