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Tips For Dealing With a Difficult Supervising Physician

If you are an Advanced Practitioner, odds are high that a Supervising Physicians plays an important role in your professional life.‌ These Physicians can enhance your practice by acting as a trusted colleague you can rely on for guidance and support. But what happens when this relationship is more adversarial than cooperative? If you find yourself dealing with a difficult supervising Physician, consider trying these strategies:

Tips For Dealing With a Difficult Supervising Physician

Focus on the Issues

Sit down and ask yourself what is really bothering you about the relationship. Is it an issue surrounding a certain subject, does it only occur in a specific setting or particular time of day? By analyzing the trigger issues and behaviors around them, you are more likely to figure out how best to address them.

Investigate What May Be Driving Their Behavior

People generally behave in response to something they are encountering or experiencing on a personal level. Are they overwhelmed at work? Experiencing issues in their personal life? Or are they reacting to your behavior specifically? If this person has a track record of confrontational behavior with others, odds are high that the issue lies with the individual and not you.

Check Your Attitude

It takes 2 to tango, so assess what attitude you are bringing to the interactions. Remember to keep an open, nonjudgmental and calm approach to your conversations and that a little empathy can go a long way.

Consider Changing Your Approach

Don't bang your head into a wall by repeating the same scenarios again and again. Make a conscientious effort to change your approach and attitude towards the Physician to help obtain better results.

Have a Frank Discussion

After you have thoroughly evaluated the situation, sit down and have an open discussion with the Physician. To set the scene for a positive discussion, ensure that you will have sufficient time and choose a private area that is free of distractions. It is also important to approach the conversation when you are not emotionally charged, as it can increase the likelihood of one or both parties becoming defensive and in turn shut down.

Be an Active Listener

If you want to work towards a solution it is critical to be a good listener. Remember to not only discuss your side of things but also be an active listener and take into consideration what they are also saying.

When to Consider Leaving

Not all relationships are healthy or meant to be. You may want to consider ending a Physician relationship if it is abusive, patient care quality is suffering, you are miserable, or you have tried to improve things with no avail.

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