Article: Disruptive Physician Behavior

March 7, 2018

A colleaguedisruptive professional, anger management, bully, abusive boss from the University of Maryland/VAMC, Preeti John, MD, and I just published an article in the Journal of Hospital Medicine about disruptive physician behavior.

Check it out:

Disruptive Physician Behavior: The Importance of Recognition and Intervention and Its Impact on Patient Safety

And please read more about my work with disruptive physicians, healthcare workers and other professionals.

Review of a tutorial approach with disruptive physicians

September 24, 2013

My friend and colleague, Mike Plaut, has another paper out (actually it’s still in press) in the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy.  Mike’s writing is great – almost conversational – so I always enjoy reading his stuff.  In this paper he describes the work he’s been doing for years at the University of Maryland’s Medical School with health care professionals who act out sexually with patients.  Similar to the work I do with disruptive professionals, Mike works individually with physicians and other providers rather than working with groups, and he tailors his interventions to the individual.  Now, in contrast to most of my work, Mike holds tighter to the role of the academic advisor than therapist or even coach, as he guides the professional through the relevant literature and has them write a paper about the reason for their referral to him.  I typically blur the boundary between coach and therapist as I believe there are more similarities between remedial coaching and psychotherapy than differences, and I have found this to be an invaluable approach to my work with physicians, psychologists, nurses, other healthcare providers and other professionals who have gotten themselves into hot water at work, usually because of interpersonal problems.

Taming Disruptive Behavior

June 26, 2013

Marty Martin, a former Hopkins guy (I think we only briefly overlapped our tenures there), wrote a nice little piece entitled, Taming Disruptive Behavior for the AGProfessional website.  As you can see the concepts we talk about regarding disruptive behavior and disruptive professionals applies as much to agricultural professionals as it does to healthcare, legal or other “white collar” professionals.

Recognizing and Confronting Workplace Bullying

November 11, 2011

A few years back I was on an Maryland Psychological Association task force committee that worked in partnership with the American Psychological Association to identify and acknowledge organizations that promote conditions of psychologically healthy workplaces.  The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program has a nice newsletter that runs articles that should be of great interest to companies and work organizations interested in improving the mental health, physical health, performance and productivity of their employees.

In a recent newsletter, there was an article about workplace violence – – an area of great interest to me.  What I liked about this article was that they gave nice, concrete tips on how to handle situations that might occur in your workplace, and they offered various strategies about how the organization could respond to (and hopefully even prevent) such situations.   The article presented ideas that are close in line with what I’ve been recommending to companies for years during my consultations following these events.

What does “zero tolerance” really mean?

April 8, 2011

We’ve all heard about so-called “zero-tolerance” policies.  They sound great and seem like they make a lot of sense, but if you think about it, can you really apply such concrete decision making to dealing with human behavior?

In this Washington Post article some “myths” about zero-tolerance policies are exposed.  This article was written primarily about the application of such policies in the school setting, I think it touched on many common themes that I deal with when consulting to work organizations.  Probably the main point I try to bring home when speaking with a policy maker (or policy implementer) is that “zero-tolerance” does not mean “termination.”  It simply means that the organization will not tolerate the identified behavior and it will take some sort of action against the employee, perhaps including risk assessment evaluation, discipline, education, demotion, etc.  Of course termination is still an option in these cases, but it is not the only option.

Individual Therapy & Counseling

Through individual psychotherapy, I can help you improve your relationships with others in your life, stabilize your moods and cope with anxieties and worries.

Couples & Marital Therapy

If you and your partner are struggling to communicate with each other, having problems with romance and intimacy or even dealing with an affair, by engaging in couples therapy I can help the two of you refocus yourselves back onto improving your relationship.

Why Dr. Heitt?

I bring decades of experience working in a variety of settings and with a variety of people to my clinical practice. In addition to doing therapy with couples and individuals, I specialize in helping people like you deal with work-related problems.