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CV: Blog

The Guide to Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for Medical Professionals

Published On: May 10, 2023 – Categories: CV

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Hi everyone! This blog will discuss how to draft a professional Curriculum Vitae (CV) for medical professionals. Your CV is an essential document for applying to jobs, research positions, clinical rotations, and the Residency/Fellowship Match process. Here is your one-stop destination for drafting the perfect CV!

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What is the difference between a CV and a resume? What is a CV?

The primary difference between a CV and a resume lies in their purpose, length, and content. A CV is a detailed document showcasing your academic and professional accomplishments, often used in academic or research settings. In contrast, a resume is a concise summary of your relevant skills and experiences, tailored for specific job applications in various industries

General tips when drafting a CV!

  • A CV is a document meant to be circulated among professional circles. Therefore, ensure it is written formally without spelling and grammatical errors.

  • Be concise and include the highlights in your career path. Use reverse chronological order (recent ones first) while enlisting points under a topic. Update your CV regularly, especially after a significant event. Use 3-5 bullet points when describing your different experiences.

  • What font should I use for my CV?

    Simple font styles like Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Helvetica are commonly used. The font size is variable, but a size 12 black color is ideal for printing a document. There is no right or wrong when drafting your CV, so your goal is to ensure easy readability.

  • Maintaining consistency is crucial. For instance, if you opt for a size 14 font for headings and size 12 for body text, ensure this is applied uniformly across your CV. Similarly, if you display dates on the right side and experience titles on the left, continue this format for all listed experiences. This principle extends to spacing and text alignment, guaranteeing a cohesive and professional appearance.
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What are the common sections of a CV for medical professionals?

  1. Personal Information
  2. Education
  3. USMLE Scores
  4. Honors and Awards
  5. Professional Memberships
  6. Leadership Experience
  7. Clinical Experience
  8. Research Experience
  9. Editorial Activities
  10. Publications
  11. Oral Presentations
  12. Poster Presentations
  13. Certification/ Licensure
  14. Educational Courses
  15. Community Service/ Volunteering
  16. Work Experience
  17. Languages
  18. Hobbies and Interests
  19. References

Remember that not all CVs must have all these sections. Your CV should be adjusted based on your experiences. For example, some medical professionals might want to show their USMLE scores while others do not.

Moreover, the order of these sections can change based on what you are trying to highlight. For example, if you are applying for a research position, the sections about research can come up higher compared to when applying for a clinical job.

And now, we will go over the details of each of these sections. If you need help editing your CV, make sure to check out our CV editing services here.

Personal Information

Name: Mention your full name, followed by your medical degree. 

Address: Add an address where you can be contacted, although it is unlikely for someone to send you correspondence by mail.

Mobile phone: Include a valid phone number with an extension for international callers.

Email address: Consider making a professional email address for communication.

It is unnecessary to mention your date of birth, your parents’ name, religion, and sex in your CV.

Personal Information Example:

Name: Roy Bennet, M.D.

Address: 1234 10th Avenue,

            New York City, NY, USA, 10068

Phone: +1 (918) 444-4444

Email address: royben@xyz.com

Education

Name of Medical School: Full name, no abbreviations.

Country: Even if your medical school is popular in your region, physicians from other counties may not be aware of it. It would benefit the reader if the school’s location were mentioned. Also, as some U.S. medical schools have branches in other countries, it is essential to note the country in this case.

Duration: Mention the timeframe during which you studied/are studying here.

There are different formats you can use to structure your CV. For example, you can place the date on the right or the left side as shown in the example below. But make sure to stay consistent. If you use the right side, keep using that throughout the CV.

Education Example:

Mayo Clinic Medical School, Florida, U.S.A.                                  03/2015 – 03/2019

03/2015 – 03/2019      Mayo Clinic Medical School, Florida, U.S.A.

                              Doctor of Medicine Diploma, conferred March 2019

USMLE Scores

For those pursuing the US residency journey, it is crucial to add your USMLE scores as they are an important factor in your application. Mention your USMLE scores and the exam date, as this serves as objective criteria while assessing applicants. In addition, although many institutes and physicians perform a holistic CV review, USMLE scores may be required for official purposes. If you are not pursuing a residency in the US, you can put the equivalent exam in the country you are applying to. You can add your GPA under your medical school section if you use your CV for internal purposes (e.g., getting a rotation in another hospital in your home country). Some students choose not to include/disclose their USMLE scores (unless asked) if they did not score well.

USMLE Scores Example

USMLE Step 1 – PASS                                  June 30, 2021

USMLE Step 2 CK – 247                               February 12, 2022

USMLE Step 3 – 230                                   September 18, 2022

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Honors and Awards

Include medical school-related accolades, from ranking first in your university exam to an award-winning research publication here. Research grants, scholarships, and quizzes won can also be mentioned here.

Honors and Awards Example

First place – Oral presentation on “The impact of Vitamin-D on Heart Disease”; American College of Physicians conference on November 18, 2022. Awarded best paper among 50 participants.

First rank in Internal Medicine at Boston University in January 2021, awarded for scoring the highest in the subject among a class of 150 students.

First Runner up – Undergraduate Quiz by Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology on March 28, 2019. A State-level quiz on General Obstetrics and Gynecology participated by 30 teams from various universities.

Professional Memberships

You can join organizations in your field of interest, like the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for Cardiology Enthusiasts. This would hint to the reader of your interest in the specialty. These institutions are usually research-oriented and conduct local, national, and international conferences and meetings. While some require a fee to become a member, others waive this fee for students and residents. Helping organize a conference and actively participating in its activities would be more beneficial than just being a member.

Professional Memberships Example

American College of Cardiology (ACC)                               03/2015 – 03/2019

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Clinical Experience

Clinical experiences are of paramount importance if you are applying for residency. Start with the type of rotation followed by the name and location of the hospital. Dates and the specialty are important to add clarity. Additionally, provide a brief description to help the reader understand your experience and responsibilities during the rotation. You can also choose to add your mentor in the description section. 

Clinical Experience Example 1

Internal Medicine Sub-internship                                       January 1, 2022- January 30, 2022

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, US

Preceptors: Dr. Brown Smith and Dr. Robert Allison

  • Functioned as a sub-intern for four weeks in the Department of Internal Medicine at a tertiary-care academic institution.

  • Recorded patient history and performed a physical examination, ordered labs, charted the patient progress note in the EMR, and followed up on patients.

  • Participated in didactics, case discussions, group presentations, and grand rounds.

  • Volunteered during COVID-19 staff shortages in the ICU, ER, and floors.

Need more Clinical Experience Examples?

Research Experience

Research experience describes your learning during your research elective/fellowship. This could include time spent during medical school doing research or a research elective/fellowship. It is imperative to mention the time frame, the title of your research position, and the institute. Briefly describe your roles and responsibilities and the type of research you performed to help the reader understand your contribution to the team. It would be favorable to mention your research mentor/ Principal Investigator (PI) in this section. Do not list every publication you have under this section. Your research publications will come under a separate section later. Here, you can discuss your primary research interests and the field of study.

Research Experience Example 1

Research Associate, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN                           03/2021 – 03/2022

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care

Mentor: Dr. Tim Chase

  • Conducted research on the clinical outcomes and management strategies for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, and other critical pulmonary conditions.

  • Responsible for study design, literature review, Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission, data collection, statistical analysis, and manuscript development.

  • Mentored and provided guidance to fellow medical students and research associates involved in pulmonary critical care research projects.

  • Presented research findings at departmental meetings and national conferences.

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Editorial Activities

Some researchers might have served as an editor or a reviewer for journals. It is beneficial to mention this as it demonstrates commitment and proficiency in the field of interest.

Editorial Activities Example

Reviewer – International Journal of Surgery                                                 03/2015 – 03/2019 

Publications

Publications are the final result of your research. Therefore, they are of vital importance primarily when published in esteemed journals. They can be categorized under peer-reviewed publications, submitted and in-press articles. In addition, published abstracts, communications, and case reports can also be mentioned here. Highlight/bold your name to stand out among the other authors. The order commonly followed per AMA style is Authors, Title, Journal, Date, Issue, Volume, and Page. Author names are written as follows: Last name, First letter of the first name, and the first letter of the middle name.

Publications Example

Asaad M., Van Handel A., Akhavan A.A., Huang T.C.T., Rajesh A., Allen M.A., Shen K.R., Sharaf B., Moran S.L. Muscle Flap Transposition for the Management of Intrathoracic Fistulas. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2020 Apr; 145(4):829e-838e

Oral/ Poster presentations

This is differentiated from the publication section to highlight presentations at various forums, like conferences and meetings. However, the abstracts published in these conferences are included under the publications section. Define whether the work presented during the conference is an oral or a poster presentation. Mention the conferences where you presented, not those you only attended. Just attending a conference should not be included in your CV.

Oral Presentations Example

Asaad M., Houdek MT. Huang TTC, Rose PS, Moran SL (January 2020). Fibula and Rib Grafts in Complex Spinal Reconstruction: A Medium Term Analysis of Union Times and Hardware Failure Using Each Technique. American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery; Lauderdale, Florida

Certification/ Licensure

Medical licensure from your home country and professional certification courses like BLS, ACLS, and PALS are described in this section. Mention the expiration date of these if applicable.

Certification/ Licensure Example

A.H.A. certified Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) provider, June 2021- May 2023

Educational Courses

As medicine is an evolving field, you may have taken courses to keep up with the new developments. When you describe the course, include the date, type of course, location, credits if applicable, a brief description, and whether it was online or in-person.

Educational Courses Example

Type 2 Diabetes Management                                                                        March 2021

  • An online course by Stanford Medicine with 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM

  • This course is designed to teach practical skills about diabetes care, treatment, and the latest research in the field

Community Service/ Volunteering

Community service is essential for a physician to give back to their society. In addition, volunteering can boost your CV and give you an edge over other competitive candidates. Elaborate on your volunteering experience under the organization’s name, location, duration of the experience, and your roles and responsibilities. Long-term associations with these organizations trump over a one-day event. Hence, focus on building lasting relationships demonstrating your commitment to the cause.

Your volunteering experiences aligning with your CV, personal statement, and overall application will be beneficial. For example, a candidate who is passionate about medical education who has completed multiple certifications, organized numerous teaching sessions, and is focused on the cause will shine through compared to an applicant with unrelated volunteering experiences.

Community Service/ Volunteering Example

Bolivian Red Cross – La Paz, Bolivia                               March 2021 – March 2022

  • Organized blood donation camps in rural Bolivia.

  • Conducted educational workshops to raise public awareness about the importance of blood donation.

  • Trained new volunteers to effectively communicate with and guide potential donors throughout the donation process, ensuring a positive experience.

  • Conducted follow-up surveys with donors to assess satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.

Fostered partnerships with community organizations, schools, and businesses to expand the reach and impact of blood donation campaigns

Work Experience

Work experience can include internships in your home country, medical or non-medical jobs, and freelance work. Mention the duration, type of work, location, and role, accompanied by a brief description.

Work Experience Example

Healthcare Startup Consulting                                               May 1, 2021, to August 30, 2022

Ottawa, Canada

  • Assisted early-stage healthcare startups in defining their value proposition and refining their business models.
  • Conducted comprehensive market research and competitive analysis, identifying key opportunities for clients to differentiate themselves in the healthcare landscape.

  • Collaborated with multidisciplinary teams, including engineers, designers, and business professionals, to transform ideas into viable healthcare solutions.

  • Facilitated connections between startups and potential investors, paving the way for further growth and development.

  • Organized and led educational workshops for aspiring healthcare entrepreneurs, sharing insights into industry trends, best practices, and success factors.
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Languages

Language fluency is a crucial skill for a physician to possess. The more languages you speak, the easier it will be to interact with patients from different cultures. Describe your proficiency as a Native speaker, Full professional, Limited working, or basic/ elementary.

Languages Example

  • Hindi: Native speaker

  • English: Fluent, both written and spoken

  • Spanish – Advanced proficiency, conversational and written

  • French: Intermediate level, conversational skills

Hobbies and Interests

Hobbies outside of medicine reveal a well-rounded personality. Describe your hobbies and the achievements related to them. Your interests are an icebreaker during interviews and form a common discussion point.

Hobbies and Interests Example
  • Tennis – Represented the state and medical school in various national tournaments.

  • Gardening: Enthusiastic gardener with a diverse collection of succulents, ornamentals, flowering, and fruit-bearing plants. Awarded first prize at a local gardening competition for unique plant arrangement.

  • Athletic Activities: Enjoy running, swimming, and hiking in nature. Received a first-place award in a local 10K race and completed a half-marathon.

  • Guitar: Passionate about playing acoustic and electric guitar across various genres. Won the regional amateur guitar competition in 2020.

  • Adventurous Travel: Love to immerse in new cultures and landscapes through backpacking trips. Awarded a grant for a cultural exchange program in 2019.

  • Culinary Exploration: Delighted by cooking and tasting diverse cuisines from around the world. Secured second place in a community cook-off event.

  • Intellectual Curiosity: Engaged in continuous learning in fields such as philosophy, anthropology, and artificial intelligence

References

Other

References are contacts who you have worked with closely in the past and will be able to vouch for you. Although some recommend including two to three references in the CV, others prefer to not include references and support their application with letters of recommendation when requested.

However, make sure to take permission from your contacts before including them as references in your CV.

Example of a reference

Dr. Gregory Smith

Professor and Chief of General Surgery,

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County

Chicago, Illinois, USA

M: +1 (xxx) xxx- xxxx

Email: drghall@xyz.com

I hope this blog helps you draft an excellent CV for your professional use. Good luck everyone! Don’t forget to get your FREE CV template here !

By Dr.Vikyath Satish & Dr. Malke Asaad

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