The Ultimate Guide to Your Medical Portfolio
Yes, we know, we've heard it a million times...Medical portfolios are confusing, frustrating, stressful, time-consuming, immense, and complex. However, whether you are in training or not, your medical portfolio is an essential tool in supporting your career development.
This is because your portfolio is (or should be considered) an extension of you. As a person, you are always growing, developing, and improving so your portfolio should be doing the same. Ideally, this would be a zero-admin job, but realistically it takes some work. Work that many doctors are reluctant to do.
Messly's mission is to support doctors through their careers to make great choices, while facing the least amount of stress and admin along the way. That is why we have created the Portfolio Companion.
The Portfolio Companion is designed to help you create the ultimate medical portfolio that truly represents you in your entirety. A great portfolio should adapt to your requirements easily, with minimal effort on your behalf. It should meet all of your professional needs whether that is reclaiming tax, applying for a job, revalidating, or writing your autobiography.
We’ve done the hard work for you by reading GMC regulations and appraisal guidance, exploring specialty application requirements and interview criteria, and speaking to staff banks and locum agencies. We believe that we have created the ultimate tool to save you from stress, confusion, and common mistakes that result in lost opportunities, lost money, and lost time.
So without further ado, here is a summary of what you will find in the Portfolio Companion, as well as links to Messly’s portfolio-related blogs and resources. Enjoy!
❓ Portfolio Companion
Jump straight in here. Learn everything from common portfolio FAQ’s and top tips, to our complete structural guide and how it links to your appraisal. You can explore each section by clicking through the pages in order, or jump around using the section headings on the side. It’s up to you!
💼 What is a medical portfolio and why do I need one?
If you want a gentle entry into the topic of medical portfolios, then start here. You can learn what a portfolio is, when you might need it, and how it can serve you in your medical career (and even outside it). We address whether or not you need a portfolio as a trainee, locum, or as someone who is leaving medicine altogether and explain our rationale for our advice.
☝️ 9 amazing portfolio tips you’ll find in your Portfolio Companion
If you aren’t sure if you’re ready for the full and wondrous magnitude of the Portfolio Companion yet, but are intrigued by the concept and keen to hear more, then check out this article that summarises eight amazing tips taken from different sections of the Portfolio Companion. From tips on how your portfolio can save you money, to how to get more jobs and better opportunities…
📑 Portfolio Companion: Structure
If you want to know how we recommend you structure your portfolio, then this is the page for you. We list the 4 main sections of your portfolio, and then outline the subcategories and documents to be included in each section.
👌 How to structure your medical portfolio in 3 easy steps
If you are overwhelmed by the scope of the Portfolio Companion, then this shorter blog post breaks down 3 easy steps you can take today to quickly categorise your portfolio. It is based on the same sections that we outline in the Portfolio Companion if you prefer to start small and work your way up.
🩺 How to build a high-quality medical portfolio in 3 simple steps
If you are looking for ways to build your portfolio and make it stand out, then this is the article for you. It focusses on the areas of the portfolio that will hold the bulk of your evidence as you move through your career, and discusses how you can make that evidence top quality!
ℹ️ Portfolio Companion: CPD
This section of the Portfolio Companion will contain the bulk of your evidence of your ongoing professional development. In this section, you will learn what counts as CPD, how you can evidence your CPD, ideas for how to find CPD opportunities, and how CPD can be presented at your medical appraisal.
🌐 How to get CPD points as a locum doctor
Find out where to find free, paid, online, or face-to-face CPD that can be evidenced at your annual medical appraisal.
🏥 Portfolio Companion: Workplace Based Assessments
This section of the Portfolio Companion contains templates, worked examples, and advice on how to get feedback and sign-offs for your portfolio.
🤫 The secret reason that personal development plans are great for F3 locums
To hear why we think that PDPs are a locum F3’s secret weapon, read this article. You will learn about how a PDP can benefit a locum, and the downsides to setting yourself PDP goals as a locum doctor.
🎉 How investing in a great portfolio can help you hit your career goals
This short blog highlights 4 domains where a good portfolio can benefit your career, and a poor or lacking portfolio can hinder it.
❓ Do I need an appraisal as an F3 or Locum doctor?
Find out who needs to do an appraisal in their F3 year and who is exempt.
📋 What actually happens in a medical appraisal meeting?
Find out what you can expect to happen in an appraisal meeting, with advice on preparing for the meeting and details of what will actually be discussed.
🧾 What evidence do I need to prepare for my appraisal?
Learn what the GMC guidance says about what evidence you need to present for your medical appraisal and revalidation.
💡 7 tips for an easy medical appraisal
Read our top 7 tips for making your medical appraisal a straightforward and stress-free exercise.
♦️ How to ace your annual medical appraisal
Straightforward answers and guidance to help you ace each step of your appraisal process from start to finish.
📒 How investing in a great portfolio can prepare you for appraisal
Find out the key ways that a great portfolio provides benefits for your appraisal meeting, and how you can go about making your portfolio amazing.
🗣️ How to get colleague feedback for your appraisal as a locum doctor
Tips for locum doctors to collect colleague feedback even when they move frequently between teams.
For information on how to complete a mini-CEX as well as a worked example and blank template for a mini-CEX, visit this section here.
For information on how to complete a DOPS as well as a worked example and blank template for a DOPS, visit this section here.
For information on how to complete a CBD as well as a worked example and blank template for a CBD, visit this section here.
👉 SMART goals
For a guided exercise and worked example on how to write SMART goals, visit this section here.
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