- Verbal outbursts
- Physical threats
- Refusing to perform assigned tasks
- Quietly exhibiting uncooperative attitudes during routine activities
- Refusal to answer questions
- Condescending language or voice intonation
To address the problem, many healthcare organizations have created programs for disruptive physicians. Staff members who observe disruptive physicians can refer them to the program for counseling which may include anger management counseling or leadership skills training. Giovanna Zerbi, PsyD, teacher at University of California, San Diego, told MedScape that many physicians lash out in disruptive behavior as a reaction to what they perceive to be a loss of power. Physicians are increasingly being asked to work collaboratively as part of a healthcare team, instead of giving orders to other providers. She also said physicians who practice in high-stress specialties, such as OB/GYN, surgery, and emergency medicine, are more likely to be disruptive. As healthcare models continue to move towards more collaboration, it will be important to make sure physicians understand how to effectively operate in a team environment without yelling or threatening staff members.