The Disruptive Physician and Anger Management

Prevention is critical when so much is at stake — good patient care and one’s professionalism. It is not uncommon that a physician may be asked to seek assistance when his or her behavior may be affecting the overall delivery of health care.

The term disruptive physician refers to a practitioner who has been unable to manage conflicts and anger appropriately, thus, affecting the professional work environment and, ultimately, patient care. This physician may be unable to control his or her anger, may show disregard to another professional’s options, or may openly reprimand staff in view of patients and other professionals.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) has stated that health care organizations have an obligation to protect patients from harm; are required to design a process that provides education and prevention of physical, psychiatric, and emotional illness; and facilitate the confidential diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of potentially impaired physicians. According to JCAHO, in some cases, disruptive behavior may be reasonably interpreted to require anger and/or stress management or formal behavioral counseling and monitoring.

At a fundamental level, confidential conflict and anger management training intervention with sensitivity redress a potentially inflaming situation. At Los Angeles-based Anderson & Anderson®, which is nationally and internally acclaimed for anger management, owner George Anderson identifies that anger is a secondary emotion, which means another emotion — such as fear or sadness — or stress precedes anger. Thus, he uses executive coaching to assist physicians in managing their high tension in their daily life. Similarly, Denver-based Anderson & Anderson® provider SB Consulting — the  Colorado-based Anderson & Anderson® provider — understands that peak performance of the physician and keen acumen is imperative to the delivery of sound medical care and professionalism.

Seeking an appropriate course of action can make the difference in the outcome. Receiving expert coaching can create a specific course for addressing and controlling anger. These services do not offer counseling or psychotherapy. Instead, professional executive coaching of anger management means receiving expert advise on not only managing demanding work schedules and huge responsibilities, but also receiving guidance to alter the negative impact and change angry behavior. The benefits of these services for the physician include:

-Improving performance
-Balancing between work schedules and huge responsibilities
-Being in sync with one’s value system
-Managing the stress
-Altering anger-related reactions
-Improving communication

By Sonia Brill, LCSW, CAMF
SB Consulting

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