March 22, 2017
Nov 2020 - This is now our 4th update to this article and reflects the changes we have made to our Medical Portfolio Collection.
Hartnack and Company hand make very high quality, bespoke and custom binders. We have been making portfolios for Medics since 2014 when we got a call to make a "very large binder to take 100 plus plastic sleeves".
Our specialty in medical portfolios (and any portfolio for that matter) is the quality of the cover, the binder mechanism, and also the fact that you can choose your own colour, the material, size and type of binder mechanism and style and type of personalisation. The benefit of commissioning an H&Co portfolio is that you have a professional, distinctive, personalised medical portfolio to present for interviews. .
Your medical portfolio, or evidence portfolio at a core training interview, will be seen before you, therefore your objective is to have a portfolio that makes a statement about you before you face the panel yourself.
While presentation is key, so is ease of use by the interviewer. Quick and easy, no hassle navigation is another vital ingredient to scoring as many marks as possible and our bespoke portfolios provide this.
We now offer a standard or basic medical portfolio. Over the last few years we have been asked to provide a simple to order, personalised lever arch portfolio. It is still individually hand made and the covers are still a chunky 4mm outer cover and a 1.5mm inner cover. These are then covered in a robust and hard wearing black outer cover, platinum inner cover, buckram book cloth. The binder mechanism is a 65mm lever arch mechanism, so still the largest lever arch mechanism available and lastly, your name and speciality are printed in white on the front cover.
Our home page for medical and surgical portfolios can be found here
Hartnack & Co's speciality is custom and bespoke (It is 90% of what we do). Business's, professionals, collectors, enthusiasts and of course Medics, approach us because they want something individual and special, and/or something that can't be bought 'off the shelf'. It is made from scratch to your specification, but is also made to our very high standards. The outer cover is 4mm and the inner cover is 1.5mm.
For the bespoke medical portfolio, you choose,
With the right choice of options, your medical or surgical portfolio will last you all the way through from your Foundation years through to ST3 and if required, beyond.
(Updated November 2020)
If there is a binder mechanism available in the world, we can probably lay our hands on it, and indeed, may have used it for other commercial orders (that doesn't necessarily mean it right for a medical or surgical portfolio).
For medical portfolios probably our most popular choice mechanism is the 65mm lever arch binder. This will fit 100 high quality page protectors and 16 plastic dividers (as per the banner image above). We have noted that certain specialities, have mentioned using a "large lever arch binder", whether this suggestion is based on interviewers wanting a lever arch mechanism specifically for practical reasons, or using it as a generic term for a large binder, we can't say.
For those looking to put in more than 100 page protectors, (or say 120 pp's of a lesser grade/thickness), then we suggest a 2 ring Q binder which is available in either 80mm or 100m sizes.
There is a consideration that if you want a Medical Portfolio to last into ST3 interviews, where you might be presenting a great deal more evidence than you did previously, then a portfolio with a large 100mm binder would be a good investment, over trying to squeeze everything into your old 65mm or 55mm lever arch file.
We recommend a 2 ring binder because certain medical specialities have made mention in their portfolio guidance to use a "lever arch file". Whether this is mentioned for a specific practical reason, or because it's a generic name, we don't know.
Practically speaking, you can flip through a 2 ring binder mechanism quicker than you can a 4 ring one - There is just less metal to pass plastic over and in an interview we are told that navigation is key.
Does this rule out big 4 ring binders? No, in fact we've had ST3 applicants specify 4 ring binder mechanisms, why? Well, for a very practical reason. Strength and stability. A large portfolio with 150+ pockets in it , standing up in a bookcase (it's main habitat out of an interview) is going is going to be more stable than a 2 ring one. Just bear in mind that our large 80mm and 100m binders use a thicker grade of metal than a 65mm lever arch binder.
For a small number of pages, screw post binders are ideal as they give the effect of a bound book. The pages are held tightly at the spine so read like a book, but that means getting access to the contents of a portfolio is not easy, which in an interview, could count against you. In fact for Medical and Surgical portfolios we now strongly recommend not using a screw post binder.
Capacity of our Mechanisms.
There are no restrictions to which colours are available and in which combination. Bear in mind though, that your portfolio is making the statement about you before you've been seen.
Our fabric swatch page to see the options open to you can be found here.
This is essentially one the key points of having a 'personalised' medical portfolio isn't it? Things to bear in mind are;
There are a choice typefaces that you can see below.
There are no 'standard' medical typefaces or layouts, therefore if you have seen something on our website you like let us know and we will do our best to re-create it.
We sell very good quality, A4 sized, top loading, polypropylene plastic page protectors that are 110 micron thick and glass clear. These are archive safe, so will not affect the printed contents in future years. They can be ordered either here or while ordering your lever arch portfolio on tis page.
This can be the important bit, because having dealt with the portfolios appearance, you now have to effectively deal with organisation and making sure your portfolio can be quickly navigated (very important!)
Unfortunately we do not supply dividers. The photo above features dividers from medicalportfolios.com which are just one of the options we think you have.
The first and cheapest option is to purchase either numbered or blank tabbed dividers which you either number or label yourself. These can be bought through Office World, Ryman or Amazon. Make sure whatever you buy is described as A4+ or large A4. This is important, as if they are just A4 they will not protrude beyond your page protectors.The issue we see with these, are that for A4+ sized dividers, they come in sets of either 5 tabs, 10 tabs or 20 tabs. This is not a calamity, it's just that some specialties have 16 or 13 sections, therefore buying numbered ones can be tricky - probably better therefore to buy blank sets.
The section option is to go to medicalportfolios.com and buy their dividers which are sold as per the specialty you are applying for. As you can see from the photo, they look very good and are clearly legible.
The third option is to go completely bespoke (like your portfolio). A company called Carlsson Express Tabs will print up a bespoke, colour coded version. The problem is that each bespoke set requires bespoke printing plates and they therefore cost between £100 - £150 a set.
Double lever arch files as the name suggest are two lever arch files in one as per the examples below.
Our final offer is the clamshell box portfolio or box file. We haven't done many clamshell box medical portfolios, but we have certainly done some.
Clamshell boxes can be found here
More information can be found out about personalisation on this link here
Find out more about our Medical and Surgical Portfolios
If you have any further questions, as always drop us a line or give us a ring. Our details can be found on the Contact Page.
March 04, 2021
February 12, 2021