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Shocker: Hospitalists’ “Unprofessional” Behavior Is Normal

Shocker: Hospitalists’ “Unprofessional” Behavior Is Normal

By their own admission, medical hospitalists are guilty of many types of unprofessional behavior, says a paper published a in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. A group of researchers from the University of Chicago surveyed medical hospitalists from three major Chicago area teaching institutions. The respondents themselves rated each listed behavior on a professionalism scale. There were 77 responses from a pool of 101 hospitalists who were sent the questionnaires. The study asked respondents to state whether they had either engaged in and/or observed unprofessional conduct. The key findings were as follows: Most of the respondents had engaged in at least one unprofessional behavior. The most common unprofessional behavior was (I hope you are sitting down) having non-medical/personal conversations, such as discussing plans for the evening, in hospital corridors. [Gasp!] Over 60% of these doctors admitted that they ordered a routine test as “urgent” as a way of obtaining results more quickly. (Can you believe it?) My favorite is that 40% confessed that they had made fun of or disparaged the emergency department team for missing findings. (Unreported but very likely true is that 60% of those questioned committed another unprofessional act, which was lying by claiming they had never made fun of or disparaged any ED MDs. The only physicians I know who do not routinely make fun of the ED staff are pathologists because they never deal directly with the ED. Before all you ED docs get your panties in a knot, I am certain all of you disparage all of us too.) Other alleged unprofessional behaviors were celebrating a blocked admission, going to work when ill,...
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