The outlander syndrome can occur in a hospital when a person in one department starts to identify (or is perceived to identify) with another department.


Features of the outlander syndrome:

(1) The person is originally a member of a group or department.

(2) The person spends a significant amount of time with another group or department.

(3) The person may:

(3a) identify with the other group or department more than with the original group

(3b) be perceived by members of the original group as no longer being part of that team

(3c) be perceived as an outsider by the new group


Problems can occur if the person:

(1) takes sides in a conflict between the groups or shows a shift in loyalties

(2) makes other members of either group "look" or feel bad

(3) is perceived as being less productive in the original group

(4) burns out trying to please both groups

(5) is blamed for problems or a failure to resolve problems

(6) has problems fitting in to either group


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