In summary, unprofessional behavior of any type by a physician is detrimental to patient care and to the healthcare profession. An unbiased approach to investigating complaints against a physician must be linked with an obligation to protect patients and staff as well as provide due process for the physician. Medicine is an accepting and caring profession, so remediation and therapy for the physician may be in the best interests of his/her patients and gives the physician another opportunity to practice professionally and appropriately; however, severe cases of disruptive behavior, in which patient care and safety may be compromised and ethical standards of the profession have been breached, require strong action.
Explore this issue:October 2014
Dr. Holt is a professor emeritus in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.