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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Rude Doctors, Rude Nurses, Rude Patients

Perri Klass
The New York Times
Originally published April 10, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

None of that is a surprise, and in fact, there is a good deal of literature to suggest that the medical environment includes all kinds of harshness, and that much of the rudeness you encounter as a doctor or nurse is likely to come from colleagues and co-workers.  An often-cited British study from 2015 called “Sticks and Stones” reported that rude, dismissive and aggressive communication between doctors (inevitably abbreviated, in a medical journal, as RDA communication) affected 31 percent of doctors several times a week or more. The researchers found that rudeness was more common from certain medical specialties: radiology, general surgery, neurosurgery and cardiology. They also established that higher status was somewhat protective; junior doctors and trainees encountered more rudeness.

In the United States, a number of studies have looked at how rudeness affects medical students and medical residents, as part of tracking the different ways in which they are often mistreated.

One article earlier this year in the journal Medical Teacher charted the effect on medical student morale of a variety of experiences, including verbal and nonverbal mistreatment, by everyone from attending physicians to residents to nurses. Mistreatment of medical students, the authors argued, may actually reflect serious problems on the part of their teachers, such as burnout, depression or substance abuse; it’s not enough to classify the “perpetrators” (that is, the rude people) as unprofessional and tell them to stop.

The article is here.