Managing Doctors in Difficulty, and Doctors exhibiting challenging behaviour
Prof Tony Mundy Medical Director University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
In short, distinguish between difficult doctors, who are a real problem, and doctors in difficulty - who can usually be helped; recognise that lack of insight on the one hand and failure to confront the difficult individual on the other hand are the usual underlying cause and what is necessary is to involve everyone who is part of the dysfunctional team in dealing with the problem and then following it through satisfactorily and making sure everybody sees and works with the process and the outcome.
Professor Mundy comments: "how do you ensure early identification of concerns? [As a medical director] you are usually the last to hear about it, after hospital gossip. It’s my job to make sure I hear about hear about it first. You don’t say “X is a problem, I’ll talk to X”, you deal with the group as a whole… It still seems [in the NHS] to be more acceptable for someone to be rude, than for someone else to complain about this rudeness"
Bring joy back into work:Supporting health professionals with mental health concerns.
Dr Caroline Walker Psychiatrist, Therapist, Trainer, Coach, founder of The Joyful Doctor
Caroline will be speaking today about her own journey of struggling, and thriving, as a doctor, about the common struggles that all doctors face, and the simple tools that can turn your work and life in a more joyful direction - no matter how hard things get. She will be reminding us that we are human beings first, and doctors second.
Dr Walker comments: "This isn’t an “us and them” situation – because this could be us as well. A really simple human intervention can be so powerful – noticing that another human being is struggling. Keep it simple and kind, we’re all in it together in challenging times. It’s not about accepting that things are okay – as quite often they are not okay. But we can accept what is happening and then be creative and have the power to solve it"
Supporting Doctors facing difficulties relating to professional boundaries, ethics, probity or conduct
Dr Andrew Long Consultant Paediatrician & Deputy Medical Director Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
This talk will address issues related to doctors involved in conduct issues from the viewpoint of a Responsible Officer within an NHS teaching hospital. The speaker has experience as a Medical Director, was previously Head of School for paediatric training and has been leading the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges workstream on Remediation. He will draw on his experience of having to deal with doctors in difficulty at all stages in their careers.
Dr Long comments "the challenge for all of us is [to consider] what vulnerabilities does the [doctor] have in the organisation, and what vulnerabilities do the patients have in the organisation. There’s no doubt when doctors are faced with this situation, they are at risk themselves. If we want to optimise outcome, we need early intervention"