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Obnoxious Docs Linked to Dangerous Mistakes

Nurses often afraid to point out errors, ask questions
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 9:37 AM CST
Obnoxious Docs Linked to Dangerous Mistakes
While most doctors do not cause such problems, nurses and other medical staff say that the small number of obnoxious doctors contribute to lower morale, stress, and sometimes deadly mistakes.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If your doctor's a jerk, it might be dangerous to your health. Many nurses are reporting that hostile, harried physicians often ignore their summons—or make them hesitant to questions in the first place. This "health care equivalent of road rage" causes errors, dangerous complications, and sometimes the patient's death, reports the New York Times.

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The medical profession can cause enough stress to make anyone snippy from time to time, but 40% of hospital staff have been so intimidated by doctors that they avoided pointing out medical mistakes. The stories are harrowing, but hope is on the horizon: More medical schools teach good communication and leadership, and some hospitals are pushing anger-management courses on crabby MDs.
(Read more doctors stories.)

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