I am a trainee in Respiratory Medicine. For my Foundation Training I had a paper portfolio, made of trees. Then for Core Medical Training along came this new-fangled ePortfolio, which I’ve been using for >3 years. It has not been fun.
One day I noticed that NHS ePortfolio had added a twitter feed to the login page. So I tweeted them
To my surprise they tweeted back and wanted to know more. The people who work on and run the site don’t necessarily know how it is used, what the problems are and why so many trainees hate it. The developers are lovely people and there are things they can do to make our lives easier. We just need to ask.
And in the bigger context, the people in charge (Royal Colleges, JRCPTB etc) don’t necessarily understand the potential of an ePortfolio, the need for flexibility of content, the urgent need for an app…. and therefore don’t see why they should invest any cash (cash that you pay them in fees. Did you know that a mere £18 a year of your JRPCTB fees is spent on ePortfolio development and support?).
The NHS ePortfolio is here to stay, and versions of it will be with you for life – as a trainee (and beyond with revalidation now a reality), a trainer, a supervisor, an ARCP panel assessor….
If I’m expected to spend more of my life using the NHS ePortfolio it needs to be better. It needs to work for me and the realities of my life and job. It needs to be faster, simpler, more user-friendly, more personalisable, more mobile, more relevant – just better! This is bigger than the ePortfolio: it’s about valuing trainees and trainers; restoring true mentorship; striving for excellence not competence; and getting the most out of a knowledgable and enthusiastic group of professionals. If you are a trainee, a trainer, a Royal College representative, a software developer, or anyone else and you agree please look at the site, comment, contribute, and join the revolution.
This blog has received much more attention than I ever envisaged. I started anonymously, not knowing where it would lead me, but now I think it’s only fair you know who I am so that you can grab me in the street and rant at me in person.
So here I am:
Dr Laura-Jane Smith, ST3/4 Respiratory Medicine in NE Thames, currently in an OOPE as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at ACME, UCL.