Disruptive physicians are a problem across all medical specialties, and otolaryngology is no exception. A 2011 survey of 800 physicians found that disruptive behaviors occur in more than 70% of hospitals each month (QuantiaMD.com, May 15, 2011). These actions, if not addressed, have been linked to lower satisfaction for patients and their families and can affect not only physician reimbursement but also physicians’ risk management experiences and malpractice lawsuits (JAMA. 2002;287:2951-2957).
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Disruptive behavior in hospitals can also endanger patient safety. The Joint Commission issued a sentinel event alert in 2008 that requires hospitals to have a code of conduct and a process for managing disruptive and
inappropriate behaviors (The Joint Commission. July 9, 2008). In 2000, the American Medical Association issued guidelines on what constitutes troublesome actions and how to handle them (American Medical Association. December 2000).