The McDonaldization of appraisal? Doctors' views of the early impacts of medical revalidation in the United Kingdom.
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INTRODUCTION: Medical regulation is rapidly changing with claims that systems such as revalidation/relicensing will reassure the public. Yet the impact of such initiatives is unknown. METHODS: Using the principles of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control through technology, identified by Ritzer, and exampled by the McDonalds business model, we analyzed interviews with doctors between May 2012-Dec 2013 which focused on doctor experiences of appraisal and revalidation in SW England. RESULTS: The research found significant changes in appraisals since the launch of revalidation in December 2012. Appraisal has been standardized with a list of supporting information that must be collected by doctors. The success of implementation is measured in the numbers of appraisals completed but less is known about the quality of the appraisal itself. Such efficiencies have been supported by IT systems that themselves might be at risk of driving the process. DISCUSSION: There are potential advantages to McDonaldization including appraisals available to all, not just for doctors working in the NHS, and a potentially more appetizing recipe for their completion. As yet a state of McAppraisal has not been reached; with a complete transfer of trust in the doctor to trust in the appraisal process within revalidation. However policymakers will need to continue to ensure that regulatory initiatives, such as revalidation, are not just a process for their own sake.
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