Say “no” to psychological harassment

* In this pandemic period, people are more stressed, therefore more irritable and sometimes even more aggressive. Be careful, as the number of cases of psychological harassment is likely to increase. *

That being said, COVID-19 pandemic period or not, the FMRQ has zero tolerance for psychological harassment (bullying). The first thing to do if you believe you are the victim of psychological harassment is to: 

➔ make detailed notes of the events (dates, locations, individuals involved, words spoken, gestures made, emails exchanged, etc.). 

To help you recognize and take action if you believe you are a victim of psychological harassment in your training site, here is an algorithm. Click on the scenarios for which you wish to obtain information:

My staff physician seems to be picking on me

My staff physician treated me rudely

I experienced a humiliating assessment

A conflict with a colleague is making my life miserable 

My staff physician is making advances to me, it’s uncomfortable


Although some progress has been made, psychological harassment is still present in training sites, and has a detrimental impact on the psychological well-being of its victims. The culture has to be changed in training sites and the medical profession as a whole, particularly so that harassment situations are reported and dealt with appropriately, in a timely manner. 

Effective intervention in harassment cases is an accreditation criterion for training sites

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) have made psychological harassment a criterion for accreditation, i.e., all training sites must implement measures for responding rapidly and effectively in such situations.