Unprofessional Behavior by Surgeons and Surgical Complications

Unprofessional or what is known as disruptive behaviour has been shown to be rife in hospitals. This retrospective study tested the hypothesis that patients of surgeons with higher numbers of reports from coworkers about unprofessional behaviors are at greater risk for postoperative complications.

The conclusion: “Patients whose surgeons had higher numbers of coworker reports about unprofessional behavior in the 36 months before the patient’s operation appeared to be at increased risk of surgical and medical complications. ”

The authors point out that “optimal performance depend on effective communication, mutual respect, and continuous situational awareness. Surgeons who model unprofessional behaviors may undermine a culture of safety, threaten teamwork, and thereby increase the risk for medical errors and surgical complications.”


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