Executive Coaching/Anger Management Gains Acceptance among Physicians

Posted on: January 9, 2008

When the JCAHO “disruptive physician” regulations went into effective on April 1, 2007, physicians nationwide expressed opposition. Some of the initial anxiety was related to concern on the part of physicians that these new regulations would lack farness for physicians accused of being “disruptive”. The concern was that physicians who were whistle blowers and those who were “politically” incorrect would be accused of being “disruptive” and have their careers ruined.


Physicians in one major hospital chain actually formed a strong coalition to pressure the organization to adopt weak regulations designed to delay any action by instituting global 360 surveys with up to nine months for physicians to demonstrate that their behavior was showing improvement. This particular hospital chain was unable to allay the anxiety of this group of physicians.


Some enlightened physicians have correctly expressed opposition to any type of intervention which implies psychopathology, mental impairment or any type of psychological problems. Since the official definition of “disruptive behavior” specifically excludes sexual abuse, substance abuse and mental impairment, it is not permissible and unwarranted to attempt to mandate any type of mental intervention for a non-existing nervous our mental disorder.


Disruptive behavior is defined as behavior which negatively impacts interpersonal relationships and results in less than optimal patient care. Essentially it is confrontational, abusive or aggressive behavior which undermines medical team effectiveness and moral.


Currently, the Anderson & Anderson ® Executive Coaching/Anger Management curriculum for Physicians is by far the most popular and most widely received model among physicians in the nation. The three non-psychological assessments which are used in this model appear to sell the value of this intervention.


These comprehensive assessments are designed to provide a detail examination of the physician’s level of stress/burnout, anger, stress and emotional intelligence. Intervention/action items are listed as needed goals to address every deficit which is identified in this through assessment.


George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAFM


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