A brief report of implementation of a physician citizenship committee in a community hospital to address disruptive physician behavior

Brian D. McBeth, Arthur Douville Jr


Disruptive physician behavior increases risk of medical error, compromises communication between caregivers and can adversely affect care quality in multiple domains. We described the implementation of a Physicians Citizenship Committee as a mechanism to address a crisis of professionalism and proliferation of complaints against physicians at our community hospital. Using a multi-disciplinary, supportive and transparent structure, this committee was able to achieve striking reduction in the prevalence and incidence of physician behavior complaints, with >95% of these addressed within 2 months. Accountability and timeliness improved, with related increased confidence in a process that supports a healthy work environment and safe patient care. Key components in a successful implementation of this project included education of physician leaders of the severity and magnitude of the behavior problems, transparency of process with the medical staff and concurrent mechanism to address physician concerns for disruptive behavior by nurses and other medical staff.