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Attitudes towards bullying may affect students’ but not supervisors’ future research involvement
  1. Yassar Alamri1,
  2. Ibrahim Saleh Al-Busaidi2
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. 2 Department of General Medicine, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yassar Alamri, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; yassar.alamri{at}

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Recent events have reignited an interest in and debate about workplace/career bullying—both within the medical field (eg, reports of discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment by members of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons1) and outside (eg, accounts of sexual harassment within the Hollywood community2). More specific to research and academia have been the recent events in the UK and Germany, including several investigations into bullying, resignation of high-profile researchers and revocation of significant funding—all occurring within prestigious and eminent laboratories and research centres.3

While overt bullying (eg, shouting and threatening) is easy to spot, it is the more covert forms of bullying (eg, microaggression, undermining someone’s work or opinion, and tasking junior staff with impossible duties under unfeasible deadlines) that are likely to be significantly more problematic. This is because it is less likely to have tangible evidence, and differing opinions may or may not regard a particular behaviour as bullying.3

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  • Contributors YA conceived the idea, collected the data, undertook data analysis and wrote the first draft. ISA conceived the idea, undertook data analysis and critically appraised the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch on behalf of the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (reference: D17/286).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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