Portfolio

There are many documents that will go through your hands while you're a medical student that you will need again (and again) at some future point. These pieces of paper should be kept together in a safe place that will be easy to find no matter how many times you move. Whether your portfolio is kept in a large envelope, an accordion file, or a filing cabinet drawer doesn't matter as long as you keep the items listed below and any others that you might want for future reference.

Why keep this stuff?

  • You'll need some of it when you apply for residency, a process that will involve writing a CV and a personal statement, providing documents to prospective writers of your letters of recommendation, and preparing for interviews.
  • You will need to provide certain documents to your residency program.
  • You will need to provide specific documentation, which will vary by program, if you plan to do an away rotation during your fourth year.
  • While you may obtain copies of some documents from the Registrar, she won't have everything on file, you may not get the copies immediately, and some of them will require payment.
  • Your life and perspectives will change tremendously over the course of your medical education and career. Your portfolio will serve as a valuable reminder of what you did along the way.

Keep these documents every year:

  • Unofficial transcript
  • Copies of immunization documents (will be needed again and again)
  • Grade reports and evaluations
  • Awards and honors you receive
  • Articles and papers that you write or collaborate on
    • Research designs
    • Abstracts
    • Final publications
    • Case reports
  • Ongoing list of organizational memberships and positions held
  • Ongoing list of professional conferences and meetings attended with dates and locations
  • Reflection papers that you may write for electives or on your own

First Year

  • AMCAS application
  • Secondary application
  • Letter of acceptance

Second Year

  • USMLE Step 1 score report:
    • The report you receive will include details about your performance that will not be available to you again in any form.
    • The cost of an NBME official transcript is $50.

Third Year

  • Clinical Assessment forms with comments: You will need to make copies of these for those who you ask to write letters of recommendation for residency. The cost of obtaining copies from the Registrar is $10.
  • Copy of your fourth-year schedule (created in the spring) with dates, updated as you make changes.
  • Copies of your applications for away electives (extramurals), as there may be several and you can easily lose track of the details.
  • Copies of any letters or emails you send confirming or canceling extramurals and of any correspondence you receive.

Fourth Year

  • Clinical Assessment forms with comments: Comments from fourth-year rotations will not be included in your MSPE, but will most likely need to bring copies to residency interviews.
  • Updated copy of your fourth-year schedule with dates.
  • Copies of your applications for away electives (extramurals), as there may be several and you can easily lose track of the details.
  • Copies of any letters or emails you send confirming or canceling residency interviews and extramurals and of any correspondence you receive.
  • USMLE Step 2CK and Step 2CS score reports:
    • The report you receive will include details about your performance that will not be available to you again in any form.
    • The cost of an NBME official transcript is $50.
  • Copy of your final transcript
  • Copy of your diploma