Working in a real hospital isn’t usually as dramatic as is portrayed in TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy or House, MD, but a new study has identified unprofessional behaviors to which hospital-based doctors most frequently admit, including badmouthing fellow doctors and finding medical excuses to get out of having to care for patients.
Two-thirds of doctors surveyed at three Chicago hospitals copped to having personal conversations, such as discussing evening plans, in earshot of patients, and 62 percent said they had mischaracterized a routine test as “urgent” to get it done faster. Four out of 10 said they mocked another physician to colleagues. The same number said they bad-mouthed emergency room doctors for missing part of a patient’s medical problems.
Three out of 10 said they made disparaging comments about a patient on rounds. Twenty-nine percent said they had attended a dinner or social event sponsored by a drug or medical device manufacturer or other business that stood to gain by a doctor’s decision.