Yi Nao describes a type of organised disturbance in Chinese hospitals. This study seeks to examine yi nao as a locally determined, radical expression of medical grievances. It is first argued that yi nao actors (usually the relatives of patients and sometimes professional yi nao gangs) have exploited the contradictions in the hospitals' stability maintenance policies, thereby complicating the resolution of medical disputes. Second, yi nao incidents feature a "performative" quality. Lacking professional power in the Chinese context, doctors are often passive sufferers of yi nao violence. However, this study examines some outliers wherein doctors were mobilised to resist yi nao.