Perspectives in Hospital Medicine

Disruptive Physician Behavior: The Importance of Recognition and Intervention and Its Impact on Patient Safety


Professional misconduct by physicians is a significant problem with negative implications in the healthcare environment and has been termed "disruptive physician behavior" (DPB) in the United States. In recent years, hospitals and healthcare organizations have begun to better understand and formally address DPB, including its management and repercussions. Policy statements by the Joint Commission and the American Medical Association (AMA) have acknowledged that DPB may pose a threat to patient and provider safety. The purpose of this article is to raise awareness about the etiology of disruptive behavior in physicians, describe the consequences and the need for early recognition, and discuss potential interventions.

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