Monthly Archives: April 2016

Opportunity knocks

I have not posted anything here for months – years in fact. With a lack of any progress in improving the ePortfolio, the constant disappointments became too draining. I diverted my energy to other things. But I am still involved in training and the MRCP, and at every meeting, on every subject, I bring up the ePortfolio. I point out the problems it causes, and highlight the barrier it creates to meaningful educational feedback and support.

Change occurs at a glacial pace in postgraduate training, and with resources so constrained there has been little appetite for investing in an ePortfolio fit for purpose. But once again there is a glimmer of hope. Change is happening in internal medicine. The Shape of Training and Future Hospital Commission reports have led to important discussions within the Royal Colleges, HEE and the GMC. A new curriculum is being written for internal medicine, with a review of the assessment methods in use. There is a clear and coherent focus on reducing the burden of assessment, moving away from meaningless tick-boxes of atomised tasks, to more outcome-focused holistic assessment of ‘competencies in practice’.

This change in assessment methods will only achieve its’ aims if the technology is there to support it. An ePortfolio should make the task of capturing, organising and presenting data that feeds into assessment decisions easier, for trainees and assessors. This is an opportunity to modernise, to support trainees and educational supervisors and demonstrate that their time is valued.

This is an opportunity to invest in the future of medical training. I hope those with the purse strings don’t let us down.