In our practice of representing physicians, we are often asked to defend a doctor before the medical executive committee. The reasons for the meetings are all across the spectrum: standard of care, economics, emergency room coverage . . . the list is endless. Despite the diversity in issues, there is one common theme–having enemies at the hospital or being in the wrong clique will hurt you. Although many of us graduated high school long ago, the cliques remain the same at work. The politics of a hospital are no different. For a physician in private practice, a hospital is major source of work and rocking the boat will be a detriment to your professional success.
Whenever a client of ours goes before the MEC, our strategy is always affected by who knows who. Since many of the decisions of the board are purely subjective, it is simply a must to keep positive relationships with a hospital’s entire medical staff. If possible, physicians should be actively involved in the politics and administration of the hospital. We recommed meeting the doctors with whom you compete with for patients and make peace, in advance.
It is inevitable that either personality issues or business competition with other doctors will create conflict within the hospital. What is not inevitable is that these problems must rise to a serious situation which lands you before an unfriendly MEC.