Inpatient Treatment for “Disruptive Physician” Behavior is Professional Suicide

Hospital based Behavioral Health Programs as well as Substance Abuse Programs are labeling “disruptive physicians” as psychiatrically impaired or rageaholics and forcing them to participate in 30 – 60 day inpatient treatment. Anyone who is committed to inpatient treatment, is automatically considered severely incapacitated.

Some Hospital and Healthcare Organizations op for inpatient care as a way of punishing unpopular physicians. No physician should risk his or her career by accepting an intervention which is unrelated to the defined problem.

“Disruptive Physician” behavior is defined by the Joint Commission as behavior which is considered demeaning, aggressive, threatening or inconsistent with civil discourse. Such behavior may impact patient safety and undermine interpersonal relations and interdisciplinary team effectiveness.

Disruptive behavior is not an addiction nor a mental or nervous disorder and therefore should not be subjected to psychiatric or substance abuse treatment.

Physicians, Well-being Committees and persons responsible for mandating “disruptive physicians” to intervention programs should equip themselves with an adequate understanding or what is and what is notĀ appropriate in intervention programs for disruptive physician behavior. Disruptive behavior in simple terms are problems managing anger, difficulty managing stress, deficits in assertive communication as well as social awareness and relationship management.

Coaching for disruptive must include an Emotional Intelligence Assessment before and after the completion of the coaching. A minimum of 6 months of aftercare must be completed and skill enhancement in self-awareness, self-control, social awareness and relationship management must be offered.

Ideally, the physician should be given an opportunity to select a program which can be offered On-site in his own city or a location which does not take him or her away from his or her practice given the tremendous cost which can be incurred from lost practice days.