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May 2015

Disrupting Disruptive Physicians

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cedars-Sinai Health System, Los Angeles, California
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(5):385-386. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.2911

On Thursday mornings, our operating room management committee meets to handle items large and small. Most of our discussions focus on block-time allocation, purchasing decisions, and alike. However, too often we talk about behavioral issues, particularly the now well-characterized disruptive physician.

We have all seen it or been there before. A physician acts out in the operating room with shouting or biting sarcasm, intimidating colleagues and staff and impeding them from functioning at a high level. The most debilitating perpetrators of this behavior are repeat customers who engender such fear and uncertainty in all who contact them that the morale of the nursing staff and anesthesiologists is undermined, work becomes an unbearable chore, and performance suffers.

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