Manager First, Physician Second?
These days, like most other professionals, many physicians don't have the luxury of simply doing what school trained them to do. They also occupy managerial roles, whether in large private practices or in hospitals. This dual role can give rise to tricky situations when the physician is dealing with subordinate employees especially with respect to two employment laws - the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").
The least risky course of action - though it may seem uncaring at times - is to resist the temptation to act as a physician first and manager second when dealing with subordinate employees. While acting in a managerial capacity is counterintuitive when your primary training is as a doctor, doing so will prevent any number of misunderstandings and potential legal problems.
This article appeared in the November 2007 issue of Atlanta Hospital News.