In Chile there is commotion over the case of Catalina Cayazaya, an Occupational Therapy student who took her own life after reporting harassment and mistreatment during her internship. The tragedy has put the spotlight on systematic abusive behavior in areas of health.

On March 16, the flame of Catita, As his friends called him, he went out. In a small note she told her mother to forgive her, but that she couldn’t take the pain anymore. That day she ended her life, Her dreams of being a great occupational therapist had been cut short more than a year ago, when she had her first contact with the world of work.

“The treatment was extremely unpleasant and now I was afraid to go. That lady insulted them. “They told her that she was stupid,” said Carolina Cors, his mother.

Catalina endured systematic insults for seven weeks while she was at her internship, but not in silence. Today her mother claims that she reported it from the first time, but no one paid attention.

At the University of the Andes, where she was studying, she was treated as weak and the harassment did not end there. Despite having good grades and being an exemplary student, she was asked to evaluate her guide teacher before her exam, something that her mother claims goes beyond what is permitted. She was failed.

“At that moment she took it very badly, we sent her a psychiatric license and she stayed at home for a few months,” said her mother.

It took him a year to recover. This time he would do the second internship in a different center and, although at first everything seemed to be going relatively well, except for the overload of work, When he had only a few days left for his evaluation, they prohibited him from taking his exam, why?

“The teacher told her: ‘Cata, can you believe they left me without an intern?’ That is, for a selfish interest in not being left without an intern, decides to fail an intern to whom he had not said anything terrible”, said Carolina Cors.

Carolina’s fortitude today surprises. She claims that she does it because He must raise his voice for his daughter and for the hundreds of young people who could be in the same situation. Workplace harassment has no limits and for many it may be difficult to detect it in time.

The Superintendency notified the Universidad de los Andes to provide all the information regarding this and other possible complaints. While the House of Studies claims to be carrying out an exhaustive investigation to determine responsibilities, an investigation organized almost two years after the first complaint made by Catalina.

With the situation that the young student went through, other students have shown solidarity and agree with her. “The general discomfort of us students is that in these cases “Something as extreme, as regrettable as this, has to happen for the subject to be talked about.” pointed out Ángel, a student at the University of the Andes.

Even worse when the Medical College itself admits that this practice of workplace harassment in careers linked to the health area is common, with the mistreatment and labor abuse that more than one person has suffered and that today, after this event, they are no longer willing to remain silent.


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