Media release

Workplace mistreatment targeting non-binary medical trainees

​​​​​​​The Medical Board of Australia’s breakdown of AHPRA’s latest Medical Training Survey data reveals telling experiences of workplace bullying and discrimination of non-binary and female medical trainees.

Of the more than 23,000 doctors in training surveyed, trainees who identified as non-binary reported the highest rates of experiencing bullying, harassment, discrimination, and/or racism, largely by medical colleagues and other health practitioners.

The survey data also revealed female trainees reported experiencing workplace bullying and mistreatment at a much higher rate than male trainees, but often avoided reporting the incident because they feared repercussions.

“These results are disheartening but unsurprising,” AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton said.

“Research regularly shows bullying and harassment is perpetrated against groups disproportionately, with women, LGBTQIASB+ people and persons of colour suffering more incidences of abuse than others.

“Our Resident Hospital Health Check (RHHC) that annually surveys junior doctors found similar results, with incidents of bullying and harassment remaining unacceptably high.

“In recognition of this issue, AMA Queensland established a LGBTQIASB+ Working Group to advocate for equity in health for all patients and medical practitioners.

“In Queensland, more than half of reported perpetrators were other health practitioners, including senior medical staff, nurses and midwives. We’re concerned this is a result of damaging workplace cultures upholding an unfair power imbalance.

“Majority of non-binary trainees who experienced mistreatment indicated they did not report incidents as they believed nothing would be done due to a lack of support.

“This is an indication of the lack of resources and support available for non-binary staff in the workplace, and a lack of respect and recognition for non-binary colleagues.

“We will continue to raise awareness and present practical solutions to government to stop these harms continuing.


  • Results of the 2023 Medical Training Survey (MTS) were published in December 2023.
  • On 18 April 2024, the Medical Board of Australia published a further breakdown of the 2023 MTS results, detailing experiences by gender of medical trainees.
  • The Medical Training Survey is in its fifth year, and the most recent survey was completed by more than half of all trainees in Australia.

Related topics