Course: Risk Management Consult: Managing Disruptive Physician Behavior
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 5
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 4.50
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 30
Course Release Date: 1/1/2014
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
A course on addressing disruptive physician behavior.

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Risk Management Consult
Managing Disruptive Physician Behavior

The dividing line between “disruptive behavior” and “patient advocacy” isn’t always clear, especially given that even popular, well-respected doctors are sometimes accused of being disruptive.  The difference can also be subjective; sometimes behavior that one person finds disruptive strikes another as just a frustrated doctor doing what’s necessary to protect his or her patient.  But if the confrontation results in a nurse or other hospital employee making a medical error that otherwise could have been prevented, patient care is adversely affected nonetheless. 
Upon completion of this course, a physician should be able to:
1. Identify those behaviors that are considered disruptive.
2. Explain how disruptive behavior affects patient care.
3. List the consequences of allowing disruptive behavior to go unchecked.
4. Respond appropriately to disruptive behavior.
5. Use specific warning signs to look for when a physician with a history of disruptive behavior seeks to affiliate with your practice or applies for privileges at your hospital.
6. Follow peer review protocols in disciplining individuals who persistently exhibit disruptive behavior.
7. Respond appropriately if you yourself are being targeted for peer review.

Target Audience
This course is designed for physicians need practical information on interacting with colleagues who manifest disruptive behavior.

This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test.  Physicians should read the course content, answer the test questions and submit the answers for scoring.  Those who complete the course with a score of 80 percent or higher will earn a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.

This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, Ph.D. Their CVs are available online at

CME Information
Medical Risk Management, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians.  Medical Risk Management, Inc.designates this enduring material for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Estimated time to complete this activity: 5 hours.

This activity is valid for release January 1, 2018 and expires on December 31, 2021.

Commercial Support

This activity was developed by Medical Risk Management, Inc. without support from any commercial interest.


Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte have anything to disclose.