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Learning portfolios in psychiatric training

  • Kitty Seed (a1), Lisa Davies (a2) and Ronan J. McIvor (a3)
Extract

Major changes are taking place in the way doctors are trained and assessed. A new curriculum, devised by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on behalf of Modernising Medical Careers, will be implemented for current junior doctors as part of the foundation and specialist training programmes. Every junior doctor will be expected to have a ‘personal learning plan’ to guide professional development and assist appraisal, and to build a portfolio to document their experiences. This marks a shift from traditional summative (i.e. examinations-based) evaluation to the use of more formative methods based on experience and workplace assessment. It reflects greater emphasis on continuing professional development and life-long learning (Wilkinson et al, 2002).

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Challis, M., Mathers, A., Howe, N. et al (1997) Portfolio-based learning: continuing education for general practitioners – a mid-point evaluation. Medical Education, 31, 2226.
Cole, G. (2005) The definition of ‘portfolio’. Medical Education, 39, 11401142.
Dornan, T., Carroll, C. & Parboosingh, J. (2002) An electronic learning portfolio for reflective continuing professional development. Medical Education, 36, 767769.
Driessen, E., Van Tartwijk, J., Overeem, K., et al (2005) Conditions for successful reflective use of portfolios in undergraduate medical education. Medical Education, 39, 12301235.
Finlay, I., Maughan, T. & Webster, D. (1998) A randomized controlled study of portfolio learning in undergraduate cancer education. Medical Education, 32, 172176.
Lonka, K., Slotte, V., Halttunen, M., et al (2001) Portfolios as a learning tool in obstetrics and gynaecology undergraduate teaching. Medical Education, 35, 11251130.
McMullan, M. (2006) Students' perceptions on the use of portfolios in pre-registration nursing education: a questionnaire survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 43, 333343.
Modernising Medical Careers (2005) Foundation Learning Portfolio. http://www.mmc.nhs.uk/download/Foundation%20LP_Updated_2.pdf
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Rees, C. & Sheard, C. (2004) Undergraduate medical students' views about a reflective portfolio assessment of their communication skills learning. Medical Education, 38, 125128.
Roberts, C., Newble, D. & O'Rourke, A. (2002) Portfolio-based assessments in medical education: are they valid and reliable for summative purposes? Medical Education, 36, 899900.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Learning portfolios in psychiatric training

  • Kitty Seed (a1), Lisa Davies (a2) and Ronan J. McIvor (a3)
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eLetters

Benefits of Portfolio

Shalini Agrawal, Speciality Training Registrar 1 in Psychiatry
25 September 2007

As pointed out by the authors of the article ‘Learning portfolios in psychiatric training’, Psychiatric Bulletin (2007) 31: 310-312, learning portfolios are here to stay. But I feel the benefits of having a portfoliooutweigh the apparent hassles involved in maintaining one.

As a psychiatry trainee starting at ST 1 level, it is relatively easyfor me to understand the significance of these portfolios. With the implementation of Modernising Medical Careers, examinations are no longer the only assessment methodology available for career progression. In fact,now Work place Based Assessments (WBA) will form the basis of eligibility to appear for the MRCPsych Examinations. Therefore, it becomes imperative that trainees start taking their portfolios seriously. The college has linked up with Healthcare Assessment and Training (HcAT) system to introduce electronic portfolios for trainees. This would provide a means of logging on individual WBAs and to constantly upgrading them. One can see benefits in this where we are able to review our progress and do the necessary if we are falling short of expectations. It looks impressive, albeit at an annual approximate cost of £70 to the trainee.

Not only will the portfolios be important for informing eligibility for examinations, they will be extremely useful for final assessments by the PMETB to sign off trainees at end of training. A detailed, well structured, comprehensive portfolio will obviously ease the process.

Also, with the imminent introduction of new revalidation, relicensingand appraisal systems by the GMC, it is easy to recognize the importance of these portfolios.

One suspects that if a similar survey is now repeated across the country, it would show much higher awareness of portfolios among trainees and it is in our interest to get to grips with the intricacies of keeping an up to date portfolio and the quicker we do it the better.

Declaration of Interest: None
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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