Study identifies solution for physicians' unprofessional behavior

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Professional development programs can help stop some physician unprofessional behavior, according to a study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Researchers conducted a 35-item, web-based survey that helped determine the effectiveness of a professional development program. In total, 28 physicians completed the survey before and after attending a program focused to replace unprofessional behavior with professional behavior, promoting peer accountability and support and developing effective leadership skills.

An accompanying editorial describes unprofessional and disruptive workplace behaviors among physicians, such as using language that is profane, disrespectful, insulting, demeaning, insensitive or abusive; verbal intimidation; inappropriate arguments with patients, family members or colleagues; boundary violations; outbursts of anger; among others.

Twenty-four of 28 physicians in the study experienced an improvement in professional behavior, which was measured by a decrease in low-rated workplace behaviors as listed on the survey.

Negative behaviors curbed after the program included passive-aggressive behaviors.

Positive behaviors such as working as a teammate and showing empathy improved after the program.

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