Monday, 1 March 2010


Medical Mobbing is a phenomenon which occurs when a doctor is attacked by a group of individuals who can be all of one species (doctors) or a mixture of different professionals, patients and relatives. It can be fatal. The term comes from biology to describe the behaviour of animals usually birds when they feel threatened.

In medical profession excellence can provoke mobbing. Doctor who has integrity can be a threat or the one who is extra popular with staff or patients. Like in bullying there maybe failure to recognize what is going on and only years later individual is capable of recognizing how it started or why. One of the reasons why it is not immediately recognized for what it is the respect for authority figures and it is said, low self-esteem. Does that mean doctor should not have worked at the place at all?

Medical mobbing can be stopped but it requires a change of mentality from bystanders to a group of doctors objecting.

Some doctors are more vulnerable than others, for example: locums, foreign doctors, part-timers, those with a successful private practice and those with novel controversial treatments or just simply being more honest is enough as well as being beautiful. Whistle blowing is obviously something that excites mobbers more than anything.

Dr Lawrence Huntoon, American Neurologist, has written several editorials about sham peer reviews which are, I would say, in the category of regulatory bullying, the nastiest form of bullying. Read some of his editorials here:

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