It's no secret that some physicians may sometimes be rude and aggressive in their interactions with patients. And, as a nurse, being in the company of such sorts of people may make your day miserable. That is, of course, if you allow it to be so.

Even though not all doctors are like this, a nurse must take action if she comes across one. This contributes to the delivery of safe and high-quality healthcare care to the public.

Here are seven fundamental methods for coping with a difficult doctor:

1. Maintain Your Calm

Always try to maintain your calm when dealing with inappropriate conduct, it's critical not to exacerbate the situation by fanning the flames further. Attempt to maintain the highest level of professionalism possible between you and your doctor, especially in front of your patients. Continue to step away from the situation and carefully review what has just occurred to ensure that the physician was not only doing something that you disliked but was not truly doing anything illegal.

2. Have a personality that is flexible to different situations.

When working as a nurse, it is helpful to have "people skills" or "social skills." When we talk about adaptability, we are talking about the ability to cope in any situation, no matter how nasty the people are.

It is necessary to learn to accept the fact that not everyone will perform to your expectations when working in the medical field. The fact that each individual has a different personality that may conflict with another must be acknowledged. The same is true for doctors who are challenging to deal with.

Nurses must be able to analyze the situation and understand more about this particular doctor to make suitable changes.

3. Report any inappropriate behavior.

As directed by your company's employee handbook, you should report the doctor's inappropriate behavior to human resources or a superior if the doctor continues to act inappropriately. If your employee handbook specifies that you must report the doctor's behavior, or if you believe the situation requires immediate action, you should report the doctor's inappropriate behavior. Physical and sexual assault should always be reported immediately, and in some cases, they may even need a police investigation. Take notes on what happened when it occurred, and the steps you took - including any talks you had with the doctor about his/her behavior - and write them down.

4. Demonstrate your ability to succeed.

If you're a newbie nurse and the doctor isn't enthusiastic about dealing with you, that's perfectly OK.

Effective and efficient nurses must begin with little or no prior experience and progress through the ranks. If you expect a competent doctor to meet you with open arms and instantly establish a good working relationship with you, you should be prepared to be disappointed. 

It is not uncommon for doctors to publicly criticize you for your mistakes when you are first starting, and to take you for granted the vast majority of the time. Master your job, put in the necessary effort, and demonstrate to them that you are a nurse who deserves to be kept and respected. 

5.  Be respectful to other people

You can't disregard doctors since you have to collaborate with them daily. So, what exactly are your alternatives here?

Please be polite. Even if it involves you biting your tongue, go ahead and do it. Getting into a fight will only make things worse for everyone involved. There is a possibility that it will cause workplace friction and affect the quality of care delivered to your patients. The fact that abuse is tolerated does not indicate that it is okay. Speak out for yourself if it becomes necessary.

6. Have a conversation with such a doctor

Given that there aren't any regulations in place requiring you to disclose a specific concern, and that the situation isn't severe enough to need automatic reporting, you should consult with your doctor before proceeding with any other course of action. Always put in mind that doctors are human, too, and that they may have terrible days, they go through difficult periods in their lives and make errors from time to time. As a result of meeting with the doctor, you will provide him or her with an opportunity to acknowledge that he or she caused you discomfort while simultaneously providing him or her with an opportunity to defend himself or herself and repent for his or her actions, or to make some other reparations. 

7. Consider Other Employment Possibilities

If you believe you are in danger or if you can no longer accept the doctor's behavior and your concerns have gone unanswered, it may be in your best interests to search for work elsewhere. Sometimes a move to a different department might solve the situation, and this will typically allow you to keep your present benefits while working in your current job. However, in some instances - particularly if you are employed by a small clinic - you may be required to seek employment with a different organization.


If you are putting up with a demanding doctor who is getting on your nerves, get assistance. Relations between nurses and doctors that are tense and fraught with conflict can have severe consequences for all parties involved, including the patients they care for.

There are numerous different sorts of tough doctors to deal with. The doctor you are working with may fit into one of these categories, or he or she may fall into more than one. Resist the temptation to spread rumors about your predicament to your coworkers, since doing so will only make you appear weak. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect as a peer. Nursing is no exception to this rule. If you find yourself in a situation where it appears that you have exhausted all options, you may choose to seek help.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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