Ask the expert: What should resident portfolios include?

Residency Program Insider, July 26, 2011

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The ACGME requires residents to have a portfolio, but offers few guidelines on what the portfolio should contain or how programs should structure them. Simply stated, a portfolio is a collection of a resident’s work over time. Like resident files, portfolios can have multiple purposes that influence the contents of the portfolio. Examples include work, performance, and career portfolios. Work portfolios contain residents’ submissions of work effort, such as the following:

  • Self-reflections of patient encounters
  • Operative cases
  • Formative evaluations
  • Feedback
  • Curriculum coursework

Performance portfolios highlight resident-selected examples of their best work or best outcomes, such as the following:

  • Presentations
  • Manuscripts
  • In-service examination scores
  • Self-assessments
  • Summative evaluations

Career portfolios support the professional needs of the resident. Items may include the following:

  • Applications for fellowships
  • Medical staff privileges
  • Board exam results
  • Medical school diplomas and certificates of completion from residency programs
  • Promotion and adverse action letters
  • In-service scores
  • U.S. Medical Licensing Examination scores
  • Credentialing items

Credentialing items are program-specific. In my surgical program, credentialing items include approved bedside procedures, Advanced Cardiac Life Support/Advanced Trauma Life Support certification, National Institutes of Health tutorial certificate for research purposes, infection control certificate, radiation exposure reports and documentation to support completion of training for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, harassment, and fatigue management. You can also store documentation of successful completion of the training program and final summative evaluations in the career-based portfolio. Surgical training programs will also include the Resident Operative Log and a case list to support requests for hospital privileges.

This week's question and answer are from The Residency Coordinator's Handbook, Second Edition by Ruth H. Nawotniak, MS, C-TAGME.

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