DROGHEDA, CO. LAOIS, IRELAND – Dr. Means was discovered yesterday to be filling out intern assessment forms and signing them with Mr. McGearry’s signature. The surgical SHO at Our Lady of Perpetual Austerity Hospital has received near universal praise for his initiative.
Medical colleges overseeing intern training in Ireland require routine assessment by consultants, which they swear are used for advancement and placement. The medical field knows this better than any because as the proverb states in administration: “More paperwork equals greater care.”
Suspicion was first raised by Mr. McGearry when he noted a sharp decline in the number interns pestering him to fill in forms on a daily basis. “After a whole month, I did begin to wonder, Did they cancel this meaningless box-ticking exercise? But then I decided to just enjoy it,” he recalled as he left early for the third time this week. “I need to buy Dr. Means a steak dinner.”
When forms began to come in with insightful comments on interns’ specific strengths and weaknesses, there was no longer any doubt. “I was really impressed by his initiative when I found out what he was doing. No one’s taken that sort of real interest in interns in a long time,” noted Professor Dean, head of intern training at Dublin College of Medicine and Theology.
The response from interns has been mixed. Dr. Sharpe – flushed with the excitement of receiving her first “outstanding” for doing an ABG on an acutely breathless patient – noted Dr. Means was tough but fair: “If you properly examine and work up patients, you do well.”
Another intern, Dr. Fitz, was less impressed: “I used to catch the consultant just before he left for his golf game knowing he would just rapidly tick off ‘adequate’ for everything to get it over with. Now I’m getting ‘below expectations’!” he bemoaned while auscultating a patient’s chest for the first time this year.
When pressed, Dr. Means admitted he marked the interns on the basis of how much work they didn’t make for him. “Show me an intern who only triples my work and I will kiss his feet.”
He has been suspended without pay until further notice for creating more work for college administrators who now need to reassess their system of assessment, with more paperwork.