Unfortunately, this is currently a topic of discussion on the resident board also, with several posters (including myself) discussing how the process can be changed to make residents more protected. So, here's the deal: If your PD really has your back, then you'll be fine. Chances are, this attending is a jerk to everyone -- including the PD. That means that your PD will need to stand up to him if he starts to make a stink. I can't tell you whether he/she'll do this, or cave in and then create problems for you in the future. That being said, I don't see how you can "not work with this attending". What happens if you're on call and one of his/her patients has a problem? How's that going to work? Routine overlap might be prevented, but I doubt you can work in this program without ever working with this jerk again. Next, we're only hearing your half of the story. You need to ensure, as much as possible, that the problem is really with the faculty member and not with you. If you really are slow to return pages, pass off work to others, slow, incomplete, lazy, etc then you need some honest feedback. I do see this -- a resident who starts to struggle is often picked out by my most "discriminating" faculty. Others are willing to make excuses -- a new intern, a busy schedule, etc. Don't forget about making sure that you're doing OK. Being mistreated like this at work can cause depression, insomnia, etc. OK, so what do you do? 1. Hiring / contacting an employment lawyer is a waste of money. If they terminate you, it will be because they have documented that your performance is sub par. I highly doubt a lawyer will be able to help -- this is not a contract dispute. 2. You need to document, as best as possible, every conversation (good or bad) that you have with this person. I'd try to recreate the timeline above. As acurrately as you can, as much detail as you can. How long did it take you to respond? How many patients were you managing? Had you triaged them based upon their illness severity? You continue this forever. Every conversation. 3. You will have regular reviews with your PD regarding your progress in the program. You should request a copy of a written summary of each meeting, and keep these in your own files. 4. Some have advocated for a pocket recorder to record these conversations. Many smart phones can do this also. Be very careful with this -- wiretap laws are state specific, and you can get in tons of trouble for recording people without their permission or knowledge. This is a question that you could pose to a lawyer. 5. You'll need to decide whether you want to "play the game". If he pages you again, do you drop everything and call him back right away? Essentially give him what he wants. It isn't right, but sometimes (sadly) it's the best way to address the issue. 6. You need a plan, in writing from your PD, about how you are supposed to "avoid" this person without getting into trouble about shirking your work. As mentioned above, I'm certain that you and this guy will cross paths again -- best to be prepared (both from what you will do, and what your program expects of you).