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Is It Petty to Tattle When You’re a Physician Leader?

What happens when you're in a leadership position but your colleagues are disrespectful?

I’d like to start off by thanking you for creating this anonymous space. I think it’s really important to amplify the things that we have to say, without necessarily exposing who we are. There is a toxic nature to our profession, as a whole, and we cannot sit back and ignore that.

This is in regards to a situation that arose in my particular program. I am the chief of a section, at my academic center, and I find myself constantly clashing with my colleague.

There are two, actually. It’s like a tag team. One of them gives me a hard time and then the other one sees it and chimes in.

 

I think it's really important to amplify the things that we have to say, without necessarily exposing who we are. There is a toxic nature to our profession, as a whole, and we cannot sit back and ignore that. Click To Tweet

 

These altercations typically revolve around patient management, when we are discussing things at roundtables. Neither of them hold a position, as I do, but have had around the same number of years of experience. I wonder sometimes whether they are doing this in order to make me look bad, or sound stupid. Maybe they’re resentful, or jealous.

Either way, I don’t appreciate it. But I’ve also tried to politely nip this in the bud, by speaking to each of them privately about it. Unfortunately, it hasn’t helped.

I’m curious and putting this out there: when in a leadership role, is it looked down upon for a physician to “tell” on their colleagues? Would it be acceptable to head in to my boss’ office (with whom I have a fairly good relationship) and explain my situation? I worry it may come off as petty. It does have a “kindergarten” feel to it, after all. I wonder if there’s a way to frame it son that it doesn’t come off that way.

Thank you again for helping me think through this, in an anonymous way, and for circulating this so that the world sees that we struggle with these issues, just as other humans do.

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