Who handles office squabbles?

July 1, 2008

When staff bicker, should I get involved or is that a job for the office manager?

Question: When staff bicker, should I get involved or is that a job for the office manager?

Answer: Generally, I like to see staff issues resolved by the manager. You need to focus on treating patients. That said, the office manager should work under your direction. Meeting privately, the manager ideally suggests a course of action, you reach agreement, and she goes forth and implements it. You then need to back her up fully and direct any staff complaints back to her.

Now, it may be that in a small practice like yours, the manager isn’t really “managerial” enough, if you will, to handle this task. If so, then one of the two physicians needs to be responsible.

What matters more than whose job it is, is that it is one person’s job. Staff need to know who to go to with issues. They need to know that the person in charge speaks for the practice and there is no point in trying to get a different answer from the other physician or the manager. They need to know that every case is being handled the same way.