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What do you think about yourself?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by watermen, May 5, 2007.

  1. watermen

    watermen Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    Ok...when it comes to feedback/evaluation session...i realized that some attendings really like to ask you how do you think you did in this rotation or what you think about yourself?...I find this kind of question awkward and difficult to answer....anyone has the same experience? and what is the best way to answer this kind of question?
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  3. Medical123

    Medical123 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    At least they are asking and giving you some feedback! Most of the time, I got the standard "you are doing a good job" as the only feedback for my entire rotation----if that much! My whole team got unexpectedly burned on a surgery rotation last year with no warning that we were going to be ripped apart and it totally sucked because we had no way to defend ourselves.

    This a hard question to answer. Here is what I did:

    On my third year medicine clerkship, the attending pulled all of us into her office individually and asked us to tell her what we thought our performance. I think that I said that I felt as if I was working hard, knew my patients well, and usually could generate a fairly decent plan of care. I wanted to be truthful, but yet not sound pompous or arrogant. She agreed with that and added her on input as to what she saw as my more positive attributes.

    Then, she asked me where I thought I could improve. That was a little harder because I didn't want to draw attention to anything that she may not have already picked up on. However, she put me at ease by saying that anything that I told her (or any negative feedback she had for me) would not be reflected in my evaluation if it improved by the time the rotation was over. I had missed a couple of acid-base pimp questions, so I told her that I needed to work on acid-base balance and a couple of other areas of weakness. She agreed with that, but told me that my overall knowledge base was very strong and she wasn't too worried about those areas of weakness that I had identified at that point. She then identified a couple of things that she would like to see improvement on and even told me specifically what she wanted me to do to improve. She was awesome! Definitely one of my better attendings!
  4. Mayhem

    Mayhem Scut Bear 5+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Somewhere only we know
    No one has ever asked me that question before. I'd go ahead and tell them the truth, maybe they're just trying to find out ways to help you. Besides, what the worst that could happen? If you really have a deficit somewhere then they probably noticed it already
  5. jdh71

    jdh71 epiphany at nine thousand six hundred feet Physician 10+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    FEMA Camp, USA
    weakness: care too much, work too hard . . . it hurts man, I tell you, it hurts . . .
  6. QuinnB

    QuinnB Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    This has come up fairly frequently at my school. For "how do you think you could improve," I usually focused on something that I wasn't expected to be good at (i.e., better surgical technique - which is not expected where I am, better at putting in lines - again not expected for 3rd year, etc...). I never brought up things that I am expected to know/do, not b/c I am dishonest, but b/c I understand what those things are and felt no need to highlight them with an attending that will be determining my grade. Unlike a previous poster there was no re-assurance that my comments would not affect my grade and by the time we were asked about this, it was the last 1-2 days of the rotation = no time to improve.

    I was really thrown off when my surgery attending asked what "two things would I improve about the surgery rotation," this was completely unexpected.
  7. Acherona

    Acherona Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    I just got asked that question -- so annoying! How the f should I know how I "did", why don't you tell me, isn't that your job, I'm not the one who has seen dozens of other students to compare myself to.

    I really don't see the point in this question except to make the student uncomfortable. Do they just want to see if you are self-reflective or tailor how they deliver their feedback? I feel like they are cheating...their assessment should be objective.

    This woman made me so uncomfortable I started saying negative things about myself that weren't even true because I thought she thought they were true...messed up. I think the best strategy is to downplay any bad points. If you think you did a great job maybe they will question themselves.
  8. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    When I was on FP, my mid-unit evaluator asked me the "How can you improve?" question. I didn't know what to say, so I just said, "I'm not great at Pediatric ear exams."

    Guess what ended up on my eval at the end of the block?

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