* * Anonymous Doc

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

That video-creation site is kind of addictive when you don't have anything else to do when you get home, and nothing's on TV. Fortunately, it keeps crashing when I try to make a second movie. It's almost as reliable as our medical equipment.

I have an awkward situation.

We're supposed to do peer evaluations after every rotation, although half the time no one seems to do them. The system is set up such that it's supposed to be anonymous, but it isn't really anonymous because if there are two residents, and you get a peer evaluation three days after the rotation ends, guess what, there's no mystery who it's from. Also, the system doesn't let you read someone else's evaluation until you write an evaluation of them-- so if you get an evaluation you can't read, you end up figuring out who it's from because as soon as you write that person an evaluation, magic, you can read it. So, basically, the system doesn't work very well.

I got an e-mail about a peer evaluation. I assumed it was from my co-resident on the rotation that just ended. I filled out an evaluation for her. The system still didn't let me read my evaluation. So it wasn't from her.

I went back and thought about who else it could be from. I filled out a couple of other evaluations. Still no luck.

Finally, I filled out an evaluation for a resident I was on a rotation with almost six months ago, because I was running out of possibilities. It wasn't a great evaluation. I didn't think he was a great resident. There were three of us on the team, and two of us did most of the work. He was friendly and pleasant enough to work with, but he was very slow. I said so in the evaluation. It wasn't the worst evaluation ever, but it wasn't an evaluation I would have been thrilled to receive. I hadn't filled it out initially because I didn't want to give a peer a bad evaluation. And if I'd taken more time-- and if this hadn't been the fourth or fifth one I filled out in one sitting-- maybe I would have been more careful and sugar-coated things a little bit.

So I submitted it, and, sure enough, I got to read his evaluation of me. And it was a very nice evaluation, probably nicer than I deserved. Which made me feel pretty bad, on a personal level, about the evaluation I wrote.

I assume he wrote a bunch of evaluations at the same time, and a few people filled out evaluations in return.

Because I happened to run into him after our weekly resident conference yesterday, and he pulled me aside.

He asked me if I got an evaluation from the third resident on our team.

I told him I did. He said he did too, and he couldn't believe how mean she was, and he quoted back a bunch of things from the evaluation I wrote about him. So he thinks this other resident wrote the evaluation, not me. And I didn't know how to tell him that the evaluation was actually from me. And he got paged two minutes into the conversation anyway and had to race off, so I didn't have a chance to say anything even if I wanted to.

And so now I don't know what to do. On the one hand, it's supposed to be an anonymous system, we're supposed to be honest, and I feel like my evaluation was fair. And so why should I have to have an awkward conversation where I have to admit that I gave him a mediocre evaluation and have him hate me? On the other hand, it's really not cool for me to let him blame this other resident for the evaluation, and let him hate her for no reason. So I think I have to tell him, but I don't want to.


  1. It will come back to bite you eventually so you should talk to him again.

    Maybe you could start out asking him to help you with your evaluation skills, as you have realized many of the things you said came out less useful and more harsh than intended.

    - KrisW

  2. What a lousy "anonymous" system -- but yeah, while you're under no obligation to tell him that you wrote the review; if the issue gnaws at your conscience it's probably better to get it off your chest.

  3. Not a doc but they do this crap in the business world. I have always refused to participate as invariably the people who ask for the review are jerks and I can't afford the political fall out.

    I would either tell the guy of a time you thought someone had given you an awful review and it turned out to be someone else, ergo he should be careful about assigning blame because you just never know.

    Or admit to it and qualify with you were in a bad mood and have regretted the evaluation ever since you submitted it.


  4. If you go tell him it's just for your own conscience. The other girl wouldn't know anyway coz he wouldn't confront her (well, if he does then she'd tell him and he'll know it wasn't her). In any case, if you get a bad evaluation just think 'why' and don't blame the person who wrote it.