An Australian female surgeon says it might be better to 'comply' with requests for sex from male colleagues

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Gabrielle McMullin, a Sydney-based vascular surgeon, says it might be better for female doctors to comply when asked for sex by their male colleagues if they wanted to protect their medical careers.

She is the co-author of the book, Pathways to Gender Equality – The Role of Merit and Quotas.

After the book launch, she told the ABC in an interview that “complying with requests” for sex was a safer option than reporting the harassment.

She tells trainees this is easier than pursuing the perpetrators because of sexism among many male surgeons.

“What I tell my trainees is that, if you are approached for sex, probably the safest thing to do in terms of your career is to comply with the request,” she told the ABC.

Today is International Women’s Day.

To demonstrate what happens to whistleblowers, Dr McMullin told the story of a neurosurgical trainee in Melbourne who sexually assaulted by a senior surgeon at a hospital.

She then won a long legal process but she has never been appointed to a public position in a hospital.

“Her career was ruined by this one guy asking for sex on this night,” Dr McMullin said. “And realistically, she would have been much better to have given him a blow job on that night.”

The Australian Medical Association says all public hospitals have procedures to allow employees to safely report everything from bullying to sexual assault.

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