1)“Cindy, please reschedule my afternoon clinic; I am going to be out for the rest of the day,” saysDr. Jones, a senior physician in a hospital-owned multispecialty group.“But, Dr. Jones,” Cindy says while whipping off her telephone headset and turning away fromthe open patient registration window, “you are double booked for most of the afternoon becauseyou cancelled your clinic twice this month already. Many of these patients have been waiting morethan three months to see you!”Jones glances furtively at the waiting room, and already half turned and heading toward theclinic exit says, “I’m sure you will be able to smooth things over. Just tell them that I got called toan emergency.”Cindy has a suspicion that, because the weather is nice, Jones is taking off with a couple of col-leagues to go sailing or play a round of golf. After all, he always sports a darn tan, comes to cliniclate, and often leaves early. Cindy does not relish having to call and reschedule these patients,some of whom have already been rescheduled at least once in the past couple of months.Cindy decides enough is enough. She calls her manager and requests a meeting as soon as pos-sible. Her manager can sense that Cindy is upset and offers to have someone cover for Cindy sothat they can talk privately.Cindy tells the manager about the situation with Jones that happens “all the time,” and howshe is “sick of it,” and will not “work another day under these conditions.” After calming Cindydown, the manager promises to bring the matter up with the chief of the department.To make a long story shorter, suffice it to say that this conflict continues to mushroom toinvolve several more individuals (the chief medical officer, the executive director of the clinic, thedirector of HR, and the union representative) before Jones is ever made aware that Cindy hasfiled a formal complaint about him. When he is finally confronted, in a meeting with the chiefmedical officer and the director of HR, he is caught completely off guard.After all, the incident happened several weeks ago, and Cindy did not mention anything to himabout it. They have continued to work together, in his opinion, as if nothing is wrong. He is alsosurprised to find out that Cindy has been keeping a tally of the number of times that he has can-celled his clinic, left early, or started clinic late.Jones goes from astonishment to red-faced anger in a few minutes. It is clear to all that therelationship between Cindy and the doctor is irreparable. Jones is labeled as a disruptive physi-cian. Cindy is not welcome in any department because the other physicians are fearful of beingtargeted. Cindy eventually resigns, and Jones feels betrayed and unappreciated by his staff andhis employer.If you were the manager in this case, how would you have handled the situation?? Support your response with conflict resolution strategies presented throughout the module.
SOURCE:Pierce, K. P. (2009, January/February). Healthy conflict resolution. Physician Executive,3
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