My girlfriend is a resident (medical doctor) in a large institution in Italy. She has some 7-8 other colleagues, and all of them are exploited by their superior to do all the hard work in their place. They run the ward by themselves (which by contract they are supposed to work under supervision all the time), they sign therapy (if something goes wrong it's their fault), they are psychologically forced to work way more than what is in their contract (12h/day on average).
Being forced to run ward all the time, they don't have time to learn other important skills (like ultrasonography to name one, which is done by their superior alone while they run the ward). At the end of the year, they are forced to sign a document that certifies that they have done ultrasonography during the year (as per their contract). They do take a lot of other risks they are not supposed to take.
What her colleagues did?
Their colleagues don't seem to have reacted to this situation, even though they talk a lot about trying to change things.
What we've done so far?
My girlfriend and I decided to file an anonymous whistleblow explaining this situation to the institution, which resulted in a meeting with their boss, but eventually didn't lead to any change.
Now she doesn't want to create any more "problems", and is resigned to the fact that nothing can change, and don't want to file another whistleblow. She's psychologically destroyed, lost faith in her job that she loved, have lost empathy and everything.
What can I do?
I am thinking about another anonymous whistleblow that could force the boss to change things. Even though she doesn't like it, I'm ethically inclined to do something to change her situation.
Clarification: She really wants to become a Neurologist, the only way she can do that is complete a 4 years training after graduation (she's almost half-way). So basically she just can't change job, she could instead ask to be accepted in another Neurology school in the country (but both Department directors should agree, and it's not that easy since by contract you could change only for family reasons or for "serious reasons" which is a wide concepts). Her contract is a 38 hours/week one; it's also written that sporadically the resident could work up to 48 hours/week. She works 70-75 hours/weekly on average. And these hours are mostly unproductive due to repetitive tasks and lack of proper training from the attendings which work elsewhere alone.
Main reasons she's not left yet:
- Me, we started to live together 1 year ago.
- Her speciality colleagues, she knows that if she leaves, they would be left in an even worse conditions than they are now.
Whistleblow: It reaches directly the boss of her boss. So maybe the first time it went like: "ok, just let me talk to my residents and see what can I do". But since no one ever complained again to the bigger boss (Institutional) maybe they just considered the case closed... Moreover there is the ethical dilemma of filing another whistleblowing not telling my GF (which doesn't believe too much in it).