Verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees

Jenny Lynn Lazarus, Motahar Hosseini, Farin Kamangar, David H. Levien, Pamela Rowland, Gopal C. Kowdley, Steven C. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To better understand verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees, including specialty-specific differences. Design and Participants The Infante Verbal Aggressiveness Scale (IVAS) was administered as part of a survey to 48 medical students, 24 residents, and 257 attending physicians. The 72 trainees received the IVAS and demographic questions, whereas the attending physicians received additional questions regarding type of practice, career satisfaction, litigation, and personality type. Results The IVAS scores showed high reliability (Cronbach α = 0.83). Among all trainees, 56% were female with mean age 28 years, whereas among attending physicians, 63% were male with mean age 50 years. Average scores of trainees were higher than attending physicians with corresponding averages of 1.88 and 1.68, respectively. Among trainees, higher IVAS scores were significantly associated with male sex, non-US birthplace, choice of surgery, and a history of bullying. Among attending physicians, higher IVAS scores were significantly associated with male sex, younger age, self-reported low-quality of patient-physician relationships, and low enjoyment talking to patients. General surgery and general internal medicine physicians were significantly associated with higher IVAS scores than other specialties. General practitioners (surgeons and medical physicians) had higher IVAS scores than the specialists in their corresponding fields. No significant correlation was found between IVAS scores and threats of legal action against attending physicians, or most personality traits. Additional findings regarding bullying in medical school, physician-patient interactions, and having a method to deal with inappropriate behavior at work were observed. Conclusions Individuals choosing general specialties display more aggressive verbal communication styles, general surgeons displaying the highest. The IVAS scoring system may identify subgroups of physicians with overly aggressive (problematic) communication skills and may provide a backdrop for educating physician communicators. The relationship between verbal aggressiveness and efficacy of clinical communication merits inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-760
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Volume73
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

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aggressiveness
trainee
physician
Physicians
Bullying
Communication
surgery
Personality
exclusion
physician-patient relationship
Physician-Patient Relations
verbal communication
communicator
Jurisprudence
general practitioner
Internal Medicine
personality traits
Medical Schools
communication skills
Medical Students

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Education

Cite this

Lazarus, J. L., Hosseini, M., Kamangar, F., Levien, D. H., Rowland, P., Kowdley, G. C., & Cunningham, S. C. (2016). Verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees. Journal of Surgical Education, 73(4), 756-760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.03.005

Verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees. / Lazarus, Jenny Lynn; Hosseini, Motahar; Kamangar, Farin; Levien, David H.; Rowland, Pamela; Kowdley, Gopal C.; Cunningham, Steven C.

In: Journal of Surgical Education, Vol. 73, No. 4, 01.07.2016, p. 756-760.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lazarus, JL, Hosseini, M, Kamangar, F, Levien, DH, Rowland, P, Kowdley, GC & Cunningham, SC 2016, 'Verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees', Journal of Surgical Education, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 756-760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.03.005
Lazarus JL, Hosseini M, Kamangar F, Levien DH, Rowland P, Kowdley GC et al. Verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees. Journal of Surgical Education. 2016 Jul 1;73(4):756-760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.03.005
Lazarus, Jenny Lynn ; Hosseini, Motahar ; Kamangar, Farin ; Levien, David H. ; Rowland, Pamela ; Kowdley, Gopal C. ; Cunningham, Steven C. / Verbal aggressiveness among physicians and trainees. In: Journal of Surgical Education. 2016 ; Vol. 73, No. 4. pp. 756-760.
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