Massachusetts Medical Society: Episode 10: Conflict Management

Episode 10: Conflict Management

Conflict Management

Course Overview

Marie and professionalism expert Jo Shapiro, MD, have a deep conversation about resolving interpersonal conflicts that come up on medical teams and at different levels of health care organizations. Dr. Shapiro, a surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, directs the Center for Professionalism and Peer Support there. She believes that conflict in medical settings is inevitable and may be healthy when it allows for a respectful synthesis of multiple perspectives. Dr. Shapiro helps Marie unpack and process her negative feelings about a colleague who at times comes across as overly demanding. They consider this situation from the perspective of both Marie and her colleague, and they embrace the assumption that all team members are trying to do their best. They discuss providing colleagues with behavioral feedback that is both positive and critical, and how tricky it is when others are not aware of how they come across. A careful approach that is helpful, respectful, and tactful is called for. Such discussions should center on observational data, whenever possible, and antagonism should be avoided. When such attempts to iron out interpersonal complexity do not go well, one should promptly obtain help from those with the skill to ameliorate situations of this kind.

Learning Objectives

  • Bearing in mind various examples of interpersonal conflict and conflict resolution at different levels of the health care system, begin to reflect on one’s own involvement with potentially conflictual situations, and start to consider potentially effective solutions. 
  • Review effective behavioral feedback tactics that may alleviate conflict.


Jo Shapiro, MD 
I’m the director of the Center for Professionalism and Peer Support at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston and an associate professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. I launched our Center in 2008. Since that time, we have become a model for institutions that are seeking methods to enhance teamwork and respect and are looking to help mitigate the epidemic of burnout that is plaguing the medical profession. I work with health care institutions nationally and internationally to offer leadership and guidance in building professionalism and peer support programs. I previously led the Division of Otolaryngology at BWH and maintain a surgical practice specializing in oropharyngeal swallowing disorders. I have served as president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists, where I chaired the Faculty Development Committee. I am an appointed member of the American Board of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Education Council, and in 2012 I was elected as a senior examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology. I am a core faculty member of the Managing Workplace Conflict: Improving Leadership and Personal Effectiveness course of Physician Health Services, Inc.

Course Fees

Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Member: Free       
Non-MMS Member: Free       
Allied Health Professionals: Free



CME Credit

1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Massachusetts Medical Society and Physician Health Services, Inc. The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

AMA Credit Designation Statement

The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credit for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

Exam/Assessment: Please respond to the reflective statement at the end of the course to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

MOC Approval Statement
Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Maintenance of Certification ("MOC") Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory, this activity has met the requirements as an MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:

Allergy and Immunology
Family Medicine
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Nuclear Medicine
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Plastic Surgery
Preventive Medicine
Psychiatry & Neurology
Thoracic Surgery

Activity Term

Original Release Date: January 24, 2019        
Review Date: January 24, 2021           
Termination Date: January 24, 2022

System Requirements

Windows 10        
Mac OSX 10.6 higher

Most modern browsers including:   
IE 11+        
Firefox 18.0+  
Chrome latest version        
Safari 12+  

iOS devices beginning with OS version 10 or higher (includes, iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices)    

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