Portfolio advice

Having a good portfolio is essential if you want to have a career in radiology


What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a record of all your learning, development and achievements.  It is a folder of all your certificates, feedback, assessments, reflections, presentations, publications and other important documents.  Portfolios can also be kept electronically as an e-portfolio.  E-portfolios allow your assessments to completed and stored online, however certificates and other documents will have to be scanned and upload as JPEGs or PDF files.

At a medical job interview or appraisal you may be asked to present your portfolio in a folder so any assessments or feedback completed online will need to be printed out.  The advice and tips below assume that you will be keeping a portfolio folder, although many of the tips also apply to e-portfolios.

At the ST1 Clinical Radiology interview you will be asked to present your portfolio and will score points for certain achievements you have evidenced in your portfolio.

 

Photo of a Radiology portfolio folder with numbered tabs and binder

Radiology portfolio folder with numbered tabs and binder

 

Evidence that should be in your portfolio

The follow is a list of the evidence that should be in your portfolio.  Items highlighted in bold are the most important for you to concentrate on in preparation for your ST1 Clinical Radiology interview.  If you do not evidence these achievements then you will not be awarded the points you deserve (and need!).

 

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    • Your CV is a personal statement of your skills, experience and ambitions.  It is your opportunity to showcase yourself to others and is the most important document in your portfolio.  Think of it as a concise summary of your portfolio that relates your activities and achievements to your skills.  Put it at the begining.  See improve your CV for general advice, recommendations and layout tips for your CV.

  • Medical degree / GMC certificate printout

     

  • Other degrees / Exams / Post-graduate qualification certificates

    • If you have completed other degrees or qualifications then bring them in your portfolio as you may gain more points at interview.  Don't worry if you haven't - many other candidates will also be without further degrees or qualifications.

  • Publications

    • Any publications should be included here.  Put the most impressive first (whether radiology related or not).  Publications take a long time so the earlier you start the better.

  • Audits

    • The ideal audit is a closed-loop audit with national or international presentation/publication.  It does not have to be a radiology audit, however a radiology-based audit shows that you're interested in radiology and have a certain commitment to the specialty.  It may be a good idea to also include the handouts or copies/printouts of the PowerPoint presentation you gave as well.  Get help on starting a radiology audit project.

  • Teaching

    • The gold standard is to show that you have arranged, prepared and delivered teaching and obtained feedback and reflected on your teaching.  Delivering courses or teaching at national level is best, however if this isn't possible then try to organise teaching sessions locally.  The best kind of teaching is when you deliver it, get feedback, then improve your teaching based on your feedback and repeat (similar to an audit!).  Organising teaching takes a lot of preparation, however it can be very rewarding and gives you something to talk about at interview.

      Any feedback from teaching should be added to your portfolio.  If you have a lot of feedback, collate or summarise it before adding to your portfolio.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like advice or assistance in organising teaching or courses.

  • Course / Conference certificates

    • Certificates of attendence are ok and shows commitment to the specialty, however presenting your audits or research at conferences is great.  Include copies of any handouts, PowerPoint presentations and printouts of posters.

  • Taster day evaluation / sign off

    • This is essential.  You must have a letter of proof to confirm you did a taster week.  Talk to the local radiology department to arrange this.  During the taster week you should aim to see as many different aspects of radiology as possible and ask lots of questions.  In some trusts it may be difficult to arrange a taster week, however you should aim to at least spend 5 days within the radiology department (even if the days are spread out over a month, for example).

  • Reflections

    • Ensure they are anonymous.

  • Multi source feedback summary

    • e.g. Mini PAT, 360 Appraisal, Peer feedback

  • Workplace Based Assessments

    • e.g. CBD, Mini CEX

  • Logbook of procedures

    • e.g. DOPs

  • Extra curricular achievements / Charity work

 

Portfolio tips

 

  1. Make a contents page and consider using tabs to separate your content

    • Anyone should be able to pick up your portfolio and find what they're looking for within a few seconds.  This means making a contents page and numbered tabs for easy navigation.  The contents of your portfolio should also be arranged in a logical order.  Consider using the order we give above as a guide.

      The other advantage to doing this is that it makes your portfolio look professional and excellent.  Remember first impressions are everything and a scruffy portfolio will receive poor feedback from the interviewer, irrespective of whether the content inside is excellent.

  2. Ensure your portfolio is accurate

    • Check and double check the dates and details of any placements, rotations, presentations, courses, certificates, exams etc.  A single wrong date or an unexplained 'gap' in your training is surprisingly easy to spot and makes you look disorganised - a major negative at any interview or appraisal.

  3. Make sure your portfolio relates your activities and achievements to your skills/attitudes/knowledge

    • This is actually simpler than it sounds.  Basically, if you cannot show that something you've done has improved your skills, attitudes or knowledge then don't include it in your portfolio.  Work based assessments, observed procedures and team assessments of behaviour are excellent pieces of evidence to include in your portfolio as they show a change in skills, attitudes or knowledge.

  4. Read and follow any portfolio guidelines given

    • This goes without saying, but if you are required to produce a portfolio (e.g. for an ST1 radiology job application/interview), check to see if there are any guidelines or rules on what to include.  Some job applications may have specific rules regarding the layout, ordering and content of portfolios.  It is essential that you follow these!

  5. Be concise

    • Avoid writing anything that uses a lot of words without giving any useful information.  Using bullet points is a very good idea (on the contents page for example).
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