Civility matters – all year round

Bad behaviour

“Well that’s just brilliant, isn’t it!” “Here we go again!” “How rude!” “How offensive!” “Look what you made me do!” “Who do you think you are?!?” “Are you trying to make it impossible for us?!?” “It’s not me, it’s you!” “What the #@$%!!!” CRASH! BANG! Thump! “………………….. (silence without eye contact).”

The stakes are high in healthcare. High demands equate to high pressure. Things can and do go wrong. Stress is rife. So, it seems inevitable that tempers get frayed and cross words exchanged. But at what cost?

Our festive season is traditionally a time for reflection, peace and making commitments to move on from the past. But civility matters all year round. Rudeness can have serious consequences. Watch Chris Turner’s powerful 15 minute presentation on the matter. It should make us all stop and think.

To say we must all take responsibility for our own behaviour is an obvious point. At the same time, it’s essential to call out bad behaviour of others when we see it or experience it for ourselves. This latter point is often the most difficult part. Every doctor must ensure they have the ability to have tough discussions with colleagues in an appropriate and constructive manner.

We wish you a happy, peaceful time over the festive season and the strength to spread civility all year round.

Stephen McGuire and all the team from Oxford Medical Training