Background. Conflicts across professional workgroup and hierarchies inundate the clinical workplace. Early Career Doctors (ECDs) are also affected either as victims or as a provocateur/perpetrator. The effects of conflict at their workplaces have both significant positive and negative dimensions and impacts on ECDs. Little has been reported about conflict among ECDs in Nigeria.
Thus, this study explored the issue of conflict and conflict resolution among ECDs in Nigeria, in a bid to elicit information on the causes, consequences, perpetrators and victims.
Method. This was a qualitative study, using Focus Group Discussions (FGD) to explore information on conflict and conflict management among purposively selected key respondents (n = 14) from seven tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. The respondents are ECDs who were leaders and representatives of other ECDs in their various hospitals. Two FGDs were conducted.
Results. The result showed that conflict is inescapable in clinical settings and occurred at different levels. The perpetrators are varieties of health workers, and most are task-related conflicts, although there are relational ones. The conflicts with the government on labour-related issues are also frequent. The lack of job description and specification and power struggle among others were highlighted as the drivers of conflicts between ECDs and other health-workers. Conclusion. The findings of the study were discussed, and suggestions were made to reduce its effect, which would require structural solutions to mitigate at different levels and the diverse players in the health sectors.