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What is disruptive behavior?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Medical Licensing

Not managing your emotions as a physician has multiple consequences, some of which relate directly to your job. Not only can unprofessional outbursts lead to a bad day at work, they can also lead to you needing to defend your medical license.

It is becoming more and more common for physicians across the United States to come under investigation for disruptive behavior. According to the American Medical Association, disruptive behavior is when a physician in a leadership role does not take heed of the “unintended effects” that certain institutional structures or personal behavioral patterns have on both staff and patients.

Will I have to defend my license over a bad day at work?

No. Simply having a bad day now and again has nothing to do with disruptive behavior. In order for an individual to report disruptive behavior in a non-malicious way, the behavior or institutional structure in question must be consistent.

Essentially, if a physician repeatedly acts in a way that negatively affects patient care, this may be grounds for a disruptive behavior claim. “Disruptive behavior” does not stop at the bedside manner a physician has with a patient, but it also impacts the way that other medical staff are able to interact with the physician as coworkers or subordinates.

What does “disruptive behavior” normally look like?

The medical profession is very stressful, so it is not unusual for disruptive behavior to take the form of anger outbursts. It may involve abusive language or blaming another person for problems at the job. There may even be threats of violence or retribution. Again, one bad day at work does not constitute “disruptive behavior,” but repeated instances do.