Journal of General Internal Medicine

, 19:582

Diving for PERLS

Working and performance portfolios for evaluation and reflection on learning

DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30224.x

Cite this article as:
Pinsky, L.E. & Fryer-Edwards, K. J GEN INTERN MED (2004) 19: 582. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30224.x


Professional competence requires a commitment to lifelong learning, self-assessment, and excellence. Complex skills such as these require flexible and comprehensive teaching and assessment measures. We describe a combination of working and performance portfolios that both foster and evaluate the development of professional competence. We explain the conceptual and practical underpinnings that maximize the effectiveness of these tools. Drawing on experience with University of Washington residents, we identify 5 criteria that can help promote successful use of portfolios: separate working and performance functions of portfolios, developing a supportive climate, developing skills in faculty and residents, observing progress over time, and fostering mentorship opportunities.

Key words

evaluationprofessionalismmedical educationmedical residentsprofessional development

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.the Department of Medical EducationUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattle
  2. 2.the Department of Medical History and EthicsUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattle
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattle