ECCS Course Description

This new CME program is designed for physicians who are feeling distressed or may have exhibited disruptive behavior or physicians who may need additional education and skills training to more effectively cope and communicate in our increasingly complex and challenging medical environment. The course is ideal for physicians who may also need to document specific behavioral changes to maintain their position and privileges in their practice or hospital. Enrollment is by referral or request, but requires a phone interview with the co-director, Dr. Kim Penberthy or one of the core faculty.

The ECCS program was developed at the University of Virginia Health System and is based upon the Program for Distressed Physicians at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  Dr. John Schorling, Dr. Kim Penberthy and Dr. Nassima Ait-Daoud from the Physician Wellness Program, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences are the core faculty, and they all have extensive experience in medical education and working with professional health care providers.

The entire program is a three day CME event, followed by three additional follow up days over the next six months. The fee is $4500 for the entire program.

We are currently enrolling for programs in Charlottesville, VA on the following dates:

October 14-16, 2019

If you are interested in obtaining further information, please contact Dr. Penberthy at

Goals and Objectives:

  1. Teach new skills in the recognition and expression of emotions that lead to disruptive behavior.
  2. Provide a syllabus of selected readings and resources for the distressed physician.
  3. Teach the range of disruptive behaviors.
  4. Provide strategies for the prevention of inappropriate behaviors.
  5. Provide follow-up and support in maintaining behavior changes.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the course based on feedback from the workplace monitoring system.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify issues around disruptive behavior and promote prevention treatment of physicians.
  2. Discuss healthy boundaries and appropriate expressions of emotions among staff, colleagues and patients.
  3. Identify the risk factors and development patterns of distressed physicians.
  4. Describe the socialization of physicians and medical school/residency that contribute to maladaptive behavior patterns.
  5. Identify family of origin issues that may contribute to behavior or communication problems.
  6. Identify personal risk factors.
  7. Identify relapse prevention strategies.
  8. Discuss disruptive behavior from the viewpoint of staff, patients, colleagues and administrators.
  9. Discuss and practice exercises that promote self-awareness, increase the relaxation response, and increase communication effectiveness.