When A Physician Lashes Out Part 4: The Confrontation

The story so far: In episode one, renowned surgeon Dr. Cliff D.’s angry outburst at a nurse and a physician colleague during a procedure prompted HR director Joelle K. to investigate. In episode two, she found nurse Janice L. and attending Dr. Gita K. were “walking on eggshells” in the presence of the volatile surgeon, [...]

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When A Physician Lashes Out Part 3: The Dilemma

In episodes one and two of the story, Dr. Cliff D. was overheard shouting at two colleagues during surgery. When HR director Joelle K. carried out interviews and found Dr. D. had ordered nurse Janice L. to remove a retractor and Janice questioned the procedure, prompting Dr. D.’s outburst. After attending physician Dr. Gita [...]

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When A Physician Lashes Out Part 2: The Fallout on the Clinical Team

In the first episode of the story, Dr. Cliff D. was overheard directing loud, hard words to two colleagues during surgery. Someone—we’re not sure who—complained to HR director Joelle K., and she interviewed the participants. What emerged was that Dr. D. had ordered nurse Janice L. to remove a retractor, and Janice was [...]

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When A Physician Lashes Out Part 1: The Incident

The nurses in the corridor outside O.R. 6 could hear it, and when they heard it they cringed: the voice of Dr. Cliff D. in full explosion. “You take out the retractor because I tell you to!” Indistinct reply. Dr. D. again, louder: “Oh, for God’s sake!” Another reply, also indistinct. Dr. D.: “Gita, I run this show ‘til we’re [...]

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Appropriate, Inappropriate and Disruptive Behavior by Physicians: Some Official Definitions

When it comes to the behavior of physicians, the lines between what’s appropriate, what’s merely inappropriate and what is genuinely disruptive are not always easy to draw. Here’s how the Model Medical Staff Code of Conduct, developed by the Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) of the American Medical Association, explains [...]

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What Does a “Prevention Plan” for Disruptive Behavior Look Like?

Discussing the need to deal with disruptive behavior on the part of physicians, one of the most prominent researchers in the field, H. Alan Rosenstein, MD, writes: "The greatest potential for success in the intervention process is to intervene before a disruptive event actually occurs. Once an event occurs the damage is [...]

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How Big a Problem Is Disruptive Behavior by Physicians, and What Can Be Done?

When a physician engages in disruptive behavior, defined by the AMA as “verbal or nonverbal conduct that harms or intimidates others to the extent that quality of care or patient safety could be compromised,” the ripple effect of the behavior can be extreme and the results quite dire, according to studies.1

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Challenges of Slowing Down and How to Avoid the Pitfalls

When physicians face the prospect of reducing their practice hours or challenges in heading toward retirement, they usually find themselves dealing with a profound crisis of identity.

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Projections on the Graying of the Physician Labor Force

The American medical profession is aging. One in four US physicians is over 65 years of age and those between 65 and 75 constitute about 11 percent of the active medical labor force. In addition, writes Amy McCullough on the Society for Vascular Surgery website, “many physicians over the age of 56 indicate plans to retire in [...]

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