American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Disruptive Forces: Using Disruption to Positively Affect Change

On December 14, 2020, the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) hosted a webinar presented by Brett Starr, MD, on using disruption to positively effect change.

Have you ever been so angry about something at your hospital that you could feel your blood pressure rising?  Have you had the urge to scream, cuss, or yell to make a point about something that is less than perfect for you patients?  Do you feel disappointed that “Ok” just seems like the standard?  The ability to affect change within our healthcare environment is largely dependent on the influence and tactics used by an individual to raise concerns and foster meaningful progress.  As surgeons, the personality traits and leadership skills that attracted us to the field, combined with high stakes and high stress situations, put us at increased risk for being labeled as disruptive physicians in today’s workplace.  While this label carries many negative connotations, personal consequences, and professional boundaries, it is imperative to discover and foster the idea that disruptive forces, when framed appropriately, are absolutely necessary to prevent complacency and eliminate the acceptance of mediocrity.

Learning Objectives

In this webinar, you will:

  • Identify personal characteristics of surgeons that make them susceptible to being labeled as disruptive physicians
  • Discuss the personal and professional consequences of being labeled a disruptive physician
  • Explore the necessity of disruptive forces to create positive changes for health systems and patient care
  • Discuss the importance of reframing the term disruptive to influential and impactful for change

More about Brett Starr

Brett Starr, MDDr. Starr is the Chief Cardiothoracic Resident at the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville, NC.  He completed his General Surgery training at Vidant Medical Center / ECU Brody School of Medicine where he has been very ingrained in system integration and improvement projects.  During his work across various aspects of the health system early in his career, the label of disruptive physician plagued several of his initiatives.  These experiences guided mentoring, education, and introspection on the ideals of influence and effectively altering your reputation and image.  After navigating a path out of the disruptive label, this process has refocused his efforts on educating physicians about common pitfalls, increasing awareness for the power of appropriate disruptive forces, and helping young surgeons realign their personal drive and personality traits to affect change in their institutions.

Watch the video