Gaslighting

Definition of Gaslighting: psychological manipulation with the objective to destabilize someone mentally to the point where she questions her own sanity and has emotional outbursts.

What to Expect: Welcome to the Kremlin as a P.O.W.

Manipulative Pimping: This is when an attending or senior resident may grill a junior level on more advanced clinical scenarios. While this is expected, gaslighting may present itself as contradictions during the pimping so you question what you heard.

Last Minute Presentations: An upper level is bullying you or wants to show their power, they can the night before a presentation is due contact you and order you to get it done.

Misinformation and Misdirection: You contact an upper level and he misinforms you as to how to manage patient care. You later confront him and say that is what he told you but he informs you and superiors that he told you something different.

Rumor Mill and Propaganda: Negative outright false or twisted misrepresentations of truths are being spread behind your back. 

Being Ignored: At meetings and conferences when you give an answer or ask questions, it is like you do not exist. People are giving you the cold shoulder. 

Harassment: Being called names, being given feedback that is not appropriate and not constructive. The objective is to intimidate and threaten. 

Physical Assault: Having things thrown at you, being slapped, grabbed etc. 

Gender Discrimination: women being held to higher or lower expectation in performance or some other measure than male peers, being isolated, blackballed, ignored when male peers or female peers who adhere to gender expectations are included.

Sexual Harassment: verbal or physical in the form of sexual commentary or intimate touching

Decline in Mental Health: long term gaslighting will ultimately negatively affect mental well being and clinical performance depending on the level of the sociopathic/empathic spectrum you are on.

Toxic Workplace: There is much overlap in behaviors observed in domestic violence and the toxic workplace. These behaviors manifest due to the nature of the business model physicians are expected to endure in combination with the huge financial differential between residents and senior level faculty and hospital administration.