Disrespect from MDs

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of dondi2735 dondi2735 4 years, 4 months ago.

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    I work in an emergency department where the physicians have a total lack of respect and are condescending to all the nursing staff. Communication is difficult with most of them. I want to know if there is somewhere nurses can report this type of culture to ensure patient safety. Does the AMA even care?


    The ‘correct’ way to handle situations like that is to fill out and report QMMs, being specific as to which doctor did what. QMM reports regarding physicians will quickly leave your typical chain of command and get shuttled over to the physician peer review committee and/or chief of staff. You will never know what happens with this information, but with enough complaints from enough people, they will eventually take notice …. this is a years long process, not months. I’ve only seen a couple physicians asked to leave, and it takes a long, long time usually, unless they do something really stupid.

    If the chief of emergency medicine is also a jerk, you are going to have a rough time, as nurses who complain about physicians without any support from the chief of department or chief of staff, usually have a short career in that facility.

    As far as I know, the AMA doesn’t care?

    If you see a physician do something illegal or negligent, you can report him/her to the state medical board, but this is a harsh thing to do, at least in this state, as that investigation will be public record and follow that physician forever (at least if they find something.)

    I’ve seen entire departments write a letter of no confidence in someone and send that to admin, but after a couple of months of increased drama, everything ended up getting swept under the carpet.

    Luckily all of the ER docs I work with now are awesome, but having worked with plenty of surgeons in the past, I feel your pain. Most of them would be real butts until you called them out on it. Once you confront them, they usually mellowed out, but that is not always easy to do and doesn’t always work … but actually talking with individual doctors about their behavior is probably the only way they will change, as the medical community is much better at protecting its own than the nursing community.

    Good luck.


    When I was working on my MHA, I remember one of my classmates talk about their hospital. Every doctor that comes to work there was required to attend a class on interaction with nurses and other ancillary staff. The hospital did not tolerate abuse of it’s nursing staff. Can you imagine. I believe she said they actually revoked privileges of a doctor that kept abusing staff.

    Profile photo of dondi2735

    I work in an ER as well and am lucky that all the nurses and doctors have a fantastic relationship. We are more like friends than coworkers and most of them insist we call them by their first names. Our hospital also does not tolerate Dr’s not treating nurses with respect. I had an issue with one physician, a young doc who didn’t like to be questioned, and he became very ugly with me. I discussed it with my ANM and let it go but when an issue arose with this same Dr I took it to the Chief of Emergency Medicine and she called him in on it and forced him to apologize to me, I don’t know what the consequences would have been had he not apologized but he certainly didn’t apologize of his own free will. It great to feel valued in the work place and our hospital does a good job of that when it comes to physician/nurse mutual respect.

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