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Doctors Behave Badly? Ya Don't Say!

Doctors are human right?  I mean… we all are!  But a new survey released last week by physicians themselves sheds some light on the not so nice behavior Doctors sometimes see in the work place.

According to a national survey of 840 Doctors, 2 out of 3 doctors witness other physicians disrupting patient care or collegial relationships at least once a month, and more than 1 in 10 Doctors witness this behavior on a daily basis. WHOA!

These are the same people most of us are trusting our lives with!

According to one of the Doctors who worked on the survey, in an interview with NPR :

“Disruptive physician behavior is the issue that just won’t go away,” says Dr. Barry Silbaugh of the American College of Physician Executives, which sponsored the project with the help of a Massachusetts-based group called QuantiaMD. “Our profession is still plagued by doctors acting in a way that is disrespectful, unprofessional and toxic to the workplace.”

The college, he wrote, hopes the survey will shine a light on “the shadowy, dark corners of our profession” where doctors act in arrogant, demeaning and even physically violent ways. Silbaugh likened it to pilots “fighting in the cockpit.”

The stress, long hours, and reported red tape often contribute to the sometimes infant like behavior of the providers. On top of that the financial rewards are shrinking, again according to the NPR article, which makes you wonder why Doctors are really becoming Doctors today?

The paper included some serious work place problems which were described as :

  • A doctor who was being monitored because of a long history of rudeness again yelled at a nurse, resulting in “a significant medication error and harm to a child.”
  • A prominent surgeon’s habit of degrading comments aimed at nurses and support staff eventually resulted in “shoving and pushing…in the OR.”
  • A male doctor created “an intolerable work environment for a female physician” through “condescending, bullying” and refusing to acknowledge her supervisory role.

Those surveyed in the work place also describe a serious concern about this kind of behavior, and as someone who just was in the hospital giving birth it concerns me too!

Many believe that having the title M.D. after their name gives them an automatic sense of being entitled or better than someone including their patients, and this is the same kind of behavior that needs to be excluded from care, especially when it comes to maternity care.

The birth team should consist of equal responsibility, and input from the Doctor/Midwife, nurse involved in the birth, and the mother/partner team, or any other person they desire to have involved in their birth whether it be a family member, or doula.

Have you ever had a bad run in with a Doctor in labor and delivery, or during your prenatal care?

photo: flickr.com/chimothy27

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