Prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment in Medical Education and Clinical Settings

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) acknowledges sexual and gender-based harassment is a serious public health issue relevant to physicians and medical trainees, which can negatively affect physician and trainee well-being, safety, and performance. The AAFP also recognizes those who identify or are perceived as women are more likely to be victims of sexual and gender-based harassment. Sexual and gender-based harassment in medicine should be prevented and addressed in both medical educational and clinical settings, including medical schools, graduate medical education programs and in clinical practice.

The AAFP recommends all medical educational and clinical settings develop a sexual and gender-based harassment policy, including a process facilitating investigation which protects those who have experienced sexual and gender-based harassment. The policy should also include an investigation regarding organizational structures, policies, and environments that may have impacted or enabled the harassment. The policy should include appropriate protections for those who experience sexual or gender-based harassment from all sources, including but not limited to harassment from supervisors, educators, colleagues, peers and patients.

(Sept 2019 BOD)