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.
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