Manifestation of Disruptive Behavior

  • Anger
  • Intimidation and sarcasm
  • Abusive language
  • Threats of violence or retribution
  • Sexual harassment
  • Racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic slurs
  • Late or inappropriate replies to pages or calls
  • Unprofessional demeanor or conduct
  • Uncooperative, defiant approach to problems
  • Rigid, inflexible responses to requests for assistance or cooperation
  • Inappropriate medical record entries  

The expression of anger in the workplace by physicians is manifested in a variety of disruptive and maladaptive behaviors that tend to persist or reassert themselves over time.  Anger may be expressed with subtlety and persistence, or with sudden explosive dramatic outbursts.

The physician with disruptive behavior may blame or shame others for possible adverse outcomes.

Ethically and legally, sexual innuendos of any kind are unacceptable, as are racial or ethnic slurs.

Negative role modeling, particularly the use of public humiliation as a socialized and necessary element of medical training, is often used to justify current behavior.

Criticism that is offered in good faith with the aim of improving patient care should not be construed as disruptive behavior.  Similarly, a Medical Staff member whose behavior is merely unusual, unorthodox, or different is not sufficient to justify a complaint.


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Last Updated On

January 26, 2012

Originally Published On

March 23, 2010