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Build Your Portfolio in Your Home Country: Here is How

Hi! This is Deekshita Chadalavada, I'm an IMG from India. I'm currently in the middle of my PLAB 1 preparation and I have recently graduated and am focusing on my PLAB journey. I got on this platform to share everything I have learned about medicine in the UK.

An overview of what I'm going to discuss:

1. Basics portfolio requirements

2. Looking for opportunities and doing the best you can in your home country

3. When and how to get started?

Basic Portfolio Requirements

First and foremost, you need to find out which specialty you're interested in because the portfolio requirements differ for IMT and CST training. Let me give you an example; if someone is interested in the dermatology pathway, a certain number of points are awarded for every achievement, like research, awards in international conferences, and additional degrees you've attained.

This link was extremely beneficial to me for understanding how the scoring system works.

For CST training here are the requirements:

As you can see, the requirements and scoring are quite different for each specialty. Surgery gives more emphasis on various teaching and education courses and additional degrees.

Teaching is something that has a huge weightage for points and looks amazing on your cv.

You can either do teaching courses in your medical college, like conducting courses for your peers but don't feel pressured to do everything in your home country; there are countless opportunities everywhere. You can take up teaching in the hospital you're working in. some institutions will even provide degrees you can pay for by teaching!

Looking for Opportunities and Doing the Best You Can in Your Home Country

Research: Every hospital or medical school will have ongoing research opportunities and mentors willing to help you with your articles or work on your ideas. It's important that you reach out and ask because nobody will hand our needs on a silver platter; that's not how the world works, unfortunately.

Case reports: It's not easy to write an original article from scratch as it needs to be backed up by a lot of data. On the other hand, case reports can be written up and published based on any interesting or new case you find in your ward.

Case reviews: you can write up a review on already published research, look up various similar research materials, and come up with your interesting review. It's more doable if you've recently started writing up.

Attending conferences: this is something that's extremely beneficial. Make sure it's an international conference that will be recognized by the NHS. You can enroll for poster and paper presentations which will score you good points on your portfolio.

Audits: auditing is tricky because it's harder for undergraduates to be given this role. In my med school in India, auditing was done by professors. It's not important to do it in your home country but if you are given the opportunity, go for it!

When and How to Get Started?

The "when" part seems pretty obvious; this is something based on your interest, so I suggest the best time to get familiarised is when you're still in medical school and keep in contact with your mentors even after graduating. Every college has its student research council (SRC) that you can be a part of. They usually conduct research programs and conferences so you can build up experience with which you can keep writing up articles even after graduating.

How Can I Help You Achieve This Better?

This process seems daunting and overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, you'll feel confident enough to write your paper soon! It all depends on how much time and effort you're willing to contribute.

I'd be glad to help you. You can reach out to me through Register using this link Please follow my profile– Deekshita Chadalavada, so we can stay in touch.


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