The ‘difficult’ employee in laboratory medicine: types, impact and management strategies

Mahmoud A Khalifa, Sandhyarani Dasaraju, Elizabeth O. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


As laboratory medicine professionals, we are often asked to fill managerial roles with minimal prior managerial education or experience. While we attempt to fill these roles with the best of intentions within us and our colleagues, conflicts and differences of opinion inevitably arise. The “difficult employee” navigates these challenging circumstances in a manner that can harm themselves, their colleagues, and their patients. Difficult employees can present with prolonged turn-around times, decreased productivity, lack of self-awareness, a toxic work culture, and even criminal activity as the most extreme manifestation. As a laboratory leader, recognizing different types of the difficult employee will help to identify methods for effective early intervention before significant harm can occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalDiagnostic Histopathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Difficult employee
  • laboratory administration
  • managing difficult people
  • personality conflict
  • workplace conflicts


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