Physician Disruptive Behavior

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Recently, prosecutors from the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs have been investigating all entries made to the National Practitioner Databank (NPDB). One area they have been pursuing more aggressively is that of physician disruptive behavior. "

Although it is difficult to define "disruptive behavior," it is often described as a ongoing pattern of threatening, obnoxious, contentious behavior that deviates from the norm. This type of behavior creates an atmosphere that interferes with the functioning of the healthcare staff.

What is Disruptive Behavior From a Physician?

The most distinguishing characteristic of this physician is varying degrees of chronic malcontent and frequent outbursts of anger. When the compulsive traits fail, anger becomes the next level of psychological defense guarding the shame. The result is inappropriate outbursts of anger, often approaching the level of rage towards nurses, technicians, employees and patients.

Inappropriate behavior of the physician may include intimidation, abusive language, demeaning other staff, blaming others for problem on the job and threats of violence or retribution.

It may also include inappropriate responses to patient's needs or staff's requests including unprofessional demeanor or conduct, arrogance, disrespect, inadequate communications, ongoing conflict with others, particularly authority figures, late or unsuitable replies to pages and calls.

Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Investigations

If a doctor is disciplined by a hospital which results in a report to the National Practitioner Databank (NPDB), the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs will assign an investigator to do a thorough investigation.

If the physician is contacted by a B.P.O.A. investigator, he or she should retain an attorney before speaking with the investigator. Anything said to the investigator can be used against the physician in a disciplinary proceeding.

There are many occasions when no statements should be given to an investigator.

In a situation where a physician or healthcare professional is accused of disruptive behavior, we will perform a thorough investigation and speak to all potential witnesses.

Mental and Physical Examinations

If a physician or healthcare professional is accused of disruptive behavior, the attorney for the Medical or Nursing Board may request and receive an Order from the Board compelling the healthcare professional to attend a mental/physical examination with a psychiatrist chosen by the Board.

We will prepare the healthcare professional for this mental/physical examination.

If the prosecutor initiates disciplinary action against the healthcare professional, we will vigorously defend the healthcare professional at an administrative hearing.

Often, we are able to negotiate a Consent Agreement on behalf of the healthcare professional.

Protect Your Career and Your Future

If you are under investigation for disruptive behavior, take steps to protect your medical license and your career. To schedule a consultation at The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn, contact us online or call 866-657-7318.