I started working in a new unit in a new hospital and the bullying began almost immediately. Horizontal violence is the correct term! I'd always been able to get along wherever I was. Even when I was travel nursing, I made a point of trying to be a real part of the unit, contributing to potlucks and such. I never had issues until I went to work in this particular NICU. I thought maybe I had just run into a clique while I was doing my initial orientation on dayshift, but it was pervasive throughout the unit, on every shift. The first night on night shift when my orientation was complete, I got to listen to a rundown of my faults, capped off with "Why did the manager have to hire her?" It was the most miserable 11 1/2 months of my life. I tried being friendly, being firm, keeping to myself, etc. I had two trusted coworkers, the rest were outright hostile. I finally bailed. Life is too short.
As for nursing school, I did not experience weeding out. I do see that in the several ADN schools in our area. They accept a whole lot of students with the full intention of flunking a portion of them out. In our BSN program, we only lost 1 out of our class. The school was very selective and had small class sizes. It was grueling, but I always felt the teachers were invested in our success. They never cut us any slack, but they genuinely wanted us to learn and succeed.
With doctors, I've always found that a bland, flat stare with flat tone of voice tends to diffuse some things. Bullies hate it when they don't get a reaction. I've never had any serious issues with doctors. In the couple of tirades I did experience, I just stared at them, let them finish, and said, "ok." And what was I saying ok to? Maybe it was "ok, you are an idiot" but they couldn't prove it! I couldn't be accused of being disrespectful, but I certainly didn't give them what they wanted, which is usually tears, protestations, or an argument.
I have I've only worked in L&D and NICU, but I've worked in many hospitals, and most L&Ds I've experienced are good. You have to work together, and the doctors have to trust you. I had to sit with a pregnant girl in ICU one day to monitor the baby, and I finally decided she was laboring. I called our OB and he came and agreed with my assessment. The ICU nurses watched us interact and they commented that we seemed to have an exceptionally good relationship, when in fact he's the doc I feel the least comfortable and buddy-buddy with. I think L&D nurses and OBs just by necessity have to have good relationships. Not to say that there aren't some real a&&h@l3s in obstetrics, but I don't think they are the majority.