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The entire medical profession is so dysfunctional that it simply beggars belief. Meanwhile, health care costs continue to spiral out of control.

It is my view that there are several root-causes for the current situation:

- The artificial delineation between the roles of doctor and nurse in an increasingly technology / diagnostic driven medical environment (i.e. doctors "protecting their turf")

- Extremely poor HR and resource management practices

- Failure and unwillingness to introspect or admit mistakes - as medicine is supposed to be a "mistake-free profession". This culture is poisonous to the very concept of building a "learning organisation".

- Bureaucracy-laded health management practices

- A lack of systematic / engineering-mindset rigour to the treatment of patients and delivery of healthcare

and perhaps most importantly:

- The ongoing failure (and infact outright hostility) by doctors / the medical profession to seek lessons beyond their own sphere of practice and to apply those. A great example are the leaps-and-bounds advances made in the aviation sector with "Crew Resource Management" (CRM) training, that enables highly-skilled, well-trained (and often type-A personality) individuals to work cohesively and effectively in a multi-crew environment, with absolutely measurable reductions in error and failure rate as a result

If what passes for medicine in an operating theatre were to be translated into the cockpits of modern commuter aircraft, I suggest to you that we would be watching a spate of aircraft falling from the sky literally on a daily basis.

health coaching

Some doctors these days are very uncompassionate and dead to the world when it comes to there patients.It is true , money is the root of all evil

Cecil Nixon

I read this article with great interest. I changed professions about 5 years ago, from basically a desk job as a physician recruiter to a clinical job as an xray technologist, I've witnessed both sides of this particular problem. As a recruiter I was given respect by the doctors because I essentially controlled their income as I negotiated what they were going to be paid. As an Xray Tech, I have seen appalling behavior that I never would have witnessed as a recruiter...As an Xray Tech I do many surgery cases and as such I have seen tools thrown, temper tantrums thrown as if a two year old suddenly inhabited a fully grown "Intelligent" human body, the most egregious however is the constant "microagressions" the passive aggresive comments that wear and tear at ones well being statements like " oh you had 50% chance of getting that right" or "SHOW ME SOMETHING!!!" or DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING JUST STAND THERE AND PUNCH YOUR LITTLE BUTTON" These are the G rated experiences There have been some instances of outright profanity. I have worked in many different industries including the contruction trades, the US Military and Sales...I have never witnessed anything like surgeons in the Operating Room. Not to say they're all bad, but, More than half are... I think they like the money but, hate the responsiblity of good patient care...A very nerve racking experience, other people say you just can't take the comments personally, that's hard to do. Good luck to anyone who would pursue a career in a hospital. No wonder there's a shortage of Nurses and other relevant technical modalities. The hospitals are really in a bind, they can live without nurses and techs, but the show stops if there is no doctor, and the doctors know it!

Mark Graban

I haven't seen it first hand, but at one hospital I've heard stories of surgeons throwing things at nurses and staff, how they needed a new director to come in and "take charge" to clean up the culture of harassment. As a potential patient, I'd hate be taken into such a dysfunctional atmosphere.

Look at airlines, do the pilots throw stuff at the maintenance crew when they don't get their way?

This behavior wouldn't be tolerated in the "barbaric" manufacturing industries, even.


The rude, demeaning behavior extends to other hospital professionals, as well. I am a Physical Therapist. I have been ignored, belittled, and cussed out many times myself. I once suffered the wrath of a doctor because I refused to carry out an order that was clearly contraindicated for the patient's particular situation, and to follow his order I would be risking my own professional license. As a result, I no longer work in hospitals and will never again.

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