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Tips For Physicians: Dealing with Difficult Colleagues

Recently I attended a CME course entitled “Dealing with Difficult Colleagues.”  It was part of my medical malpractice company’s risk management series to teach physicians/nurses how to lessen our risk of being sued.

This lecture was given by Linda Worley, MD who is a psychiatry professor at UAMS.  She is a good speaker, easy to understand, engages the crowd, and knows her subject.

My only complaint would be that it focused only the “angry” or “frustrated” physicians who exhibit unprofessional behavior and did not include the ones whom you suspect might be difficult due to impairment (illness, drugs, alcohol).

Difficult colleagues can impact a team (in office, OR, or hospital) by creating low morale, high staff turnover, inefficiency, decreased patient satisfaction, increased risk for poor patient outcomes, and increased risk of litigation.

Here are some of the A-B-C-D strategies given for handling “horizontal” hostility (or hostility handed from one person to another to the next in the team): Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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