New Study: Surgeon’s Manners Might Influence Your Recovery

Does it matter if your surgeon is a nice person? When you’re undergoing surgery, whether or not your surgeon is kind or friendly might be the least of your concerns. However, according to a recent study, your surgeon’s manners could actually have a big impact on your hospital experience.

The Impact of Your Surgeon’s Manners

The report, published in JAMA Surgery, looked at the interactions between surgeons and their teams. Then, it analyzed how those interactions impacted the patient during their procedure and recovery. The study found that when surgeons behaved rudely or unprofessionally to people on their team, the patient was 14% more likely to experience complications, including infections, pneumonia, and organ failure, in the 30-day period after their surgery.

When a surgeon is rude to their team, it can create a hostile environment that is unhealthy for everyone. Rudeness and tensions in the operating room could potentially lead to issues such as:

  • Miscommunications
  • Rushed procedures
  • Understaffing
  • Inadequate protocol
  • Lack of breaks

To show how these issues arise, the study gave a few examples. In one, a nurse was belittled by a surgeon for asking to take a break during a patient’s surgery. An instance like this could be a risk to the patient because the surgical team could be overworked or understaffed. This leads to a greater chance of errors and complications. Discouraging breaks could also lead to rushed procedures, increasing the risks of issues like unsanitary equipment or miscommunications.

In another example, a doctor was chastised by a surgeon for starting a patient on a necessary medication. In this case, the surgeon’s behavior could lead to a critical delay in treatment in future instances, as the doctor could be hesitant to take initiative. Additionally, it creates an environment in which team members might be afraid to ask questions or offer suggestions about the best way to care for a patient.

Medical Malpractice in the Operating Room

When issues like miscommunications, unsanitary conditions, or breaches of protocol lead to complications or injuries, it might fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice. For example, if a surgeon’s behavior forces a nurse to rush through a sanitation process and a patient gets an infection from a dirty needle, it might be an instance of medical malpractice. This is because it is the surgical team’s duty to provide the patient with a certain standard of care. This includes using sanitary equipment and taking steps to avoid infections.

The idea that a single comment or action from a surgeon could throw off an entire medical procedure is scary. But although this new study does give patients another little thing to worry about, it’s also a good reminder to always be polite and patient with everyone!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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