Background: Unprofessional behaviors undermine the hospital learning environment and the quality of patient care.
Objective: To assess the impact of an interactive workshop on the perceptions of and self-reported participation in unprofessional behaviors.
Methods: We conducted a pre-post survey study at 3 internal medicine residency programs. For the workshop we identified unprofessional behaviors related to on-call etiquette: "blocking" an admission, disparaging a colleague, and misrepresenting a test as urgent. Formal debriefing tools were utilized to guide the discussion. We fielded an internally developed 20-item survey on perception and participation in unprofessional behaviors prior to the workshop. An online "booster" quiz was delivered at 4 months postworkshop, and the 20-item survey was repeated at 9 months postworkshop. Results were compared to a previously published control from the same institutions, which showed that perceptions of unprofessional behavior did not change and participation in the behaviors worsened over the internship.
Results: Of 237 eligible residents, 181 (76%) completed both pre- and postsurvey. Residents perceived blocking an admission and the misrepresentation of a test as urgent to be more unprofessional at a 9-month follow-up (2.0 versus 1.74 and 2.63 versus 2.28, respectively; P < .05), with no change in perception for disparaging a colleague. Participation in unprofessional behaviors did not decrease after the workshop, with the exception of misrepresenting a test as urgent (61% versus 50%, P = .019).
Conclusions: The results of this multi-site study indicate that an interactive workshop can change perception and may lower participation in some unprofessional behaviors.