Behavioral problems widespread between nurses, physicians, report finds

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Nearly 98% of nurses and physicians report witnessing behavior problems between colleagues, according to the results of a recent survey.

The American College of Physician Executives surveyed more than 13,000 nurse and physician executives across the country to determine the prevalence of bad behavior among healthcare professionals. Respondents indicated that degrading comments and insults, and yelling were the most common behavioral problems at their facilities. And they are hardly rare. More than 55% said these altercations happened either weekly or monthly, while nearly 10% witnessed bad behavior daily. The majority of respondents—67.2%—were nurse executives.

There is a fundamental lack of respect between doctors and nurses that affects every aspect of their jobs, according to the report. Many of the respondents felt there was a double standard for nurses and physicians, with nurses often losing their jobs while physicians would receive leniency. Many of the survey participants said that such behavioral problems could only be corrected through early education for both nurses and physicians. More information is available at The report appears in the November-December edition of the Physician Executive Journal.