E-portfolios for doctors

The e-portfolio is an electronic tool for doctors to store and record a collection of evidence that demonstrates their learning achievements and abilities.

It promotes life-long learning by encouraging doctors to reflect on their own needs and clinical competences, and the needs of their patients.

An e-portfolio can help you to:


Reflecting on your learning may be quite new to you so you may find this short guide useful.

Reflecting will aid your learning because the more you think about the concepts and issues in your role and connect them to what you know and see around you, the more you will remember and learn. Reflective writing is the expression of some of the mental processes of reflection. It is a technique that will be invaluable to you when completing your e-portfolio.

Reflective writing usually involves:

Reflective writing is therefore more personal than other types of academic writing. It is important to use the first person – "I...".

One of the benefits of reflective writing is that writing something down can help you to be clearer in your mind about an event. For example, if you are doing a presentation or some teaching, as well as describing the event you may want to evaluate your performance by questioning and perhaps challenging yourself. Others might have different views of the same event, so you may also consider the performance of others. You might even change how you initially viewed and wrote about the situation.

It is important to write knowing it is likely that someone else will look at your portfolio at some point. It is usual to share your portfolio with your educational supervisor, although you are not required to show all of it. Your educational supervisor will also be able to give you some help and guidance on how you can develop your portfolio.

Keeping your portfolio up to date is essential because it is used as evidence for your end of year sign off, so don’t be tempted to leave completing it to the last minute.

And from a careers perspective, your portfolio is absolutely essential. You will often be asked to show some of your portfolio in a specialty interview. See below for further information on how to present your portfolio in that situation. 

The foundation portfolio

The Rough Guide to the Foundation Programme states that the contents of the Foundation Learning Portfolio should include:

Find out more about e-portfolios on the UKFPO website

Portfolios and interviews

Interviewers will usually have had access to your portfolio prior to your interview so make sure your portfolio is:

The portfolio will help the interviewer form an impression and from it you will know whether you have completed required tasks and if you are competent.

The portfolio should contain a: 

Throughout your portfolio you should highlight your commitment to the specialty you have chosen and know when and where to refer to it if asked. You should demonstrate to the interviewer that you understand what you need to do to achieve your goals.

Preparation is very important. For example, before the interview, you should consider two or three strong points that you would like the panel to be aware of and highlight how it relates to the specialty to which you are applying. The panel's questions may be quite general so try and incorporate your points into your answers. The panel may also ask about the weak points of the portfolio, so make sure you consider this in advance.

You need to be prepared for questions about your portfolio and what you have done and the panel may ask you about your feelings in certain situations. Practising as much as possible will help with this will help you to relax and stay calm during the interview.

Top tips

Many specialty interviews now have a portfolio 'station'. Preparing your portfolio is time-consuming and it’s a good idea to prepare it early. Your preparation will refresh your memory and give you ideas for your application. 

Our top ten tips are:

To demonstrate your commitment to the specialty you're applying to, you could also print off and add to your portfolio some of the self-assessment exercises you have completed on this website.

Find out more:

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