“Disruptive Behavior”: Case I by Betsy Williams, PhD

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“Disruptive Behavior”: Case I by Betsy Williams, PhD

This is the second in a series of articles on disruptive behavior. Much like a physician treating a patient needs to assess their patient prior to prescribing a treatment course, finding the correct remedial strategy for a healthcare provider whose behavior disrupts the smooth functioning of their system requires an understanding of the individual and the system. Using case studies, this series is designed to highlight the heterogeneity of causes and thus approaches necessary to remediate “disruptive behavior”. There are a variety of resources currently available. These range from “Anger Management Courses”, remedial CME, individual therapy, coaching, as well as more intensive therapeutic approaches.

Dr. Good is a 56-year-old primary care physician working in a large multi-specialty group. He is highly respected as a knowledgeable and thorough provider who expects a great deal from himself and those he works with. He is uniformly However within the past year or so his office manager left. His new office manager has been filing incident reports describing him as disruptive. She has documented several incidents where he was short tempered, angry, rude and irritable. She described in great detail an event where he yelled at her when lab results were not available. She has also complained about how he yelled at her after she provided him with feedback about a call that he forgot to return on a patient. She has said that his behavior was angry and threatening. She told her husband about this and her husband has called raising his concern about the safety of the workplace.

What are your next steps? What do you think Dr. Good needs?