Referrals to Coaching for “disruptive physicians” is Exploding.

It is only January 14, 2012 yet the predicted avalanche of coaching referrals from Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations for “disruptive physicians” is here. Mandating physicians to participate in any type of training or intervention is difficult and frequently challenged. Coaching for “disruptive behavior” is even more problematic because of its’ newness and extreme range of options.

Some observations from a major provider of Coaching for “disruptive physicians”:

  • The following is a partial list of Healthcare Professionals that may be responsible for mandating an alleged “disruptive physician” to enroll in an appropriate intervention program: Credentials Committee, Physicians Well-Being Committee, Risk Management Specialist, CEO or Medical Director. Many, if not most of these professionals are unsure of what takes place in a course or an intervention program for “disruptive physicians” which makes the referral conversation all the more difficult.
  • There is a tendency for those in charge to delay action until the potential for litigation is a concern. Such a delay may make follow through by the physician more difficult.
  • Since the referral options range from a one -week inpatient psychiatric evaluation and thirty days of inpatient psychiatric or substance abuse treatment for “rage a holism”, to an Emotional Intelligence Assessment and skill enhancement coaching, the mandating professional may be reluctant to risk damaging a physicians career by forcing psychiatric treatment for a non-psychiatric/medical condition.
  • Taking a highly skilled surgeon a way from his or her practice, hospital and community to attend a CME Course in another state for three days is often unnecessary and cost prohibitive.
  • Finally, none of the Major Medical Associations have taken the time to evaluate the existing intervention programs for “disruptive physicians” and develop a list or directory of approved providers nationwide.

It is in the best interest of the physician and the Healthcare Organization to carefully review the reputation of the organization and their curriculum to make sure that it is related to skill enhancement in self-awareness, self-control, social awareness and relationship management. Counseling or Psychotherapy is clearly inappropriate for “disruptive behavior”.

George Anderson



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