June 9, 2016


Hi Jennifer,

I recently attended a departmental meeting in my hospital--among different topics of conversation and concerns was an issue raised by many resident physicians as well as attending physicians about attitudes and behaviors and interactions of a few nursing-supervisors in a certain unit in the hospital with the physician staff of this unit--the situation is very bad, especially since these specific nurses are on top of the ranks in this unit and the bad behavior trickles down to other nursing staff.  The question is how to handle this situation since even doctors in administrative positions seem to be unable to take handle of this situation?

Thank you in advance. 
Dr. P


This is such a tough question, with really no easy answer.  I hear variations of this on a frequent enough basis to respond, first, this is a common occurrence.  Second, this complaint is not just lodged against nursing staff, but also administrators in general.  

The best solution is to resolve through the medical staff society, if there is one.  If the medical staff society is not well organized or represented, this issue becomes harder to address with the administration.  If the issues exacerbate to a point where quality of care becomes an issue, the joint commission could be notified.  

If you are seeing devaluing of the physician - as general - my experience is the allowance of such approach is systemic.  To combat same the physicians as a group must, through proper channels, demand a change in the emerging status quo.  It may be work exploring outside assistance, including approaching your specialty or regional medical society, or engaging counsel to communicate with the institution on the physicians' behalf.  


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