Support for portfolio in the initial years of the undergraduate medical school curriculum: what do the tutors think?

Clare Austin, Isobel Braidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Personal and Professional Development portfolios have recently been introduced into phase 1 (years 1 and 2) of the undergraduate medical curriculum in the School of Medicine in Manchester. As the large student numbers at Manchester precluded the use of an individual mentoring system, students are supported in their portfolio development by tutor facilitators, in groups of 10-12.

AIMS: The aims of this study were to investigate the views of these tutor facilitators on the delivery and support of portfolios in this way.

METHODS: A mixed method approach was used with data collected from both questionnaires and a focus group meeting.

RESULTS: Tutor facilitators were generally positive about their roles in the support of portfolio development in group sessions and identified several advantages to this type of tutoring - namely the value of group discussion and discussion between peers to encourage reflection, and the practical ability to integrate portfolio sessions more closely with clinical experiences - which would not be possible in one to one tutor/student meetings. With the training and guidance notes provided tutors were confident that they understood the support they should give students and felt that they could encourage reflection.

CONCLUSIONS: Thus, tutors perceived that the support of portfolio in groups is an effective way of developing portfolios for large numbers of students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-71
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods
  • England
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Mentors/psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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