A Day in the Life of A Portfolio GP

Published on: 11 Aug 2022

ENT Surgeon/Otolaryngologist

A general day in the life of a portfolio GP: 

The day-to-day life of a portfolio GP can vary greatly based on the individual interests of the GP. Most portfolio GPs will retain some NHS clinical work. The day may start with a surgery running from 8:00am to 11:00am, followed by admin work till 12:30pm.

Afternoon sessions after lunch will vary depending on their interests. For example, one GP may have medical student teaching sessions in the afternoon while another may have a general surgery for their specialist interest. 


General Practice: 

General Practice is a speciality renowned for its flexibility in terms of working weeks and hours but portfolio working is an ever-growing facet of general practice that more GPs are flocking towards. Portfolio GPs are GPs who have multiple jobs/roles within their week.

These can include but are not limited to prison doctors, training programme directors, clinical tutors and GP trainers. Portfolio GPs usually have a primary role such as GP partner or locum GP with additional roles built into their week. 

Great Place, Great Potential - NHS Somerset


Training as a GP:

GP training can be entered into after completion of foundation years and lasts for 3 years. The MRCGP (Membership of the Royal Collage of General Practitioners) is the postgraduate medical qualification that is required to gain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in general practice.

The MRCGP exam is comprised of three different parts: Workplace-Based Assessments (WPBA), Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA). It should be noted that the RCA was introduced to replace the CSA (Clinical Skills Assessment) during Covid-19.

Passing the MRCGP exam alongside completion of the RCGP portfolio will result in a CCT in General Practice. 


Portfolio Careers:

Portfolio GP options are endless and can be tailored to individual interest and convenience in terms of working from home or around childcare for those interested. No additional training is required to become a portfolio GP and therefore, there are no pre-set portfolio GP requirements that need to be met.

The differing array of role possibilities available to portfolio GPs may have different training needs/requirements in their own right. This article will touch on some of the training required for the different roles. Most portfolio GP careers start slowly by picking up one additional working session which gradually builds up if the GP enjoys it.

Networking is hugely beneficial in picking up new roles as a portfolio GP so do not be afraid to ask fellow colleagues for career and GP advice. 


Portfolio GP Opportunities: 

  • Medical Education: can range from teaching undergraduates or postgraduates and is in itself a field with many opportunities. 

  • Medical student teaching: can be involved in small group teaching in university or opt to become a clinical tutor supervising medical students who are on their GP placement. 

  • GP trainer: this will require more extensive training compared to teaching medical students. The requirements to become a GP trainer will vary depending on deanery but some will require a specific course or a medical education diploma, as well as a minimum number of years experienced post CCT. 

  • Training programme director: programme directors are responsible for setting out the teaching for trainee GPs. 

  • Management and leadership roles

  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs): these are groups of general practices in an area that gather and employ services for their local areas. These services can include mental health services, rehabilitation facilities, community care or out of hours services. Some CCG groups will pay £600 for two sessions, however, it should be noted that this figure can be different across regions. Additionally, some boards will include pension contribution so it is best to check your individual health board. 

  • Primary Care Networks (PCNs): these are networks available for GPs to liaise with in the community to best support patients with chronic conditions. The networks include mental health teams, social care, pharmacists and occasionally volunteer services. If interested, portfolio GPs can become clinical directors and lead the PCN team for their local GP practice. 

  • Out of hours clinical work: for those wanting to continue expand in their clinical work but see different presentations than usually encountered in routine GP appointments, out of hours clinical work may be for you. This will usually be weekends or overnight but provides good pay (can be £90-£100 per hour overnight) and provides exposure to more acute emergency medicine. 

  • Prison GP: opportunities to become a prison GP are becoming increasingly available due to a shortage in them. As a result, compensation is also good. A working day can vary with GP clinics or ward rounds for inmates or both. Earnings differ depending on location, but some local prison GPs offer £800-£900 per day. 

  • Forensic Medical Examiner: work with the police as independent doctors who specialise in investigating suspicious deaths/injuries. The work also involves treating those in custody who are injured or ill. Forensic Medical Examiners may also assess sexual assault victims. For those interested, further training is available to be able to give evidence in court. 

  • GP with a special interest: GPs who are interested in another speciality can become accredited to perform services typically reserved for secondary care in GP surgeries. These can involve procedures such as corticosteroid joint injections or minor surgery. Being a GP with specialist interest can be extremely beneficial in terms of boosting employability potential and increasing income to the GP surgery. 

  • GP Appraiser: this involves looking through evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and other appraisal material before the appraisal, as well as the appraisal itself. Additional training may be required if there are any changes to the appraisal process. GP appraisers earn £500 from each completed appraisal- this includes the preparatory work prior to it. 

  • Remote Consultations: pay for remote consultations tends to be lower than locum work with higher indemnity cover however, the work is flexible with no time or money spent on commuting. This may be an option for you if you are looking for flexible work. 


Other portfolio GP roles can include medical writing, expedition medicine, or being a doctor for a sports team/covering a festival. 

The following are known as alternative GP careers as they require longer commitment than sessions talked about above. Many GPs do these alternative jobs for a short while to try something new. 

  • Cruise ship doctor: this option is not part of a portfolio GP as it involves long periods aboard the ship but is an option for those interested in travel. The work involves a mixture of general practice presentations and some more acute work. Typically, you will work with a small team of doctors and nurses.  P&O Princess is a shipping company that pays £67-70K got 243 days. 

  • Ministry of Defence Doctor: if you are interested in this route, you can either choose to pursue it as a medical officer (requires a three-year commitment) or a civilian medical practitioner (no minimum time commitment). Salary ranges from £80-120K per year. Benefits of working in the Ministry of Defence include a larger study budget compared to other posts and good CPD support. Of note, medical officers are expected to wear uniform while working. 


Portfolio GP Salary:

Due to the variety of job roles that can be carried out by portfolio GPs, it is difficult to give a united answer. The salary will often depend on whether you have a primary job as a GP partnersalaried GP or how many clinical sessions you do a week. This article focusses on how you can earn more as a portfolio GP.


Advantages to a Portfolio Career: 

A portfolio career offers a diverse working week which has potential to reduce burn out. Portfolio GPs report that each of their roles result in learning new transferable skills that can be applied in their clinical practice. As mentioned, some of the roles can be remote which offers flexibility in terms of family commitments and reduction in commuting time.

Often, the skills learned through having multiple job roles increases your desirability to GP practices due to your extra GP skills. For example, those who have a specialist interest and can perform a secondary care procedure in a primary care setting will often bring in a practice more money as other GP practices can refer patients to them for that procedure.

This will generate more money for the practice, making that specialist interest GP more desirable for employment. 



  1. Developing a GP portfolio career | GPonline [Internet]. Gponline.com. 2021 [cited 23 August 2021]. Available from: https://www.gponline.com/developing-gp-portfolio-career/article/1580852 

  2. Developing a career as a Portfolio GP - GP Training Support [Internet]. GP Training Support. 2021 [cited 23 August 2021]. Available from: https://gptraining.info/developing-a-career-as-a-portfolio-gp 

  3. How portfolio GP careers can help GPs, patients and practices [Internet]. Medicalprotection.org. 2021 [cited 23 August 2021]. Available from: https://www.medicalprotection.org/uk/articles/how-portfolio-gp-careers-can-help-gps-patients-and-practices 

  4. Planning Your GP Career [Internet]. 2021 [cited 29 September 2021]. Available from: https://mpscdnuks.azureedge.net/resources/docs/mp/default-document-library/200421226---mp---emedica-guide-(gp-career-options)-web-pdf.pdf 

  5. Commissioning N. NHS commissioning » Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) [Internet]. England.nhs.uk. 2021 [cited 29 September 2021]. Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/who-commissions-nhs-services/ccgs/ 

  6. How to earn more as a portfolio GP [Internet]. Blog.lantum.com. 2021 [cited 29 September 2021]. Available from: http://blog.lantum.com/p/blog/getting-work/how-to-earn-more-as-a-portfolio-gp-in-2017