Intended for healthcare professionals


An approach to the obstructive colleague

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 10 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5341
  1. Roshan Vijayan, core surgical trainee, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK,
  2. Gregory Scott, neurology research fellow, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. roshan.vijayan{at}

The obstructive colleague is a feature of any workplace, but is perhaps nowhere more exasperating than in the clinical environment. It is remarkable that, as clinicians used to coolly and methodically analysing our patients, we don’t apply the same pragmatic approach to problematic colleagues. Obstruction, for example, commonly occurs both within the bowel and in interpersonal communication. Causes …

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