Disruptive Physicians, Coaching and Anger Management

Not all angry doctors are disruptive but it is a label used by some to describe a doctor’s behavior.  If you, or a loved one, has started to develop issues with anger it is wise to seek help with an anger management coach before this label is applied to you. In other words, it is best for you to get anger management training before it is mandated by someone else, like an administrator, disciplinary board or judge. In our experience, when a physician is made aware of their disruptive behavior in an appropriate way, most are willing to make an effort to change their style of communication.


Dr. Patrick Hudson MD, FACS, BCC is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the National Anger Management Association. He is also a  Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and a Board Certified Coach. In addition to his medical degrees, he has advanced degrees in Mental Health Counseling, Medical Ethics and Liberal Arts. Dr. Hudson is an anger management specialist certified by the NAMA and is available for coaching and education. He specializes in individual anger management and emotional intelligence coaching for physicians and surgeons.


If you are an administrator, lawyer or physician executive who needs to manage a disruptive physician remember disruptive behavior often begins with unhelpfulness or rudeness. However in some cases it deteriorates into abusive or even violent behavior. When doctors intimidate or disrupt their peers or other staff members medical errors may occur. It also contributes to poor patient satisfaction and increases the cost of care. Nine out of ten physicians agree that disruptive physician behavior may affect patient care. Managing disruptive physician behavior is a challenge for any medical group or hospital. Our disruptive physician program can help you manage a disruptive physician on your staff.


“A single episode of disruptive behavior does not render a physician a disruptive physician. Human beings are complex creatures. No one is perfect. Expecting absolute harmony is unrealistic…”~Norman Reynolds1


Not all disruptive physicians are simply angry.  Some may suffer from a mental or physical illness for which they need help. While Dr. Hudson does not treat mental pr physical problems, if he feels a problem cannot be helped with coaching he will refer you for further treatment and evaluation. Sometimes, it is possible for coaching to continue at the same time as additional medical or psychological treatment occurs.


It is rare for engaged physicians to become burned out. To that end, we also consult with organizations to develop and change the work environment so that it encourages physician engagement and reduces turnover and burnout. In so doing, both the physician and the organization gain from a reduced staff turnover, improved patent safety and a more functional and productive medical team.


Anger is a common problem, not limited to doctors.  Still, almost three out of four physicians say that in their workplace disruptive physician behavior occurs once a month and one in ten say it happens every day. One in four physicians admits to engaging in disruptive behavior at some time in their own career. It is widely recognized that patient safety and the quality of care depends on good communication and teamwork. The need for services to help doctors, and other health care workers, is large and increasing. 


Alan Rosenstein comments that the modern health care environment creates a lot of stress on physicians and increasing "intervention by outside parties, greater accountability, increasing complexity, higher expenses, and lower reimbursement are just a few of the issues that have significantly changed traditional practice settings…there is a greater degree of burnout and depression which is significantly impacting their behaviors."2


Physicians, hospital administrators and clinic managers, recognize they need to create a more professional medical environment. This takes on new urgency with recent  mandates from the Joint Commission (JCAHO) for assessment, intervention and monitoring of disruptive physicians.


Patrick Hudson MD, has been a physician for over 30 years and understands the unique needs of medical doctors and other professionals. He is an anger management specialist  certified by the National Anger Management Association (NAMA) and is a Fellow of the National Anger Management Association. He is available for  remedial coaching and anger management for disruptive physicians. If you, a friend, partner, colleague or employee needs help call 505-280–4284. Dr. Hudson is also available for education and consultation regionally, nationally and internationally.


The program is usually completed by telephone or video link like Skype or WebEx with a limited need for one on one meetings. In this way, those living at a distance can complete the program with fewer visits to Albuquerque and less disruption of their work schedule. In addition to individual coaching we also offer organizational coaching and workshops.


Our program is listed as a resource by the Federation of State Medical Boards in their directory of physician assessment and remedial education  programs.


References:

1. Reynolds, N. T. (n.d.). Disruptive Physician Behavior: Use and Misuse of the Label (available at https://www.cppph.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/disruptive-physician-behavior_usemisuse-of-the-label.pdf)

2. Rosenstein, A. (2009). Managing disruptive behaviors in the health care setting: process, policy, prevention and intervention. Adv Psychol Res. (available at http://www.physiciandisruptivebehavior.com/admin/articles/22.pdf)






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Coaching for Physicians

The Leader in Specialized Coaching for Healthcare Organizations and Physicians

Patrick A. Hudson MD, FACS, Board Certified Coach, 2900 Louisiana Blvd. NE Ste E-1, Albuquerque, NM 87110, USA    Telephone: 505-280-4284  
                        EverythingDiSCŪ Authorized Partner and EverythingDiSCŪ Certified Trainer  
                     
 
Dr. Hudson does not practice psychotherapy, counseling or psychiatry and works only as a coach.
If you suffer from an emotional or psychiatric problem he can help refer you to a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
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