This blog discusses the benefits of an medical appraisal to the appraisee (doctor), appraiser and the employing organisation.
The benefits of a doctor appraisal can be over 3 main areas mainly:
1. Benefits to the appraisee
In the UK Appraisal for doctors is a forum to demonstrate that they continue to meet the principles and values of Good Medical Practice. By reviewing development over the last year, appraisal is a chance to reflect on the highlights as well as thinking about things which the appraisee would like to have done differently. It is important to focus on strengths as these can motivate the further development and application of skills.
The perspective of an appraiser can be very useful in enhancing the quality of the appraisee's work, particularly when the appraiser is trained to give a good balance of support and challenge. An appraiser may be able to offer helpful insights into areas of practice where the appraisee has blind spots and development needs as well as being able to acknowledge their achievements.
In addition appraisal is an opportunity to have a non-judgmental discussion on any colleague feedback (360 or multi-source feedback) and, for doctors in the UK, to review patient feedback. In particular, the appraiser can help to put all of this into perspective within the context of other appraisees. (The GMC requires UK doctors to carry out and reflect on one multi-source questionnaire and one patient questionnaire in each five year revalidation cycle.)
Appraisal is sometimes used as a chance to discuss any concerns that have arisen over the past year. These may be concerns that the appraisee wants to raise about their own work, about relationships within the workplace or about the work of colleagues. Although it is better to raise any serious issues with the people concerned at the time that they arise, this is not always easy and sometimes appraisees wait to bring these up at their appraisal, particularly if they feel that they have an open and trusting relationship with their appraiser.
Appraisal is an opportunity for the appraisee to be actively involved in planning their future professional development. The conversation about work, reviewing strengths and weaknesses, discussing particular interests and reflecting on feedback from others, enables the appraisee, together with their appraiser, to construct the elements of a personal development plan. This will define some of the steps that the appraisee needs to take to ensure that they will be able to demonstrate how they keep up to date and are fit to practise.
2. Benefits to the appraiser
Carrying out appraisals is an opportunity for appraisers to learn from the conversations and examples brought by a range of appraisees. These may include doctors working in very different contexts and may challenge the appraiser's skills, both as a clinician and as an interviewer. Hearing about how colleagues manage a broad range of clinical, managerial and interpersonal issues may give the appraiser new ideas to take back to their own work setting. These benefits can be further developed within appraiser learning sets or peer groups.
3. Benefits to the organisation
Appraisal offers the opportunity for the organisation to support the development of appraisees and appraisers. It can learn from feedback and from reviewing processes for improving patient care. Taking a positive, formative approach to appraisal can help to promote the creation of a learning organisation where people feel motivated to develop and to support each other
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For further information on medical appraisals and revalidation,
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