Department of Medicine and HIV Metabolic Clinic, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK


Introduction: The portfolio can be seen as a tool for assessmentof a variety of learning activities that differ in content, usage, andassessment. The portfolio not only meets the learner’s educationalneeds but also the political and public reassurance demand thatthe health professional has achieved the required competency ofthe curriculum that allows him or her to practice safely with orwithout supervision in the health organization.Methods: An in-depth search on Google Scholar, Medline andPubMed was conducted using the terms “reflection and portfolio”with especial emphasis on undergraduates. All the manuscriptscollected were critically reviewed regardless of the date ofpublication.Results: Even though the systematic review showed thelimited effect of the educational impact of the portfolio on theundergraduate, numerous benefits can be seen, e.g. improvementin the relationship between students and tutors, an increasein general knowledge, awareness and reflection. Reflectionfor medical undergraduates in portfolio per se was associatedwith improvement in communications skills, professionalismand better achievement in postgraduate studies and increase inexperiential learning. Interestingly, the portfolio was shown to beuseful for undergraduate and tutors in filling the gaps of learningin clinical surgery, urology and geriatric medicine. In addition,for dental and nursing students it was associated with an increasein professionalism, clinical competency, and self-confidence.Lack of integration of reflection throughout the curriculum of themedical school was considered one of the main problems.Conclusion: Further research is needed to address the followingquestions (i) it will be of interest to assess if there is anydifference in reflective portfolio between students from problembasedlearning (PBL) curriculum and those from traditionalcurriculum. (ii) Assess the difference in reflective portfoliobetween community-oriented and PBL curriculum and PBLand traditional curriculum (iii) if there is any difference in thereflective portfolio in these three curriculums, it will be of interesthow this can alter the evidence base of the educational effects ofthe portfolio. In other words, is there any curriculum that willconsistently produce evidence based educational effects of theportfolio?Keywords: Medical education, Reflection, Portfolio