, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
When I was an intern a Competent Jerk was a much-admired cardiologist. If he got a consult he thought beneath them, he would call the resident stupid. He once agreed to come to the ED for an unstable patient if the attending first said aloud “I am an incompetent physician.”
He was sarcastic and belittling even to our senior, esteemed physicians. Everyone tolerated him - everyone - because he was smart and productive and no one wanted to be at the receiving end of his rage. I never saw anyone say a single word of censure to him.
I remember watching a peer get off the phone with him, red faced and shaking. I would see so many abuses of power in my career, but at that point I was completely shocked.
The lessons to a young trainee?
- Decency is not required
- Accomplishments > kindness
- Don’t expect people to stand up against a bully - don’t do so yourself

It was a crash course in never complaining, in seeing abuse as the norm, in having no expectation for respectfulness.
Later that year I had a patient who spat and screamed at us. My attending marched to the phone.

Me: “Who are you calling?”
Her: “Security, to escort her out”
Me: “We... can do that?”
Her (incredulous): “Where did you learn that being abused is ok?”
Me: “oh... I guess... here.”
She sat me down and immediately reprogrammed me. I was lucky to work with her.

We can all play a part in establishing respectful, professional standards of behavior in the hospital. Especially in front of the next generation of physicians, who are watching and learning. / fin
(Thanks to @jac2thersq for triggering the memory and inspiring this thread)
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