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5 Top Tips for completing your ePortfolio

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The aim of the e-Portfolio is to provide evidence of a GP Registrar’s learning and development so that it can be assessed by the ARCP Panel, is available for clinical governance and so that the GP can reflect and learn from their experiences.

The e-portfolio provides a structured approach for each new job that a GP Registrar starts and is a great tool for identifying any areas of weakness. It is a storage tool and portable jotter for all the GP’s learnings and encourages time for reflection… if nothing else, if completed well, it is an excellent document for passing the MRCGP.

The RCGP describe the ePortfolio as:

“Above all else the ePortfolio is where the GPStR records their learning in all its forms and settings. Its prime function is to be an educational tool that will record and facilitate the management of the journey of clinical and personal development through learning. It might be described as the glue which holds the curriculum learning and assessment together.”

At Prospect Health, we regularly work with newly qualified GPs and GP Training Practices so we often hear about people’s experiences of completing their MRCGP and how the ePortfolio plays an integral part.

With this in mind here are 5 Top Tips for completing your ePortfolio:

  1. Adding Entries

Don’t worry too much about the categories and sub headings when adding your entries, it’s far more important to concentrate on the quality of your entry and focus on being able to make an informed judgement from them. The categories are there as a guide, the content of your entry is what is most valuable.

  1. What to write about?

A good trigger for anything you’re thinking about adding to your ePortfolio is to ask yourself ‘Do I want to be able to remember and look at this later?’… If the answer is yes, it’s great content and you need to log it. Obvious areas to cover include your assessments, lectures and tutorials and any articles you have read. What will give your entries depth and insight plus help you reflect and develop is being natural in your writing style and talk about your feelings. Think about writing about the following:

  • Clinical situations that you want to discuss with your trainer
  • Ethical issues
  • Dysfunctional consultations
  • Team working problems
  • Your feelings

 

  1. Focussing on the professional competencies

 

There are 12 professional competencies and you can use these to help structure your entries. Long, in-depth entries are encouraged when you’re exploring your clinical encounter but remember to keep a structure to your entry and keep in mind the audience you are writing for and what they will be looking for. Also remember to keep an eye on your ‘curriculum coverage’ which can be found under ‘review preparation’, this gives you a snapshot of the areas you’ve covered and helps you keep a balanced log of your learnings. There are a minimum number of assessments that you need to complete but remember this is a minimum – you need to be aiming for much more!

 

  1. Remember to include ‘interpretation, reflection, action’ and to record entries regularly

It’s critical that along with recording your learnings you identify any gaps and how you are going to fill such gaps. ‘Do more reading’ is an easy solution however used too often will be considered vague so remember to be specific and don’t miss any educational supervision sessions as these are essential to your progression.

  1. PDP – SMARTIES

 

Use the acronym SMARTIES to give structure and depth to your PDP, this will help you keep focussed and make sure your goals are achievable:

 

SPECIFIC – make your goals short and achievable

MEASURABLE – use time or an amount

ATTAINABLE – take into account your resources and the time available

REALISTIC – are the outcomes realistic within the time frame and circumstances

TIME – deadline, set yourself a timeline in which to achieve the goal

INSPIRATIONAL – will this goal make a difference to your development?

EMOTIONAL – engage on an emotional level – e.g. excitement

SUCCESSFUL – what does a successful outcome look or feel like?

 

Hopefully our Top Tips will give your confidence a boost and there are a couple of things you’ll take into your practice.

 

At Prospect Health we endeavour to support GPs throughout their careers, whether they’re right at the beginning or looking for a final move before retirement; we’re here to help.

 

If you’re ready to start thinking and planning for your move once you’ve passed your MRCGP please contact our dedicated GP Division on 01423 813 454 or email gp.info@prospect-health.com

 

You can view our latest GP vacancies here

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