Question Authority: The Need for Anti-Authoritarians in the Medical Profession

Hello Michael,

I actually posted a long comment before I reblogged your excellent post but when I clicked ‘Post Comment’ my modem crashed and the comment was lost.

Given the worth and importance of your post I will do that comment again.

A few weeks ago there was a show, ‘At Their Mercy’, on Australia’s ABC Four Corners, on authoritarian abuse in the medical profession in Australia.

Young trainee surgeons spoke about the vicious bullying they had experienced from senior surgeons and of that behaviour being endemic in their profession. One spoke of having been pushed to the brink of suicide.

Another (then) trainee female surgeon told of her supervising surgeon inviting her back to his office and once there, inviting her to go down on him (sic).

She reported him and immediately found herself faced by a wall of authoritarianism. She took action against him and won compensation but she will never be able to work in a public hospital again.

When she spoke on the show (and I think this was now some years after the above events) she was still clearly deeply offended by his betrayal and behaviour and clearly traumatised.

She is also highly respected and valued by her patients, several of whom spoke about her.

A senior female surgeon (a few weeks before the Four Corners show) was reported in the media as having said that if she had been advising the young surgeon, she would have told her for the sake of her career that she should have given him a blow job (sic). Can you believe that?

That senior female vascular surgeon was interviewed on Four Corners and came across as shell-shocked, saintly and hurt by all the criticism she had got for her comments. She was praised by the male head of one of the doctors’ organisations – who gave no praise to the young surgeon for her courage.

All of this exemplifies for me the thinking and behaviour of a band of power-crazed, primarily male authoritarians for whom viciousness is one of the tools in their kit bag and who are, in my view, virtually out of control.

At the cost of her career, that surgeon stood up to these pretentious, cunning primitives and I think if more people on the receiving end of similar behaviour could do so, those thugs might begin to think twice about how they behave towards decent people.

You have an excellent blog,

Best regards,

Phil Stanfield


Disrupted Physician

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 7.27.10 PM
Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously.  images-24To evaluate the legitimacy of  an authority it is necessary to:
1. Assess whether they actually know what they are talking about.
2. Assess whether the authorities are honest in their intentions.  When anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority.
There is a paucity of anti-authoritarianism in the medical community concerning groups who have gained tremendous sway in the regulation of the medical profession.    There is an absence of anti-authoritarian questioning  of  what is essentially illegitimate and irrational authority.
images-26In order for these organizations to maintain power it is necessary that their authoritative opinion remain unquestioned and unchallenged.  Consciously manufactured propaganda has persuaded regulatory and public opinion of their value and to maintain power it is necessary that this authority remain insulated from outside evaluation because the entire system is based…

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4 thoughts on “Question Authority: The Need for Anti-Authoritarians in the Medical Profession

  1. Dear Phil, I am familiar with a similar case regarding a female surgeon. She refused to comply with the advances of her senior resident and he reported her to the state PHP. She had been taking ambien from the sample closet for sleep and the PHP did a drug test and sent her for a three month stint in rehab followed by monitoring. As with many others she simply gave up medicine and went into a different field. The fact that this group has removed themselves from all aspects of accountability is disturbing–particularly the lack of any outside actors capable of punishing them.

    Anyway, I greatly appreciate your re-blogging this and helping me get the truth out there!–Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Michael,

      thanks for your comment. I agree that your concluding words point to the core of the problem. Medical doctors not only deal with our most precious possessions, their primary skill is in the alleviation of physical pain and suffering.

      Not only are these most powerful tools for keeping a society compliant through fear, those same facts are therefore incentives to engage in abuse – particularly under capitalism, with its focus on individualism and the self.

      There is not only a great need for ‘outside actors capable of punishing’ the abuses of which you post, there is, more fundamentally, a great need for a new social ethic.

      Best regards, Phil

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog, Michael and great re-blog Phil!

    Thanks for this information. I have not been watching ABC or SBS for over half a year now, as my TV is unable to receive their signals. So the information you are providing are of great interest to me. It is sickening to see our young and bright are being tortured for being a good person. Actually I was one of them, not in the medical field but in the finance/public service field. And I know that I am not the only one.

    The bullying experiences at my previous workplace and a subsequent legal abuse suffered at the ACT Magistrate Court, led me to investigate and understand various destructive international and domestic policies by the Australian government, and the bias of our mainstream media in the west.

    As an anti-authoritarian, I would not be surprised if I am under the surveillance of ASIO, as in the recent years I have been approached by waves of lobbyists who attempted me to give up the fight. In a world where evil runs amok, the knowledge of the abuses that people are suffering, are the best weapon we have to fight a good fight. Until the lies are exposed, the liars will not stop hiding the truth. Then again, “the improvement of society can be achieved only by the moral improvement of its citizens. – Tolstoy”.

    While I am not sure when the majority of Australian public will wake up to the reality of abuses that is happening, I am grateful for my experiences because it led me to be a person that I have always wanted to be (in a way that I have never imagined). Talking about fighting a good fight, I have summarised two keys from my days of warding off the lobbying foot soldiers:
    1. Fight for the right (to me, it is truth and justice. No Justice, no peace); and
    2. Fight for the best interest of my enemy (to me, it is truth and justice once again).

    Thank you for standing up for the right, and best wishes.
    Yi Ping Wang

    Liked by 1 person

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