On 12th September 2023, the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery (WPSMS) released their comprehensive report, underscoring the concerning prevalence of sexual misconduct within the surgical field. BOSTAA acknowledges the gravitas of these findings, particularly the disproportionate impact of such misconduct on female and junior surgeons.

Within the realm of orthopaedics and the wider surgical community, no individual, especially those in the early stages of their careers, should ever be placed in a position where they fear the ramifications of reporting incidents of bullying, harassment, or sexual assault. Such misconduct is not only morally reprehensible but also stands in stark contrast to the foundational values of our healthcare system and society at large.

The path to becoming a surgeon is filled with challenges. However, for many trainee surgeons, these challenges are further compounded by both sexual misconduct and an underlying environment of incivility. Beyond the distress of confronting overt harassment or prejudice, they may often find themselves grappling with sinister behaviours which, although more subtle, can be just as corrosive.

Addressing sexual misconduct and bullying must be hand in hand with a broader initiative to combat general incivility. Our collective aim should be to cultivate a surgical community where respect, collaboration, and mutual understanding are paramount.

BOSTAA has been urging professional bodies for some time to address the issue of incivility within orthopaedics. This insidious problem has steadily undermined the foundation of our healthcare system. We believe that now is the pivotal moment for this matter to be treated with the utmost seriousness and to be addressed alongside all other forms of unacceptable behaviour.

Finally, BOSTAA unequivocally condemns all manifestations of sexual misconduct, bullying, and harassment. We stand resolute in our backing of a zero-tolerance policy. Our dedication lies in fostering an inclusive and respectful surgical culture, and we wholeheartedly support the continuing efforts to reshape the ethos within our community.