Health News
12/04/08

Obnoxious Doctors Drive Hospital Stress
Dec. 3, 2008

Many health care workers cite doctors who behave badly as the
cause of low morale, high stress and quick turnover among hospital
staff, the New York Times reports.

Recent studies suggest that abusive, arrogant and disruptive
behavior by physicians also leads to medical errors,
complications and even fatalities.

Nearly 70 percent of medical workers who participated in one recent
study said there was a link between disruptive behavior and medical
mistakes, and 18 percent said they knew of an error that happened
because of a doctor with a bad attitude, according to the Times. The
study surveyed health care workers at 102 nonprofit hospitals from
2004 to 2007.

The newspaper reported that a third of nurses who participated in
the study said they knew of a case where a nurse chose to leave her
job because of an obnoxious doctor. Nurses recalled situations
where doctors berated or screamed at them in front of patients and
other medical staff, or even had to dodge scalpels thrown across the
operating room by a fuming doctor.

"It is the health care equivalent of road rage," Dr. Peter B.
Angood, chief patient safety officer at the Joint Commission, the
nation's leading independent hospital accreditation agency, told the
Times.
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