The New York Times reports today on a study that shows that arrogant, abusive and disruptive doctors are often contributors to medical mistakes! Did it take rocket scientists to figure that out? Almost any nurse could have told you that!!
The article showcases one such example as a nurse tries to contact a doctor in the middle of the night about a young patient whose shunt is obviously malfunctioning. The doctor becomes arrogant and berates her for calling him because "she doesn't know anything, she's not a doctor." A few hours later, after he ignores her third call, the patient is taken to emergency surgery.
Studies have also shown that such abusive behavior leads to low morale, increased stress and high levels of turnover of staff. The American Medical Association has begun to take stock in the complaints nurses have been waging for years. Now many medical schools even have core courses in good communication skills and leadership skills.
Hospitals have also begun to form disciplinary committees which include doctors, nurses and administrators to address complaints and develop a no-tolerance policy.