Evaluations are a critical part of medical school. As each year passes, they become increasingly long and an ever-present part of your semesters. After the first two years of basic science and didactics, evaluations become the good majority of your final grade. Less and less emphasis is placed on knowledge of facts and the ability to regurgitate information.
I have spent a lot of time complaining about this to friends and family. It is easy to become caught up in the fact that evaluations are all intrinsically biased. No one can actually grade your performance on a rotation without being influenced by how they personally feel about you. In addition, there are always several different attendings who all believe that different levels of work merit different numerical scores. This lack of standardization is certainly unfair, but it is an unavoidable part of the evaluation process.
It is very hard to accept the idea of being graded based on an evaluation; especially when we have been ingrained with so many years of schooling to believe that our intelligence and success is based on a letter grade from multiple-choice test. What I have come to realize is that in the medical profession, people’s opinions of you will always matter. Having a good rapport with a patient could make or break an entire visit. Being able to work with colleagues is critical to a smoothly running hospital or practice. Evaluations are just a way to ease us into the process of being perpetually judged. Evaluations are not perfect, but they are necessary.