Monday, November 17, 2008

St Elsewhere's?

You know your appraisal’s going wrong when your appraiser says “You could always think about doing something else…”

After last year, when a commenter rather chided me over the whole “buzzword bingo” concept of appraisal, I decided to do this one cold. This might have been a mistake.

I thought I had prepared my case and supplied the necessary evidence to back up my professed competence, but this year’s appraisal felt somehow so much more joyless than any hitherto, and my appraiser (a new one I’d not met before the day) seemed less interested in the materials I had provided than in her own agenda, namely whipping me in to shape for “revalidation”. It probably didn’t help that I was incubating my annual dose of low grade but highly irritating lurghi come the appointed day. Nor did it help that I had spent forty five minutes completing a twenty minute journey to my place of execution… er appraisal. The fact that the day had not afforded an opportunity for a second cup of Java or any hobnobs at all probably sealed my fate.

As a result I accept I might have come across as a little grumpier and a tad less engaged than I might normally. However it also seemed that the appraisal agenda has changed from a formative mentoring relationship to one of challenge and compulsion. I’m not entirely sure on that point, and accept that I performed badly on the day, but with the benefit of a fortnight of introspection after the fact, this experience was so at variance with the five previous encounters that I await the next with no small measure of trepidation.

And the really sad thing is I’m not at all sure I could, or would want to do “anything else”. I can tell you that next year the bingo will definitely be back on the agenda though.

I’m sorry it took a while to regain my normal equanimity after these events, but I reckon I’m back now, and certainly in no mood to go elsewhere.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about the fact that Form 4s and PDPs are no longer going to be anonymised when sent in to and analysed by the PCT?

They are going to have all our good and bad points with our names attached. So we will just do the thing as a dumb exercise in box-ticking. No longer can it even pretend to be a "formative mentoring relationship".

This is the stasi by the back door - or maybe even the front door...

Time to book into St Elsewhere's.

Elaine said...

Oh dear, I am so sorry. It looks like the assessor had a political agenda.

Doctor Jest said...

Dr Anon-- yes, I was rather taken aback by that little wrinkle last year. Needless to say my post appraisal feedback form is going in under plain cover separately and anonymised. And next appraisal might well be little more than "Yes" "No" answers to the Q&A rather than the formative discussions of past outings. Still, so long as I've got all my forms in order.....

Doctor Jest said...

Elaine-- either that or I'm even more of an hopeless dinosaur than I had thought.

Dr Dipplodocus.

orchidea said...

Oh... b*gger.

May I offer a hug? (Are you a huggable sort of dinosaur?)

o xxx

Dr Andrew Brown said...

Yes, the gloves are off. There's no doubt that appraisal is no longer for the benefit of the doctor but to ensure he or she conforms.

Doctor Jest said...

orchidea-- I've always quite fancied being a dipplodocus so no spines, horns or fangs if that helps at all. There is of course the small matter of the irredeemable depravity though....

Dr Andrew-- indeed. Pity really because next year the whole exercise will become completely sterile. I'm already working on generating a snowstorm of paper for it though ;-)

Nostrumdammit said...

The last time I was subjected to a clinical pharmacy style appraisal,I decided to adopt the role of counsellor to the appraisor. It took a little longer than usual to get through the agenda but I do feel that the young women derived considerable benefit from my patrician manner and significant levels of empathy.At no time was I directive and it seemed a long time before she caught on. Thereafter we seemed to wizz through everything and I took her out for dinner and an evening at the theatre later that day. Sadly she became far too dependent on me and we had to part ways shortly after the court injunction was imposed on her. Occasionally I feel guilty for tapping in to her emotional deficit merely to avoid answering revealing questions about my professional torpitude, but it did work rather well for a while.
Now - I'm not suggesting that a happily married quack should engage with an interragateur in a like manner, but perhaps you are passing up an opportunity for some significant fun by not playing the game.
Dear Fellow, just ask yourself - "What can they do if I am a little too eccentric in my personality to play their powergames?"
So long as you cut the medical mustard, let them eat cake!

orchidea said...

And there I was, thinking you'd trained in medicine to cure and/or alleviate, not to conform.

~sigh~

If the dipplo-whatsit is furry in parts, I can happily overlook the irredeemable you-know-what.

(I shall get my coat...)

Doctor Jest said...

nostrum'-- welcome back dear boy! I like the sound of your strategy, but wining and dining strange women is entirely likely to lead to a swift ejection of YT from Jest Acres. Still there's a lot to be said for the reverse psychology angle. I'll give it some serious thought come next year.

orchidea-- never seen one rendered as furry. Bother...

Doc Doc said...

In my appraisals have always gone for the stearing approach, ie putting in 3-4 difficulties/problems/contentious issues that the appraiser cannot ignore and thus focusing the discussion.

Each year the appraisers are given certain topics/items they must discuss (revalidation this year) but find this approach works well and often get some helpful advice along the way.

Not sure this will work with your appraiser however, but worth a try.