Canadian Medical Association

It is an unfortunate reality that bullying, intimidation and harassment continue to plague medical culture. But with more and more physicians and residents coming forward to share their experiences, the issue is finally being acknowledged as a matter of professionalism across all career stages in medicine. 

In a 2011 survey of more than 800 physicians, nearly 75% said they heard colleagues yell, refuse to cooperate with others or make degrading comments within the past month.

Research from the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that such mistreatment is associated with burnout and suicidal ideation among some physicians.

Bullying can also lead to greater stress and decreased wellbeing among residents and trainees.

These negative outcomes ultimately put patient safety at risk and lead to higher health care costs.

Health care leaders play a key role in resolving conflicts

Conflicts can arise between physicians and other health care workers if disputes are not managed well — for example, over issues related to patient care, working conditions, compensation, office space, support or personality differences. 

As a health care leader, you need to be able to recognize conflicts or inappropriate behaviours and then take effective action.

The resources on this page can help you discover how other health care organizations have handled conflict management and prevention.

Are you in distress? Get help now.

Back to top