Physicians Watch Out: "Disruptive Physicians" Rising on Board of Medicine's Radar

Friday, August 28, 2015
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On August 7, 2015, the Florida Board of Medicine heard a presentation on "disruptive physicians" from psychiatrist Martha Brown, M.D. It was stated that the presentation aimed to further increase educational efforts regarding the importance of patient safety by identifying disruptive physicians. Dr. Brown recommended protocols for working with disruptive professionals, including developing an appropriate plan of addressing the behavior. At the conclusion of the presentation, The Board voted unanimously to form a workgroup to look into the issue.

To view Dr. Brown's presentation in full, click here.

Fight to Avoid "Disruptive Physician" Label.

Getting labeled as a "disruptive physician" by a hospital or clinic is like having a large target painted on your back.  You become susceptible to every complaint, grievance or attack that can be filed by anyone who does not like you or does not feel like doing what you instruct. You become a "sitting duck."

At the first notice, writing, warning or counseling that you receive that accuses you of being "disruptive," hire a health law attorney experienced in such matters. The attorney should be one highly experienced in peer review, clinical privileges, Board of Medicine investigations, Professional Resource Network (PRN) matters, but especially in representing disruptive physicians.

Alternatives Are Available.

There are ways these situations can be avoided so that you are not permanently labeled with a label that will follow you for life. But, early action is a must. Don't wait.

Alternatives to a complaint against your license or being forced into some "rehabilitation program" are available. In the past, we have represented clients in avoiding the "disruptive physician" label through the use of behavioral contracts, participation in anger management programs, use of physician assessment programs, having evaluations performed by evaluators other than those that your institution will try to force you to use, requesting administrative hearings and even filing suit against others who may be defaming you. What is right for your situation will depend on its facts. Don't wait until it's too late.

What to Watch Out for.

Increased emphasis like this at the Board of Medicine level will mean more complaints against physicians for "disruptive behavior." This will mean more peer review actions by medical staffs.  This will also mean more complaints to the Department of Health and Board of Medicine for disciplinary actions against medical licenses. Be prepared!

To learn more about disruptive physicians and how to avoid the label, read our past blogs here.


Have you ever been accused of being a disruptive physician? Have you ever been around one? What are some proactive tactics physicians can take to prevent any outbursts or behavioral conduct that would be deemed as disruptive? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Investigations of Health Professionals and Providers.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in accusations of disruptive behavior, Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at

About the Author:
George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: disruptive physician defense attorney, disruptive doctor defense lawyer, physician disruptive behavior, hospital complaint against physician, disruptive physician programs, Board of Medicine complaint attorney, disruptive physician legal counsel, Professional Resources Network (PRN) attorney, defending disruptive physician charges, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Health (DOH) complaint investigation attorney, responding to disruptive physician allegations, health lawyers, health care law, The Health Law Firm reviews

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2015 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Like this blog? Add your public comments:

Items in bold indicate required information.