How False Constructs Come to Be Regarded As Irrefutable Truth: The “Disruptive Physician”, Addiction Medicine Specialists and the 21st Century Inquisition of Doctors–Let’s See if She Floats!

According to the FSPHP, physician illness and impairment exist on a continuum with illness typically predating impairment, often by many years.” The policy extends PHP authority to cover physical illnesses affecting cognitive, motor, or perceptive skills, disruptive physician behavior, and “process addiction” (compulsive gambling, compulsive spending, video gaming, and “workaholism”). It also defines “relapse without use” as “behavior without chemical use that is suggestive of impending relapse.”

Disrupted Physician

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 9.19.46 AM“This physician may be clinically competent; indeed, he may be technically superior. However, no one wants to refer patients to him. No one wants to assist him in surgery. He is the one who screams at nurses, belittles medical students and makes criticisms that go beyond the bounds of fair professional comment. However, he is not always loud. He can be the passive physician who will not answer the pager while on call, who does not show up at meetings and will not help find solutions to departmental problems. Indeed, this physician is not always male, but more often than not that seems to be the case.”

So begins “The Dreaded Task of Confronting Disruptive Physicians,” 1 a call to arms by Dr. Graeme M. Cunningham, M.D. (Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine) published in the Journal of Medical Licensure and Discipline in 2004  (The official…

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