By Eduardo Mayorga
A learning portfolio is a collection of products (learning experiences), prepared by the resident, that provides evidence of learning and achievement, related to a learning plan.
So the key aspects that are generally recorded in the portfolio are:
The evidence: a demonstration of how the learning is being applied in an appropriate context;
the learning: the discovery that what was has been recalled has significance in the future;
the evidence: a demonstration of how the learning is being applied in an appropriate context;
the learning needs: an identification of where it would be appropriate to go next;
the learning opportunities: an educational plan identifying ways in which learning needs might be met.
Redman 1994: Portfolios for development
Some concrete examples of the components that ay be included in a portfolio are, among others:
•Curriculum Vitae (CV)
• Research literature review when selecting a treatment option
• Log of clinical and surgical procedures
• Ethical dilemmas faced (and how they were handled)
• Faculty evaluations
• 360-degree evaluations
• Copies of written instructions for patients and families
• Case presentations, lectures, logs of medical students mentored
By the end of his or her third year, paper portfolios can get very bulky. Besides this, residents start forgetting their paper folder at home. Reviewing residents’ portfolios can be an impossible task if one wants to take home the work.
One way of avoiding all these shortcomings is using an electronic portfolio.
Goggle Docs http://docs.google.com/ is an excellent tool where residents can store their activities and share them with faculty. Any document that is not originally electronic is scanned and kept as a PDF document.
In our residency, each resident keeps 2 folders one with the results of exams, shared only with faculty, and one with the rest of the portfolio, shared with faculty and rest of the residents.
To be kept in order, each resident folder starts with the year the resident entered the residency program, as seen in this image:
The shared folder contains the rest of the sub-folders mentioned above:
You can learn more about folders at