SIX YEARS ago, I became director of my department's residency program. My counterparts in other programs will aver that our job has a steep learning curve. Most of us enter into it with a reasonable grounding in clinical and biomedical science and with good intentions regarding resident education. Our credentials as administrators, personnel managers, and counselors are suspect. With luck, these skills are acquired on the job even as we try to appear competent.
Of all the program director's roles, the most daunting is that of evaluator. There are two main contexts in which the program director must do this: in the screening of applicants to the residency program and in the ongoing assessment of competency among current house staff members. The stakes are obviously high and the job monumental; is it really possible to develop fair, honest, and, ultimately, accurate appraisals of our trainees? Lack of faith in our
Clive DM. Freedom vs FairnessThe Need for a Rational System of Evaluation of Medical Trainees. Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(1):25–27. doi:10.1001/archinte.1993.00410010057004
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