Q&A: What to do when a colleague isn't performing

February 20, 2009

We are a 35-year-old group of six, and one member who has been in the group for 18 years isn't pulling his load in patient production, time, and fees.

Q: We are a 35-year-old group of six, and one member who has been in the group for 18 years isn't pulling his load in patient production, time, and fees. When we review this issue with him, he becomes very angry and nearly violent. We are also aware that he is inheriting a significant amount of money later this year. Our contract does not address these issues. How should we deal with this problem?

A: Call your attorney, because you need to be sure you know what your responsibilities are to expel a member. That is your fallback position. Then have an intervention with all the owners, telling the problem doctor what is expected of him and what is unacceptable behavior. Put it in writing and tell him what will happen if he doesn't comply. You may want to ask your attorney to be there. Document everything as directed by your attorney. The most important thing is that you must confront this behavior.