A Practical Example of how can you improve your CV and portfolio aiming for Psychiatry Core Training:
Some years ago I met a lady doctor at a conference. She changed her career from O&G to Psychiatry. She had an amazing story to tell.
She was working in O&G for some years and was fed up with no career progression plus workload and thought about exploring Psychiatry. But she had absolutely nothing on her CV, no teaching, no quality improvement, no research experience, no leadership experience and nothing relating to psychiatry.
She started thinking about what can she do in the clinical environment she was working in to improve her portfolio and make it more attractive towards Psychiatry.
This is what she did:
– Approached the senior midwife responsible for her unit asking if there are any learning needs of staff around mental health.
– Conducted a survey of midwives and other staff working on the labour ward on their understanding of mental health issues relating to pregnant women, postnatal depression, psychosis and how to assess self-harm risk.
– Survey results indicated the learning needs of the staff around mental health.
– She conducted a literate review of effective evidence-based training available to O&G staff around the mental health of pregnant women.
– She then contacted ST doctors working in Psychiatry and teamed up with them to design a 2-hour long workshop based around mental health teaching of O&G staff. She helped in designing and delivering the workshop.
– Feedback was gathered from the participates of the workshop.
All of this took around 3 months but in that time she has this much on her CV & portfolio.
– Evidence of quality improvement activity (Pre and post knowledge survey of staff)
– Evidence of teaching (feedback forms and certificate from the workshop)
– Research experience (Literature review)
– Leadership, teamwork and management experience (designing and delivering training)
The absolutely brilliant portfolio was ready for the interview stage and she smashed it.
I use this story to motivate junior doctors and give them a practical example of how you can take initiative in any clinical environment to make a difference and improve your CV + portfolio at the same time.
Please don’t take this story as against O&G or Psychiatry vs O&G. Every doctor has their own point of view regarding specialities. One speciality is not superior to another.