About a week and a half into my first month of internship, Jessica the Horrible said that it was time to do FEEDBACK. I was really looking forward to this, as you can imagine. And we did it while on call, which made it like twice as painful.
Anyway, I knew she wasn't going to say anything that great, because she'd been so nasty to me all along. She acted like she'd been doing this feedback bullshit her whole life, instead of this being her very first time. She started off by saying to me, "Well, how do YOU think you're doing?"
I said very honestly that this was the first inpatient rotation I'd done since my sub-I a year ago (yes, I took it easy fourth year and had no regrets) and it was a bit of an adjustment. I'd forgotten a lot and I had to get used to a new hospital where I’d never worked. I also had to get used to dealing with 30 hour calls and living far away from my family and friends. But I said I thought I was getting the hang of it now.
She nodded and agreed with everything I said. Then we had this patronizing discussion about what was I doing to improve this or that. Let's not forget that one month ago, she was a freakin intern too. She did this really irritating thing that my brother does. He always says, "No offense, but..." then says something really, really offensive. She said that she felt my knowledge wasn't much better than a sub-I. I was like, "Yeah, no fucking kidding, I just TOLD you I haven't taken an inpatient rotation since my sub-I." Considering I had just told her that, I thought what she said was needlessly hurtful (and a crappy thing to say in the middle of a 30 hour call). Besides, even though my practical skills were a little rusty and undeveloped, I knew my knowledge base was fairly good because I had great board scores and I would hope there's at least some correlation. (I didn't say that, maybe I should have.)
My biggest problem was probably lacking confidence in the field, and she just killed what little confidence I had. What I really wanted to say was that one way you gain knowledge is by asking questions and she made me completely intimidated to ask any questions.
Over the course of intern year, I got feedback from many, many other senior residents. And every single one of them ended our session by asking for my feedback on them. Interestingly, Jessica was the one resident who didn’t ask me for any feedback on her. I wonder why she didn’t do that. Did she forget? Did she think she was so perfect that she didn’t require feedback? Did she think I sucked so much that I couldn’t possibly have anything relevant to say to someone as wonderful as her? If I had given her feedback, it would have been to say that she should try to remember what it was like two weeks into residency at a new hospital when you don't know everything yet.
Anyway, I basically stormed off to my next patient and didn't speak to her again until I absolutely had to.