I read the article and here is the direct quote.
"Most medical students in the United States are graduating from medical school having had experiences that they report as being either belittling or harassing,"
I agree that you get belittled or criticized when you are a medical student or even as an resident, but alot of it is subjective. What is considered belittling to someone, might be considered constructive criticism to me. Some people are sensitive more so than others. Alot of medical students / residents go around with egos and when someone says to them that you are not doing a good job because so and so, or something like " how can you not know that as a 4th year medical student.... you should go home and spend more time reading!" The problem is that if the only thing you ever get from someone is "oh you are such a good student, there is nothing that you can improve, you are great, etc, etc." Then you will never improve and get better. Sometimes it takes a person higher up to knock you off from your ego trip to become a better physician. I was a medical student not too long ago, now I am a resident and have the responsibility of eval / working with medical students. At the same time, I get criticized by my attendings. I have been on both side of the fence, and I can say that it is important to tell a student if they are doing a good job or if they have areas that they need to improve upon.... If no one is willing to point out your weakness, then you will never improve, that is the bottomline. Some times, the method of pointing out these weakness can seem belittling or harassing.... but you know what, as a med student or resident, just suck it up.... because one day, you may look back and say hey, that was a great criticism. No matter what you end up doing in life, business / waiting tables / janitor / nurse / doctor, you will always be criticized by either your boss, colleague, or patient. How you perceive these criticisms can have great effects on your work and happiness.
On the other hand, some things are considered harassment, this is a true story, one of the Duke med students years ago, during her surgery rotation, was retracting in the OR, the attending was pissed off that the retracting was not good, and put a staple into this medical student's hand. This example is crossing the lines.