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No Room for Abuse

October 29, 2017
by Mark David Siegel

Hello everyone,

I won't use this space to rehash revelations that powerful men abused women in the film, news, and tech industries. They aren’t really revelations, particularly for the victims, nor are they the only industries. Instead, I want to consider the conditions that contribute to misconduct and suggest ways to keep our residency safe.

Sexual misconduct thrives when organizations let powerful men exploit the vulnerable. It persists when influence, prestige, and financial success put perpetrators in positions of power, where they’re allowed to become untouchable. Power shields abusers, stifles victims, and encourages those who should speak up to turn away. The result is silence, which deludes us into believing all is well- until the silence lifts and our mothers, sisters, and daughters step forward to say "#MeToo."

Misconduct can happen anywhere, and academic medical centers are not immune. If we are to commit ourselves to a just, safe community, we must take nothing for granted. We must state this message clearly: harassment will not be tolerated, power is not an excuse, and influence is not a means to evade responsibility.

Let’s harness this moment to protect ourselves from misconduct. Abuse only persists when we fail to value everyone in our community, when we fail to treat each other as family, and when we fail to treasure our trainees and colleagues as the sisters and brothers that they are. We must protect each other when we witness abuse, and we must speak up promptly and decisively when called upon to do so.

Let it be known that there is no room for the abuse of power in our residency. In this home, we look out for one another and cherish one another. We must commit ourselves to these principles so everyone in our family can flourish.

Once again in solidarity, Mark PS it was a glorious Saturday on Sleeping Giant:

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on October 29, 2017