Saturday, September 15, 2007

Being Held Accountable For Your Behavior

Surgeons may demonstrate acute powers of concentration while performing in the operating room, but their "star status" on a medical staff often feeds the flames of an overblown personality that is totally out of control.

Many physicians feel that they can do anything they want -- without ever being held accountable for their actions. The following situations are based on real events:

  • An esteemed physician who is known to have an abusive personality cornered a practice manager, started to physically threaten her, pushed her into a wall, and had to be escorted from the building by security personnel.

  • A "star" surgeon was stopped by the Highway Patrol and warned that, even though she was a doctor, she was not allowed to dictate, work on her laptop computer, and navigate an automobile simultaneously. Law enforcement personnel repeatedly had to explain to the surgeon that she could only perform one of the activities described above while driving on a busy freeway.

  • A physician known for his dysfunctional behavior was told that his services as a consultant for a clinic would no longer be needed. In a retaliatory move several days later, the physician entered the clinic and sabotaged some its testing equipment.

In many such situations, no disciplinary action is taken against the offending physician. As a result, support staff must continue to function in a hostile work environment which compromises patient care.

[Consciousness Raising Exercise #23]

Next: There Is A Higher Authority

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