Friday, October 17, 2014

Passive Aggressive Physician Responses in the Medical Practice

A lot of comments lately on the fact that the doctor does not want to change, they don’t feel the “pain” or accept a reason for change. More importantly, we hear that the administration brings up an issue at the monthly board meeting. There is discussion about the issue and eventually there is a vote or consensus reached that the recommendation for change it accepted.

The next day however, the doctor does not change to the new way. Instead indicates that the decision does not apply to them, it is for others. Or I’m about to retire and I don’t have to change. Or I don’t like someone telling me how to run my practice.

So passive response = yes to the vote followed by aggressive = no I won’t change is the result. In my years, this is a very common situation.

How do you deal with it? A recent article in Psychology Today offers some suggestions:
  • Don’t over react when you find out about the response, this may lead to even more of that behavior 
  • Don’t force the change 
  • Proactively deal with the situation 
  • Get the doctor involved with what might work in their specific practice. Work with the supportive staff to help. Identify the problem and seek a solution that will work. 
  • There may have to be direct consequences for the lack of acceptance of the change. This can be accomplished with peer pressure, e.g., comments at the next doctor meeting. It may also be accomplished by some form of monetary penalty if there is a tie to the lack of change in behavior to some risk to the practice. 
How does this fit in with the purpose of this blog? If you believe that improvements in care are necessary, there will have to be changes made. These changes will impact the physician practice directly. Even though many changes can and will be transparent, there are others that be direct.

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