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CFJT: Curb your docs!

Bed­side Manners:

CFJT: Curb your docs!

Patri­cia L Ray­mond MD FACP FACG



CFJT? What, you may ask, is a CFJT?


Dear read­ers, I am happy to reply.


CFJT is from a story from recent news. A rash of car­jack­ing was occur­ring at aCal­i­for­ni­aair­port, the lone car­jacker steal­ing rental cars for a joy ride near the arrivals ter­mi­nal. The newly arrived, dis­tracted by long hours of travel and lug­gage load­ing, sim­ply failed to notice the lone car­jacker slip­ping behind the wheel and speed­ing away with their ride, as well as any lug­gage that they had already loaded into the trunk.


This sun­ny­Cal­i­for­ni­a­day, the car­jacker struck, nab­bing a late model sedan. Before he had left the ter­mi­nal area, he spied a bet­ter tar­get. A rental van, sur­rounded by ladies with dis­tinc­tive hair in hues of grey, all garbed in match­ing pink sweat­suits. Mounds of lug­gage were being packed in the trunk space. A boun­teous and easy haul.


The car­jacker failed to com­pre­hend the mean­ing of the let­ter­ing on the pink sweats: CFJT.


As the ladies later kindly explained to him, the let­ters stood for “Cen­tral Florida Judo Team”, in town for an exhi­bi­tion. Of course, they kindly explained this to him as held his face to the floor­mat as they awaited the arrival of the authorities.


What does this all have to do with your cranky docs? It’s sim­ple. I plan to make you the Cen­tral Florida Judo Team of good behav­ior in your hos­pi­tal. Together we’ll prac­tice the holds, the throws, the locks needed to wres­tle good bed­side man­ners from your colleagues.


It will take prac­tice. Con­sider me your sensei.


But it’s more than just hav­ing the dili­gence to take on the rude behav­ior. We need to assume that you won’t con­tin­u­ously have to work to change the behav­ior. We must assume that doc­tors are trainable.


Train­able? Doc­tors around you can be trained to exhibit good behav­ior to the staff?


Absolutely. Doc­tors, despite hav­ing large and mul­ti­fac­eted brains, are infi­nitely sug­gestible. Until this Jan­u­ary, drug com­pa­nies expended bunches-o-bucks annu­ally to keep us in notepads and pens. You think that they did that so that I could jot down my shop­ping list so as to not for­get to pick up a pound of zuc­chini at Piggly-Wiggly?

In fact, the recent Pharma laws pro­hibit­ing writ­ing instru­ments and notepads stem from research that shows that doc­tors are immensely sug­gestible and train­able. While it’s not today’s topic, you can read more at


So how do we take advan­tage of the train­abil­ity of your docs? Just think of them as a new puppy, recently lib­er­ated from pet adop­tion day at your local Pet Smart. You bring the puppy home, only real­iz­ing as you enter your home that you have recently redec­o­rated; classy white rugs and fur­ni­ture. You leave the puppy alone in your liv­ing room, just for a moment. He can’t get into any trou­ble in a moment, you assure yourself.


You fool.


You return to your liv­ing room, and find the puppy, and the spread­ing yel­low stain in the mid­dle of your carpet.


You’ve got choices at this junc­ture, just as you do at your hos­pi­tal. You can notify your super­vi­sor, who will send a report to the puppy’s depart­ment chair, who will delib­er­ate and finally send a sternly worded note to the puppy which will arrive about three weeks after the inci­dent. The puppy will be baf­fled by the note, not remem­ber­ing the inci­dent at all.


Or, you can whack the puppy with a rolled up newspaper.


Don’t get me wrong. I am pleased that most hos­pi­tals now take physi­cian mis­be­hav­ior seri­ously. How­ever, if the response to mis­be­hav­ior is not imme­di­ate, the puppy will not learn. As the recip­i­ent of such a let­ter in the past, I can assure you that the response is “Wha…?”, rather than any large “I’ll treat my staff bet­ter in the future” light bulb illuminating.


But here’s the deal, car­ry­ing the puppy anal­ogy fur­ther. You must be imme­di­ate, per­sis­tent, con­sis­tent, and insistent.


BE IMMEDIATE:  Pee­ing on your rug must have imme­di­ate con­se­quences. Whack­ing the puppy weeks after an inci­dent will not cause change.


BE PERSISTENT: Whack­ing the puppy only one time will not change his behav­ior. Pup­pies take time to train. Most pup­pies are train­able; only a few are returned to the shelter.


BE CONSISTENT: Whack­ing the puppy only occa­sion­ally after pee­ing will only con­fuse the puppy.


BE INSISTENT: You deserve a pee-free envi­ron­ment. If all in your unit-household do not con­cur on proper puppy behav­ior, if only some train the puppy and not oth­ers, the puppy won’t get trained. Insist that you deserve a col­le­gial work­ing environment.


I’ll pro­vide the train­ing tools for behav­ioral change. It’s time to learn to curb your docs.



Humor­ous med­ical moti­va­tional speaker Patri­cia Ray­mond MD resus­ci­tates the joy in med­i­cine and guides physi­cians and nurses to learn to play nicely in our shared med­ical sand­box. Author of Don’t Jet­ti­son Med­i­cine: Resus­ci­tate Your Pas­sion for the Career You Loved, Dr. Ray­mond is the right rem­edy to make your hos­pi­tal healthy. Book Dr. Ray­mond for your next hos­pi­tal event or med­ical con­ven­tion; get infor­ma­tion at ‘Like’ Dr. Ray­mond on Face­book at, and fol­low her funny health tweets @PatriciaRaymond


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