Factors To Consider In Selecting A Program for Physician Anger

Physicians who are mandated to attend classes or coaching for “disruptive behavior” frequently perceive themselves to be under assault from their State Medical Boards, Credential Committees, Human Resource Managers, Hospital Administration or Physician Well-Being Committees. Rarely are they given appropriate information regarding the Pros and Cons of the three major programs that provide this intervention.

Unfortunately, neither the American Medical Association nor most of the state medical boards nationwide appear to provide useful information regarding the purpose, content and value of these programs.

Currently, there are three major providers of Executive Coaching/Anger Management for “disruptive physicians” or small group training for this population. The Distressed Physicians Program at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the PACE Program and the University of California School of Medicine at San Diego were the first to offer services for “disruptive physicians”. Both of these programs began as programs for “impaired physicians”, substance abuse or sexual abuse. Therefore, they are well known to the medical community.

These institutions began providing programs for “disruptive physicians” around 2005. Both programs are limited to 7 or 8 participants per quarter, which limits the total number of participants to 27 or 32 per year. All classes are provided in a group format at the two respective Medical Schools without exceptions.

The Anderson & Anderson Executive Coaching Program was initiated in 2007 in conjunction with a small group of physicians from a large health care organization based in Dallas, TX. This hospital chain wanted to be proactive in working to provide assistance for their physicians in a non-threatening manner. Consequently, they wanted a program that was mobile (on-site) and offered individual intervention in a discreet, confidential manner. They also wanted to protect their physicians from being inappropriately labeled with some type of inappropriate psychiatric or substance abuse diagnosis. Finally, when a highly specialized surgeon, cardiologist or anesthesiologist is taken away from his or her practice to spend two or three days in Nashville, TN or San Diego, CA., the cost to the community, health care organization and the physician is unreasonably high. Therefore, On-site intervention is far more reasonable for most physicians. The Anderson & Anderson Coaching is provided on-site anywhere in the United States.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP

Diplomate, America Association of Anger Management Providers

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