Message on Sexual Harassment

Kevin Ewanchyna, MD, President 
Oregon Medical Association

March 10, 2021

A fundamental principle of gender equity in any profession is to ensure a safe and inclusive workplace for people of all identities. Even when organizations have protections in place, sexual harassment remains prevalent in medicine. As critical work continues to promote gender equity within healthcare professions, we must always remain vigilant to the everyday experiences of individuals and support policies and practices that strive for transparent, respectful, and safe workplace cultures.

An organization’s culture and climate are the greatest predictors of sexual harassment, which includes the perceived tolerance of this behavior. As individuals and as teams, we must understand our reporting responsibilities, address incidents promptly, ensure rapid access to support and confidential resources for anyone harmed, and protect individuals from retaliation. In addition, we must proactively address and improve workplace culture to prevent future incidents and ensure the safety of our workforce. This will require education and training over time, periodic reevaluation, and a sustained commitment from organizational leaders.

The Oregon Medical Association believes that sexual harassment is unacceptable and supports zero-tolerance policies regarding sexual harassment in hospitals, medical clinics, and all other workplace or educational settings. The OMA supports regular updating, sharing, and enforcement of guidelines and procedures to prevent and address sexual harassment at all levels, as well as timely and ongoing education. Furthermore, the OMA is committed to continuing our work to promote and support gender equity within the healthcare profession.

The OMA stands firmly against sexual harassment and will continue striving towards a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and safe environment for physicians, physician assistants, students, and all healthcare workers in Oregon.