Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A+ to F

The funny thing about evaluations is that they often are not reflective of the body of work that you put out every single day in the ward and yet they label us for the rest of our residency lives.

It really isn't fair sometimes. I go on a 36-hour duty shift, minus stealing a few minutes to hours of some shut-eye time, weather another 24+ hours of actual work time and if I screw up for a few seconds during that time, those few seconds will become my evaluation.

Nobody really cares about the 24+ or so hours you did stuff right.

By whose standards are we graded?

I've always had standards for myself and I'm harder on myself than anybody else. Most of the time, I don't let the opinions of other people ruin my work which I know I did wholeheartedly. But yes, I do make mistakes, and it's a hard pill to swallow when those mistakes are made the sole basis of my grades. Nobody ever mentions the times you were right and shouldn't those count more than the mistakes?

Well, it should.

I've realized these past few days that in medicine, and life in general, one should:
a) evaluate oneself
b) if one is happy, content, and making the people around you better, treating them right, then you're bound to be doing something right despite all the claims otherwise.
c) realize that there are people who dwell on the wrongs than on the things done right, and that these are the people you can never ever please, (their opinions don't matter)
d) make a mental note that you only answer to the Almighty, to yourself, and to your patients.
e) come to grips that you cannot please everybody.

We are but reflections, parts and parcel of the teaching and handiwork of those that have come before us -- our seniors, our teachers, our consultants.

So if you've done a good job, we'll turn out okay. If you've done otherwise, then we might not be so good.

We are your evaluations.