Programmatic assessment, portfolios, and coaching in the MD

Programmatic assessment was implemented in the MD in 2017, and encompasses three elements that are integrated across the program: progress testing; the professional learning portfolio; and coaching.

Since that time, the program has continued to thrive – in large part because of our dedicated team of 103 Learning Coaches across SA and the NT.

A Learning Coach is someone who has the skills to observe, judge and guide students to evaluate their performance, identify their learning needs, and develop goals and review plans based on these needs. Coaches also support their students to remain accountable to their goals and monitor their learning. In short, a Learning Coach supports students to become self-regulated learners and reflective medical practitioners.

Coaching occurs through one-on-one meetings with students at regular stages of the four-year program. This is complemented and supported by the Professional Learning Portfolio – a space for students to document and evaluate achievement of their learning goals and demonstrate evidence of progress towards becoming a junior doctor.

Embedding a coaching culture into programmatic assessment was the focus of a recent article by Dr Svetlana King, Prof Lambert Schuwirth, and Dr Johanna Jordaan, which can be accessed here.

Interested in becoming a Learning Coach? Please email (SA) or (NT) – we’d love to discuss the opportunity with you!

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