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    Hi there,

    I've just started as an F1 and am aware the ePortfolio can be a bit of a pain if you don't keep on top of it. I was wondering if anyone senior can advise as to what exactly should go in there. Should I note every patient I clerk? Should I reflect on the interesting patients I see? Do I need to upload anonymised discharge summaries? Is there any advantage to doing more than the minimum CbDs/CEXs?

    Many thanks!
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    (Original post by Woody.)
    Hi there,

    I've just started as an F1 and am aware the ePortfolio can be a bit of a pain if you don't keep on top of it. I was wondering if anyone senior can advise as to what exactly should go in there. Should I note every patient I clerk? Should I reflect on the interesting patients I see? Do I need to upload anonymised discharge summaries? Is there any advantage to doing more than the minimum CbDs/CEXs?

    Many thanks!
    Keep slightly ahead of the minimum assessments as the completed ticket yield is pretty low. Same with TABs - ask about a third more people than you need. Reflect on interesting cases that tick off multiple curriculum items at once.*
    It remains a tick box exercise - no one particularly cares if you go beyond the minimum. *

    This isn't to say don't reflect on cases, and if you work in specialties you have a particular interest in keep a log of what you see/do, but ePortfolio is a blunt instrument not designed to make you a better anything.*
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    Most people aim to do (just a few more than) the minimum number of WBAs.*

    Maybe try to get a feel for what your Educational Supervisor*thinks about the e-portfolio system. Most see it as a pointless tick box exercise but there are some who believe otherwise and you might as well indulge that fantasy, if only so they write you a nice reference when you need one...

    In any event, the sooner you start collecting WBAs, the easier it will be. Everyone will be asking for them by the end of the year and so your seniors will become less receptive to completing lots then. Offer to fill in as much of the form as you can - seniors will happily sign FY1/FY2 e-portfolio tickets if the process is made as painless as possible. The whole exercise is genuinely a farce from beginning to end.
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    (Original post by Woody.)
    Hi there, *
    Find out from the current FY2 what is needed to pass your ARCP. Anything on top of that is a bonus.

    It's your portfolio. *Personally I have found it useful for keeping track of my CPD. When I applied for speciality post I had to show my eportfolio at interview and my Foundation and Speciality school scrutinised it very closely at ARCP so I got in the habit of regular updating.*

    If you want to get something out your WBAs ask someone who will give you detailed feedback as opposed to just ticking the boxes for the sake of it. You get as much out of it as you put in.*
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    (Original post by Woody.)
    Hi there,

    I've just started as an F1 and am aware the ePortfolio can be a bit of a pain if you don't keep on top of it. I was wondering if anyone senior can advise as to what exactly should go in there. Should I note every patient I clerk? Should I reflect on the interesting patients I see? Do I need to upload anonymised discharge summaries? Is there any advantage to doing more than the minimum CbDs/CEXs?

    Many thanks!
    :laugh: good god no.

    Keep ahead on: CEX/CBD, TABs, cpre procedures. All the curriculum linking nonsense needs to be done at some point but it makes sense to do them after you've got a few CBDs done and can see what gaps there are, then fill them with extra assessments or reflective pieces or similar.

    In my experience you're way, way more likely to be failed for something silly like 'you put your ILS certificate in a folder called 'courses' rather than 'certificates' so I couldn't find it' or that kind of thing than any actual objectives or curriculum-related stuff. In all honesty, given the number of portfolios the ARCP team has to trawl through, I don't think they actually read anything you put. If the boxes are all ticked green that's all they want.

    I'm sure there are exceptions, but that's my experience. For instance. in my FY2 year I only put 3 one-line learning objectives for the year and just ticked I'd done them and that was fine. I didn't add to the curriculum compared to what I'd put for FY1 and that was fine. I didn't do one of my clinical supervisor meetings (he was too disorganised to sign the form despite daily reminders) and that was fine. But I failed because my educational supervisor hadn't properly released the TAB results. That's not even something I can do - only he could and he didn't know how. It was corrected when I worked out how to do it for him and passed 2 days later. That's the kind of level (and kind of pedantry in some areas) we're talking.

    The eportfolio gets a lot more rigorous as you get more senior. The hoops that GPs have to jump through...
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    The eportfolio gets a lot more rigorous as you get more senior. The hoops that GPs have to jump through...
    I realise this is a really naive question to ask, but what the hell: are there any specialties which don't put their trainees through this?
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I realise this is a really naive question to ask, but what the hell: are there any specialties which don't put their trainees through this?
    Based on observational evidence you can get away with a hell of a lot less for CMT than for GP in terms of amount of reflections and that is all I really know haha. CMT does have a lot of procedures, some of which are hard to do like pleural taps and stuff. GP is like some kind of mental resilience trial where only those who can bring themselves to reflect something like three times a week may pass :P

    I hate ePortfolio so much but second everybody who says get on top of it early. Aim to be done early in case of non-returners of forms... and also make sure your forms are done by SpRs/Consultants, and ask whether your deanery has any specific rules about these ratios. I've heard of people getting completely screwed when it turned out that they'd secretly been expected to have 1 CEX/CBD from a Consultant per rotation and nobody had told them - despite which it remains YOUR fault if you haven't done it. It really is a massive pain in the behind. Just be bold and ask people if they can do a form with you or find a time to do one with you and make it happen, if you wait for it to happen naturally you'll realise how actually nobody ever really watches and assesses you in the natural course of anything then end up severely short on forms.

    Also there is some online e-learning website available via the Portfolio... my advice is use it! I basically just did e-learning for loads of things, it goes straight into your ePortfolio automatically and you can use it as evidence, especially for things where it's hard to come up with something to fill that box. I used to do e-learning and reflections whenever I had some downtime in a job (rare but it did happen sometimes!), which worked out fine because it shows 'engagement' over the course of the year rather than bashing it out all at once. That and reflections are just so awful to write I don't think I could personally handle them all in one go!
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I realise this is a really naive question to ask, but what the hell: are there any specialties which don't put their trainees through this?
    GPs have to do absurd numbers of absurdly long reflections (see below). Surgical specialities have to keep a log of their procedures and prove their competency in each one, which also seem to be a nightmare. In comparison medicine seems pretty light, was my impression? They have some core procedures which can be difficult to get and certain amounts of clinic time but it didn't seem like as much as the others. Then again, if you're fast at spewing ******** onto a word document GP might not be so bad, and surgeons have the natural lull between procedures with which to get it done, whereas you might have to input lots of your free time as a medical CT/ST. Plus I know for medicine you have to pay for your eportfolio (like a few hundred pounds), not sure about other specialities.

    I don't really know basically.

    (Original post by seaholme)
    GP is like some kind of mental resilience trial where only those who can bring themselves to reflect something like three times a week may pass :P
    3x/week is the minimum for GPs on hospital rotations. When they're in the community its 5x/week! I thnk they have a minimum word limit of about 200 as well...

    I've heard of people getting completely screwed when it turned out that they'd secretly been expected to have 1 CEX/CBD from a Consultant per rotation and nobody had told them
    I've also heard of this. What is especially annoying is that there are explicit guidelines on the eportfolio about who can sign what - and it says anyone CT1 or above (or FY2 for core procedures)!
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I realise this is a really naive question to ask, but what the hell: are there any specialties which don't put their trainees through this?
    It is probably worst for GPs but each speciality has their own hoops to jump through every year for ARCP. Call me a cynic but I think with the gaps on the rota it is is in HEE interest to create impossible requirements and fail people to keep them in training for longer.*
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Plus I know for medicine you have to pay for your eportfolio (like a few hundred pounds), not sure about other specialities. *
    £255/yr for surgery.*
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    I realise this is a really naive question to ask, but what the hell: are there any specialties which don't put their trainees through this?
    All variations on the same painful theme, I think. The Anaesthetics one is free, at least (or rather, included in our RCoA trainee membership fee, which is still not as steep as some other colleges). And we only have to do 6 reflections per year, which is minimal compared with others, but there are a LOT of other assessment hoops to jump through.

    As a brief word of caution, I don't know if you have all heard (think it was in the BMJ recently) that there was a GP trainee in London who had a reflective piece on an adverse event subpoenaed as part of a court case. They are not as confidential as you think.
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    (Original post by Woody.)
    Hi there,

    I've just started as an F1 and am aware the ePortfolio can be a bit of a pain if you don't keep on top of it. I was wondering if anyone senior can advise as to what exactly should go in there. Should I note every patient I clerk? Should I reflect on the interesting patients I see? Do I need to upload anonymised discharge summaries? Is there any advantage to doing more than the minimum CbDs/CEXs?

    Many thanks!
    I suspect different foundation schools and different supervisors will have slightly different requirements as to what they want you to do. *I would suggest getting started with the SLEs and core procedures early on in the year as it can take a while for people to sign these off for you. *Similarly, start sending out requests for TABs a month or two before the end of your placement as these will also take ages to come back. *The advantage of doing more SLEs is that you will be able to make more links to the curriculum, hence it's a good idea to do them on different topics and choose what you want to do them on in advance.

    With regards to reflection, although it was not compulsory for us, I actually found it to be a lot more useful than doing SLEs. *The things I reflected on were situations that I found challenging, cases that I learnt from, cases that I thought I handled really well (or really badly...) and so on. *In terms of uploading IDLs and keeping a list of all the patients you see, I definitely wouldn't bother, unless it's an interesting case
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    All variations on the same painful theme, I think. The Anaesthetics one is free, at least (or rather, included in our RCoA trainee membership fee, which is still not as steep as some other colleges). And we only have to do 6 reflections per year, which is minimal compared with others, but there are a LOT of other assessment hoops to jump through.

    As a brief word of caution, I don't know if you have all heard (think it was in the BMJ recently) that there was a GP trainee in London who had a reflective piece on an adverse event subpoenaed as part of a court case. They are not as confidential as you think.
    Yeah this really freaked me out. I think it's awful. In my opinion it definitely impacts on behaviour and what one may or may not reflect on, knowing this.

    Of course the stupid thing about reflections is that IMO most sane individuals will have 'reflected' regardless of filling in a silly online box ticking form. I know I 'reflect' informally every single day in my own head and can hardly be alone in this. I don't know those people who apparently must have zero insight/worry/thoughts about how they conduct themselves, I can only assume they exist because otherwise, why are we being made to do this??
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    In my experience you're way, way more likely to be failed for something silly like 'you put your ILS certificate in a folder called 'courses' rather than 'certificates' so I couldn't find it' or that kind of thing than any actual objectives or curriculum-related stuff.
    This brings back memories of my first ever ARCP... a (very) up-to-date e-portfolio with twice the minimum number of WBAs... Outcome 2 ("unsatisfactory progress not requiring additional training time")*because my audit reports were uploaded to Evidence > Other Evidence instead of Evidence > Audit. They would not look in the "Other Evidence" folder despite me directing them to it because this wasn't sufficient to tick the "audits complete" box on the summary front screen. The whole issue was resolved within five minutes of leaving the ARCP room but I'm still left with the Outcome 2.

    It should be obvious that I am still spitting feathers about this four years later.*
 
 
 
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