Status of portfolios in undergraduate medical education in the LCME accredited US medical school

Jason Chertoff, Ashleigh Wright, Maureen Novak, Joseph Fantone, Amy Fleming, Toufeeq Ahmed, Marianne M. Green, Adina Kalet, Machelle Linsenmeyer, Joshua Jacobs, Christina Dokter, Zareen Zaidi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Aim: We sought to investigate the number of US medical schools utilizing portfolios, the format of portfolios, information technology (IT) innovations, purpose of portfolios and their ability to engage faculty and students. Methods: A 21-question survey regarding portfolios was sent to the 141 LCME-accredited, US medical schools. The response rate was 50% (71/141); 47% of respondents (33/71) reported that their medical school used portfolios in some form. Of those, 7% reported the use of paper-based portfolios and 76% use electronic portfolios. Forty-five percent reported portfolio use for formative evaluation only; 48% for both formative and summative evaluation, and 3% for summative evaluation alone. Results: Seventy-two percent developed a longitudinal, competency-based portfolio. The most common feature of portfolios was reflective writing (79%). Seventy-three percent allow access to the portfolio off-campus, 58% allow usage of tablets and mobile devices, and 9% involve social media within the portfolio. Eighty percent and 69% agreed that the portfolio engaged students and faculty, respectively. Ninety-seven percent reported that the portfolios used at their institution have room for improvement. Conclusion: While there is significant variation in the purpose and structure of portfolios in the medical schools surveyed, most schools using portfolios reported a high level of engagement with students and faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-896
Number of pages11
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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