Background Portfolios are increasingly used in medical education. A portfolio may stimulate deep learning, deliver summative assessment and encourage reflection on clinical practice. A portfolio is seen as the key connection between learning at the organizational and the individual level.
Objectives To (1) explore the perceptions of young rheumatologists about the use of a portfolio and to (2) study the barriers and facilitators when implementing a portfolio at a national and international level.
Methods A survey was sent by email to all EMEUNET (Emerging EULAR Network) members. EMEUNET is a group of young rheumatologists and researchers within EULAR-member countries. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse initial data collected (Nov-Dec 2016). Weighted averages were calculated (i.e. mean in which each item being averaged is multiplied by a number (weight) based on the item's relative importance).
Results 132 participants responded (64% female; mean age 33.5 years (SD 4.3 years); 34 countries). In total, 56.3% of participants were working as rheumatologists; 32.8% were rheumatologists in training. 49.6% of the participants indicated that a portfolio was already used by rheumatology fellows working at their institution; in 71.9% of these cases, this portfolio was also used at a national level. 50.4% of participants did not use a portfolio during their training; of these, 86.7% (strongly) agreed that a portfolio might be a useful tool.
Several barriers for successful implementation of a portfolio were identified by the participants. The main barrier was that a portfolio was not developed at a national level, and if developed at a national level, there were often no incentives to use it (Table 1). According to participants, the top 3 competencies that should be collected and reflected upon in the portfolio were (weighted average; importance 0 (not important) – 10 (extremely important)): practical skills (e.g. ultrasound) (8.2); correct use of diagnostics and therapeutic armamentarium (7.9); clinical skills (e.g. history taking) (7.8). The skills chosen as the least important to be included in a portfolio were: information on management tasks (6.5); promoting hospital-based care (e.g. writing a protocol) (6.6); theoretical and clinical knowledge (6.7).
Conclusions A portfolio is generally considered a valuable tool and half of the participants already work with it. However, several barriers may prevent optimal implementation. Developing a core set of rheumatology-oriented competencies and a template for a portfolio to be used across institutions and eventually countries could promote implementation and harmonize training.
Disclosure of Interest None declared