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Toxic Docs Require Management Finesse

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, August 8, 2013

Those services include counseling, psychotherapy, wellness programs, and a safe harbor reporting system. Among their techniques is having counseling staff "embedded" with the physicians, coaching them toward improvements in relationships with other staffers. "We rub shoulders with them, "she says. "We have a comprehensive approach."

The hospital also conducts retreats for the doctors. "We take them out of town and address the whole burnout issue. We examine where the gaps are. We've been very proactive about it," says Paolini, who is also author of a book on the issue.

The hospital has been successful in helping physicians. But not everyone. For some of those, "if it's broken, it can't be fixed. And when that happens, you know," Paolini says.

Next week, this column will examine the issue of disruptive patients.

To learn more about disruptive physicians, join the HealthLeaders Media webcastReining in Disruptive Docs, Strategies to Manage Risk and Reduce Turnover on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, at 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET with William "Marty" Martin, MA, MS, MPH, PsyD, CHES and Herdley O. Paolini, PhD, LP.


Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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1 comments on "Toxic Docs Require Management Finesse"


Robert Fielder, MA (8/8/2013 at 4:46 PM)
The consequences of a disruptive physician's behavior can be among the most destructive to the effective delivery of medical services! Whatever the environment, behavior of this sort falls under the heading of workplace conflict and as other employers in other industries have repeatedly demonstrated, there's considerable benefit to be gained from implementing the full range of Dispute Resolution Techniques. Taken together, the various strategies and resources that can be deployed, in additional to those cited by Florida Hospital and DePaul University, constitute a Dispute Resolution System (DRS). A DRS can be locally designed and customized (usually by a multidisciplinary committee) at each hospital or practice. They are specifically designed to accommodate progressive discipline and incorporate coaching of and counseling with the offending individual. But [INVALID]ing the behavior is just the first step in the process. Effectively demonstrating to the offended individuals that such a change of heart has been accomplished requires that the offended individuals be involved in the search for effective resolution, as well. The participation of these fellow physicians or nurses, with the aid of peer or professional coaches, facilitators or mediators is the key to rebuilding the fractured relationships and that's the final step in the successful restoration of a functional healthcare team.