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Structuring your Medical Portfolio

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Designing and building your professional portfolio is essential to showcase your progress and achievements, most medical specialties have their own requirements for each year of training and it is important to keep this in mind.


I have described a few ideas on how to structure your portfolio which can be modified to create your individual style. Even if you are using an online portfolio this guide will help you record and present your work in an easy to understand format for any meeting or interview.


Over the years I have moved countries twice and having a clearly structured portfolio helped me to secure the jobs that I wanted. In addition, having a memorable portfolio can help you make a greater impact on the interview panel!


General tips:

  • Read your medical school/ professional college’s guidelines and requirements for each year of training to ensure that you set targets.

  • For most interviews you are expected to bring a hard copy of your portfolio, choose a small file with dividers and include your most significant documents rather than everything you have done. Firstly there isn’t enough time to go through everything and secondly it makes it easier for you to highlight your best work.

  • Even if you have an online portfolio save a copy of your assessments, audits and etc to your computer. This makes it easier to find specific documents as you need them later on (even after several years!).


Creating specific folders will help you organize the contents in a way that makes it easier to find documents. This is especially important during an interview when the panel requests to see any specific content and you can quickly locate it. The following divisions are just an example of what can be used and I would recommend that you adjust it to reflect your level of training.



Curriculum vitae (CV)

  • Always keep an updated copy (new information can be added every couple of months to keep on top of it).

  • Aim for 1-2 pages and avoid large chunks of text.

  • Check out how to create an amazing CV in this Doctorology post.


Assessments

  • Mini-cex (observed history/ examinations/ case presentations with feedback)

  • Case based discussions

  • Skills/ procedures

  • Other (e.g. formal presentations)


Reflections

  • Reflective writing

  • SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

  • Take a look at the corresponding articles from Doctorology on reflective writing and SWOT analysis by clicking on the links.


Training log

  • Teaching attendances (include bedside and formal tutorials)

  • Courses and conferences (with certificates)


Procedures list

  • Include all practical skills that are important to your level of training, this will vary for students and doctors at different grades (from cannulation to preforming laparotomies).

  • Include the following: date, location (e.g. theatre), supervision level and procedure.

  • If you only completed a part of the procedure specify this clearly.


Teaching log

  • Record details of any teaching that you have given (e.g. bedside, formal, OSCE).

  • Include the following: date, location (e.g. ward, lecture theatre), topic and anything you have learned from this experience.

  • If you have any presentations or handouts include a copy in the portfolio.


E-learning

  • Copies of certificates and ideally a few sentences on what you have learned.


Audits and quality improvement projects

  • Copy of the completed document.

  • Include any learning points and notes to help future audits and projects.


Leadership

  • Evidence of taking a leadership role (e.g. organising teaching for medical students and doctors).


Research and publications

  • Include a brief summary of any research projects that you have undertaken and your level of participation.

  • Abstracts of publications.


Extra-curricular achievements

  • If you have a skill or achievement outside of medicine you can write this here (no more than a couple of sentences).


Good luck with creating your portfolio!



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