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Guide to Understand Portfolio for Foundation Doctors



Hello readers, I am Pihu, an IMG from India and its been four months since I have joined my trust as an SHO. In today's blog, I am going to discuss with you the key aspects of portfolio for foundation doctors. E-portfolio is a platform where you can record evidence of your progression while training as a foundation year doctor. Understanding the different components of the portfolio can be overwhelming at the start. I will be elaborating on the following components in this blog:


  • Personal and Professional Development Plan (PDP)

  • Meetings with your Educational and Clinical Supervisors

  • Assessments

  • Supervised Learning Events (SLEs) & Reflections

  • Teaching

  • Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)


Personal and Professional Development Plan (PDP)


This comprises of enlisting what you wish to achieve at the end of the rotation. It can involve gaining experience in your speciality, attending teaching, or even research projects. If you are just starting out, then I would advise you to take it slow and keep your targets realistic. Settle into the job before aiming to dive straight into Audits/ research.


Meetings with your educational and clinical supervisors


At the start of your rotation, you will be informed about your clinical and educational supervisors. The supervisors are usually the consultants from your rotation. These meetings take place at the start and end of a rotation. They help to set your goals and understand what is expected of you. Towards the end, you can discuss your learnings, experiences and overall progress. 


Supervised learning events (SLEs) & Reflections


This forms one of the most important component of the portfolio. You can prove your competency by recording your learning in the form of SLEs. You can write about different cases, procedures, examination findings and discuss them with a senior. Once you do that, they will be happy to validate the form for you by signing it. 


You also have to write reflections which I feel is vital for doctors. It helps to look back and see what you did right and where you can improve. There is usually a minimum number which you have to write but I feel the more you reflect, the better you will become.


Assessments


These include Team Assessment of Behaviour (TAB) and Placement Supervision Group (PSG). TAB comprises of feedback on your performance from a range of multi-disciplinary colleagues. It includes consultants, other senior doctors, senior nurses and allied health professionals like secretaries etc. TAB is usually done in the first rotation. PSG is similar and is requested by the Clinical Supervisor. 


Teaching


Each foundation doctor has to attend teaching sessions conducted throughout the year. You must complete the minimum number of hours which you will be made aware of. Make sure to log them as you go along, or else you might miss to document some sessions. There are core and non core teaching sessions. Usually core teaching sessions comprise of foundation year teaching and non core teaching can include journal clubs, seminars, small group teachings etc 


Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)


ARCP is a review of evidence of achievement over the course of one year. During the ARCP meeting, the portfolio will be reviewed to conclude whether the doctor is eligible to progress to the next level of training. This is to maintain a high standard of care and practice.


Need more tips and advice? 


Even though I have explained the main components of the portfolio, you may come across a few difficulties as you go along. You can always ask your colleagues and seniors who would be more than happy to help. There will also be an Educational team in the trust who can guide you. But if you have any questions that I can help you with, then don’t hesitate to contact me at trewlink.com. You can register using this link. Find me as an Ambassador and follow my profile – Pihu Arora - to receive regular support and advice.

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