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

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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!

To download the free CV template, sign up to our newsletter here, and you will receive the CV template by email.

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.
Do you need a full CV template?

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

Achieve USMLE success with personalized tutoring from experienced educators. Boost your scores and confidence.

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.

Interested in learning about RESEARH? Check out our Comprehensive Research Courses

Research Course

Our in-depth Comprehensive Research Courses will teach you how to take a research project from idea to publication.

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Live Sessions

This course is designed to help you learn about systematic reviews

Medical Statistics for Beginners

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How to find research positions in the US

This course will Show You how to find research positions in the US from research experts

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.
Don't risk your residency match chances with an average CV. Allow our experts to enhance your accomplishments using our comprehensive ERAS CV editing services.

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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How to Practice Medicine in the US

Miscellaneous Blog

How to Practice Medicine in the US

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If you want my team to help you practice residency in the US without repeating residency, click here.

Many people from all around the world want to come to the US to practice medicine.

In this post, I’ll share information about how you can work as a doctor in the US after finishing your residency in another country. There are a variety of different pathways you can take to practice medicine in the US including the fellowship route—you don’t necessarily have to repeat residency when moving here.

What is the difference between board certification and state licensing?

The difference between being board-certified in a particular specialty and having a license to practice medicine is really important for doctors from other countries looking to come to the US to practice medicine. In some circumstances, you can be licensed to practice medicine in a particular state without having the board certification.

For state licenses, most states require you to have a few years of clinical training in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited program. For example, a state may require you to have two years of clinical training in the United States, so you would not need to complete the five years of general surgery residency training to practice surgery in a particular state. Instead, you can complete your residency elsewhere and then complete the two years of clinical training in the US (e.g. in the form of a fellowship).

Typically, to be a board-certified general surgeon, you would need to apply to a general surgery residency and then finish five years of training, take the board exam, and pass the board exam. However, the state license gives you the ability to do surgeries in a state legally without any issues. If you choose this path, you don’t have to be board-certified and you don’t need to finish the five years of general surgery training. Sometimes, two or three years might be enough. Each state has its own rules and regulations, so you would have to do research on individual states.

Chat with an expert advisor to explore your options of state license and board certification without doing residency in the US

How can you get years of clinical training?

Now, let’s talk about the different ways you could get some years of clinical training.

Preliminary year

Years that you spend in preliminary surgery or transitional year (which are easier to match into compared to categorical general surgery or other competitive specialties) will count toward your years of clinical training. Technically, any years of training in residency in the US even without finishing that residency will count toward your years of clinical training.

Fellowships

Generally, in the US you graduate from medical school and then go into a residency for your formal training in your specialty. After residency, you can apply for fellowships for more specialized training.

However, international graduates might have completed a residency in their home country. In many instances, people like this are eligible to come to the US and do fellowships without repeating residency. You might choose to follow this path to get more experience and training, but you also might choose this so that you can start to build up the years of experience in the US medical system to apply for a license. Be careful that most states require training in ACGME-accredited programs and most surgical fellowships are not ACGME-accredited programs. However, that is not always the case and there is an alternative pathway in most cases.

If you’ve read this far and you think that a one-on-one session with an expert on how to get fellowships in the US without residency or how to find jobs in the US after fellowships would help you, you can schedule a consultation on our website. We can provide you with all the details you need to know to pursue your medical career in the United States!

What are the requirements to match into fellowships?

It’s important to discuss the requirements when applying for fellowships in the US without doing a residency here in the US first. If you’re interested in applying to residency in the United States, you can check out my video here about that topic.

When applying for fellowships, programs can have different criteria. While I can’t cover all the specifics in this blog post, I’ll try to focus on the main requirements that all programs share.

Residency in your home country

First, you have to do residency or training in your home country. You need to have completed whatever the standard of training is in your country in the specialty you’re applying for a fellowship in. For example, if you’re applying to a spine fellowship in the US, you should have completed the residency that would lead to a spine fellowship in the United States. This would be either an orthopedic surgery residency or a neurosurgery residency. So, in this example, if you completed an orthopedic surgery residency in your home country, you could apply to a spine fellowship in the US.

ECFMG Certification

Second, you should be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). To be ECFMG certified, you need to complete Step 1 and Step 2 CK, get the OET exam certificate, and do one of the pathways. Some fellowships also require the Step 3 exam, which can be a large hurdle for applying to fellowships since the content on the Step exams might be topics or concepts that you have not studied in a while.

However, I’ve seen many graduates, residents, and even doctors in their home countries who are in their 40s or 50s succeed on the Step exams, so there is no age or time restriction on you applying. Many other people have succeeded, so you can, too!

If you need more information on how to prepare for the Step exams, be sure to check out my YouTube channel. We also have USMLE Tutoring available through our website and a variety of blog posts about studying for USMLE exams.

How can I increase my chances of matching into a fellowship

Now that you know the requirements, let’s dive into how you can match into a fellowship in the US.

Less competitive fellowships

One important factor is that most foreign graduates who do not do a residency in the US usually apply for less competitive fellowships. Some fellowships are very difficult to get into even for those who graduate from residency inside the US, so these might not be the best option for someone who did not do a residency in the US. You might apply to a less competitive fellowship first and then apply to a more competitive fellowship after you have strengthened your CV.

Your residency training

One factor that can make you more competitive is where you did your residency training. If you did your training at a big hospital that is known internationally, the good reputation might give you an advantage over other applicants.

Letters of recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation from the people who worked with you during residency can make a huge difference in your fellowship application.

USMLE Scores

While the USMLE Step scores are important when applying to residency, they are less important when applying for fellowships. Study hard for them and try to get a high score, but if you didn’t get a high score it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get a fellowship in the US.

Did you study USMLE materials a while back and feel uncertain about where to begin now? Let us help you navigate the process and create a strategic study plan tailored to your needs!

Research

Additionally, research is an important factor in the fellowship application. This is especially true for big academic hospitals. You might have a lot of research experience in your home country, or perhaps you took time off after residency to do research in the US. Your research portfolio will help your CV as you apply for fellowships.

Interested in learning about RESEARH? Check out our Comprehensive Research Courses

Research Course

Our in-depth Comprehensive Research Courses will teach you how to take a research project from idea to publication.

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Live Sessions

This course is designed to help you learn about systematic reviews

Medical Statistics for Beginners

Learn how to perform statistical analysis and interpret medical literature

How to find research positions in the US

This course will Show You how to find research positions in the US from research experts
Connections

Finally, connections and networking might be the most important factor in getting a fellowship in the US without repeating a residency. You might make connections while gaining research experience in the US, or perhaps you have a mentor who is influential in the field who can help you build your network. You could also go to conferences and meet people so they can look for your application when you apply.

What happens after fellowships?

To get a license to practice in the US, you generally need two or three years of clinical training inside the US. So let’s say that you completed a year of fellowship. You still likely need one or two years of experience to get a license in the state you want to practice in. What happens next?

There are multiple ways to get more years of clinical training. You might do another fellowship. For the second or third fellowship, you can apply to more competitive choices because you’ll have the experience of the first fellowship and mentors in the US to boost your application.

Another choice, although more time-intensive, is to do a residency in the US. You might be shocked that people do this, but some residency programs in the US are very competitive. If you do a fellowship in spine surgery, your application to an orthopedic surgery residency would be much stronger. If you do a residency in the US, you also can then become board-certified instead of just having a license.

Whether you complete the number of years of clinical experience through fellowships or residency, once you meet the number you can get the state license and start looking for jobs. Some applicants get very lucky and get phenomenal jobs at great institutions as if they did a residency in the US, but most applicants aren’t that lucky. Some jobs only want board-certified physicians to apply, so completing a residency and getting the board certification does open more job opportunities. Some people without board certification will end up doing five years of fellowship while they search for a job. It’s important to note that this can happen and might be frustrating, especially for people who are far along in their medical careers in their home countries.

Can I become board-certified without doing residency in the US?

Another interesting route is getting board-certified in certain specialties without doing a residency in the US. You can become board-certified in some specialties after multiple years of clinical training in the US as a resident OR as a fellow. So, if you did a specific number of fellowships, you might be eligible for board certification and you might be board-certified without doing a residency. You can do research to see the specifics of your specialty. Look for the specific rules under the alternative pathway for board certification in your subspeciality as you can get bord certified through the academic pathway in some specialties like Medicine, radiology, orthopedics, and general surgery.

If you want to talk about the options discussed in this section one-on-one with someone, go ahead and schedule a consultation on our website and we would be happy to work with you as you go through this difficult process.

Institutional sponsorship

A final path to practicing medicine in the US is by being sponsored by an institution. If an institution sponsors you, you might be able to work in that specific setting without doing a residency and without doing fellowships. However, this path is not as common and it will vary from institution to institution.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this post was informative and shed light on a confusing process. Multiple routes can get you to practice medicine in the US and you don’t necessarily have to complete a residency here.

As I’ve said earlier in the post, we are happy to talk with you more about how to practice medicine in the US. Set up an appointment by visiting our website. If you’d like to see the information in this blog post in video format, you can check that out here.

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USMLE: From Start to End !

USMLE Blog

USMLE: From Start to End !

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If you want my team to help you with your USMLE preparations , click here.

Hello USMLE aspirants! This blog is your one-stop destination for all things USMLE. Learn about the steps required from start to Finish to pursue residency in the US.

What is USMLE?

USMLE stands for United States Medical Licensing Exam. It is a three-step exam that allows you to obtain practicing licensure in the US. While Step 1 and Step 2 CK are required to start residency, Step 3 USMLE can be completed during residency. In addition, USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK can be taken from both in and outside the United States, unlike Step 3, which is administered only in the US. Step 3 USMLE also requires you to be ECFMG certified before applying for the exam.

How to register for the USMLE exam?

As an International medical graduate (IMG), you must register for the USMLE through the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates). It begins with the application for ECFMG certification- Form 186, also known as the Certification of Identification form, which should be filled and notarized via NotaryCam. This includes a payment of 160 USD. Make sure to dress formally as a photograph is taken during the notarization process.

For more details, you can check out our blog on how to register for STEP 1.

How to apply for the USMLE exam?

Following the notary confirmation, you will receive a unique ECFMG number/ USMLE ID used throughout the USMLE process. Then, you can log in to the IWA (Interactive Web Applications) portal to begin a new application for your exam. You must choose an eligibility period (3-month window) and complete your exam within this timeframe. Next, the ECFMG will request documents from your medical school (for students) to issue a scheduling permit. This is completed using an online portal if your school is registered with the Medical School Web Portal (MSWP) or by mail. After receiving a scheduling permit with a unique code, you can choose the testing center and test date on the Prometric website.

USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 is the first installation of the three-step exam. It tests the foundational sciences (such as biochemistry, physiology, pathology) over seven blocks lasting 60 minutes each, each block containing a maximum of 40 single-item multiple-choice questions. You are entitled to a flexible break time of 45 minutes, which can be scheduled between the blocks. The break time can be increased by skipping the introductory 15-minute tutorial or finishing the blocks early.

The result, which will arrive around three weeks after test day, will only display a Pass or Fail report, a change made since 2023 to reduce the pressure on test takers. Primary resources for the exam include UWorld question bank, First Aid for Step 1, Boards and Beyond, and Amboss question bank.

For more detailed information about STEP 1 resources, check out our blog here.

USMLE Step 2 CK

This exam tests the application of medical knowledge (including internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, surgery), emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention. With up to 318 questions divided over eight 60-minute blocks, each block contains a maximum of 40 questions. The number of questions can be reduced to 38 or 39 if drug ads or research abstracts are included in the block. Since the Step 1 USMLE has turned Pass/Fail, the importance of the Step 2 CK score has risen. Primary resources for the test include UWorld and Amboss question banks.

For more detailed information about STEP 2CK resources, check out our blog here.

Also don’t forget to check out our USMLE exam series on my YouTube channel here.

USMLE Step 3

Step 3 is a two-day exam that assesses your application of concepts for independent practice in the US. This exam can only be taken by medical graduates, and ECFMG certification is a requirement for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to apply for it.

Day 1, or Foundations of Independent Practice, lasts 7 hours with up to 233 multiple choice questions divided over six one-hour blocks, 38 – 40 questions per block. This day emphasizes medical ethics and biostatistics, apart from basic medical and scientific principles.

Day 2 is Advanced Clinical Medicine which tests the application of comprehensive medical knowledge in patient management. It contains six 45-minute blocks with a maximum of 30 questions per block. This is followed by 13 computer-based case simulations, or CCS, which test patient management skills in real-time.

Step 3 USMLE is not a requirement to apply for the Match and can be completed during residency. However, IMGs must have their Step 3 scores ready around Match Day (mid of March) if seeking an H1B visa. Primary resources include UWorld, our CCS Course, and ccscases.com.

For more detailed information about STEP 3 resources, check out our blog here.

Master the CCS part of the USMLE exam along with the complicated biostatistics abstracts with our CCS and biostatistics bundle

What is USCE?

USCE stands for United States clinical experience and includes electives, observerships, and externships. While electives are meant solely for medical students, observerships and externships are open for graduates. USCE is an integral part of the USMLE process, and many residency programs use it as a mandatory criterion to consider for the screening process. It also helps to build connections in the branch of your choice which might prove beneficial during the Match process.

Are you an IMG trying to find USCE with no luck? Check the list of our experienced doctors offering USCE to IMGs!

Do you wanna read more details on USCEs for IMGs? Check out our blog here

What is ECFMG Certification?

ECFMG Certification is the standard for evaluating the qualifications of IMGs who wish to enter the United States healthcare system.

What are the requirements for ECFMG certification?

  1. An application for ECFMG certification (Form 186)
  2. The medical school listed by the World Directory of Medical Schools (World Directory) from 2024
  3. USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores via the USMLE Transcript
  4. One of the six ECFMG Pathways OR Step 2 CS passing performance
  5. Occupational English test (OET)
  6. Medical school documents

What are the medical school documents required for ECFMG certification?

  1. Medical school diploma/degree
  2. Medical school transcript
  3. Medical school performance evaluation (MSPE)/ Dean’s letter

What are the 6 pathways for ECFMG certification?

  • Pathway 1: Already Licensed to Practice Medicine in Another Country
  • Pathway 2: Already Passed an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for Medical Licensure Administered by an Acceptable Medical School
  • Pathway 3: Medical School Accredited by Agency Recognized by World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)
  • Pathway 4: Medical School Accredited by Agency that Has Received a Determination of Comparability by National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA)
  • Pathway 5: Medical School Issues Degree Jointly with a U.S. Medical School Accredited by Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
  • Pathway 6: Evaluation of Clinical Patient Encounters by Licensed Physicians


    Source: ECFMG website

How to get ECFMG certified?

After the timely production of the documents and application for the appropriate pathway (925 USD), the ECFMG will process your application for the pathway. However, you will not be ECFMG certified unless you pass both STEP 1 and STEP 2CK. In other words, you can start the process for the pathway without STEP 2CK or STEP 1 but you need to pass the exam before you become ECFMG certified.

Also, remember that the ECFMG certification is temporary until you Match into a residency in the US and finish a year of residency if you are applying through one of the pathways. This is not the issue if you have a passing score report on the USMLE Step 2 CS, in which case, the ECFMG certificate is permanent.

It is advisable to be ECFMG certified for IMGs by the time ERAS applications go online (end of September). This is because many programs have ECFMG certification as a criterion to be considered for an interview.

How to register for the Match?

The process starts with creating an account with the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) and completing an Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application. 

What is the role of the NRMP in the Match?

The NRMP (National Resident Matching Program) is software used towards the end of the Match season to create a Rank Order List (ROL). To participate in the Main Residency Match and Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), you need to create an account with the NRMP by January 31 of the Match cycle by paying a standard fee of 70 USD. In addition, a 50 USD late fee applies for those who register beyond this date till March 1, which is also the last day to register for the Match. Note that some residency programs do not participate in the NRMP Match but offer Pre-Match positions after interviewing candidates.

What is an ERAS CV?

An ERAS CV is a significant part of the ERAS application and a golden opportunity to portray your skills and accomplishments to residency programs.
You must fill in personal information, medical school details, awards, and certifications.

The experiences section is crucial to your CV and entails volunteer, work, and research experiences. New changes in the 2024 ERAS CV limits the number of each of the work experiences to ten but help describe them more effectively.

In addition, the ERAS CV also contains a section on research publications, in-press articles, submitted articles, and poster and oral presentations.

Finally, it ends with a section on hobbies, languages spoken, and awards.

Once you certify and submit your ERAS CV, you cannot change it except for personal information. Once certified and submitted, the ERAS CV is usually available to residency programs by the end of September of the Match cycle. However, you can certify and submit even after this date.

Submit your ERAS CV before residency programs start reviewing applicants’ ERAS CVs (generally happens at the end of September) to ensure your CV doesn’t go unnoticed. 
If your application arrives after program directors have finished reviewing submissions, they won’t have the opportunity to evaluate your CV and extend an interview invitation.

Check our blog on how to fill the ERAS application here.

Don't risk your residency match chances with an average CV. Allow our experts to enhance your accomplishments using our comprehensive ERAS CV editing services.

Personal Statement

Your personal statement can make or break your application. Therefore, you must draft a personal statement that will describe you perfectly. Make sure to express your love towards the specialty you are applying to and how you would stand out to the residency program. The personal statement should answer the burning question, Why you?

Check out our two blogs on how to write a personal statement and personal statement examples.

Transform your residency application with our top-notch personal statement editing services. Let our experts help you craft a compelling, standout statement that captures program directors' attention.

What is a Supplemental ERAS application?

It is a short application containing questions to incorporate personal preferences into the ERAS application. The deadline for submission for Supplemental ERAS is around two weeks before the ERAS Application. Sections include five meaningful experiences, three geographical preferences, and urban or rural preferences. Program Signalling is arguably the most important part of the Supplemental ERAS application, with the number of signals varying with the specialty you apply to. The signals are a way to convey your interest in the program and to be recognized in a sea of applicants.

Check our blog on the supplemental ERAS application here.

Need our experts to edit your supplemental ERAS? Don’t waste time and sign up now!

Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

LOR is a document obtained from your attending/ superior/ mentor after working with them during an elective/ clinical rotation/ research rotation. It is meant to describe your qualities and skills professionally and is a crucial part of your application. You can upload many LORs into your ERAS application but can assign a maximum of three or four to residency programs. In addition, waiving your right to see the LOR increases its credibility. We recommend you use LORs from the US from people who know you well and can speak up regarding your strengths and why should programs choose you.

Check out our video about letters of recommendation here.

Interviews season

When a residency program finds your application attractive, they will offer you an interview. Interview season spans from the beginning of October to early February. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most of these interviews have occurred on a virtual platform. This provides the advantage of saving thousands of dollars on traveling and allows accepting more interviews. However, the disadvantage of virtual interviews is that you cannot get a natural feel of the program as you would if you were to visit in person.

Ace your residency interview with our personalized one-on-one interview preparation services! Build confidence and impress program directors with expert guidance, practice, and tailored feedback.

Rank Order List (ROL)

The ROL is certified on the R3 system on the NRMP website during the one-month ROL window. You can rank some or all of the programs you interviewed at. It is important to remember that the ROL can be changed after certifying but must be re-certified once a change is made. Also, by certifying the ROL, you agree to the binding contract of the NRMP Match and accept the residency position you Match into. You will automatically participate in SOAP if you have not received any interview invites or certified a ROL.

Match Week

Around mid-March, you will get to know if you have Matched or not on the Monday of Match Week. The Match could be a full or a partial Match (for residencies with a prelim or transitional year). For those who do not Match, the next three days will be spent in SOAP, attending interviews and accepting offers. Then, on the Friday of Match Week, all applicants will know where they have Matched.

This concludes your tenacious journey to Match Day! I hope this blog helps you succeed through this arduous journey and achieve the Match of your dreams!

By Dr.Vikyath Satish and Malke Asaad

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How to Find Research Opportunities as a Medical Student

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How to Find Research Opportunities as a Medical Student

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I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my team to help you with your Research, click here.

In this blog, we delve into the various avenues to find research opportunities as a medical student and learn how to effectively get involved in research while in medical school.

Why research is important for medical students?

Participating in research offers significant benefits for medical students, both in terms of personal development and career prospects. Involvement in clinical or basic science research can strengthen a student’s CV, providing a competitive edge during residency applications.

By working on research projects, students can build a network of professional connections, including valuable mentorship relationships with experienced researchers. These connections not only offer guidance and support but can also lead to new opportunities within the research community. Overall, research engagement is a vital aspect of medical education, providing students with the skills and experiences necessary for a successful medical career.

How can I find research opportunities as a medical student?

1. Connecting with faculty members and mentors
2. Reaching out to people online for online research opportunities

3. Reaching out to well-published residents
4. Applying for summer research programs and internships:
5. Joining research-focused student organizations and interest groups:
6. Exploring local, national, and international research conferences:
7. Utilizing university resources and research centers:

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1. Connecting with faculty members and mentors:

Establishing relationships with faculty members and experienced researchers is crucial for medical students seeking research opportunities. These professionals can offer guidance on selecting research projects, identifying relevant resources, and navigating the complexities of medical research.  

Building strong connections with potential mentors can lead to valuable mentorship matches, providing long-term support and advice throughout a student’s medical career.  

To connect with faculty members and mentors, students can attend department seminars, participate in research-focused events, or reach out directly via email or in-person meetings. By fostering these relationships, medical students can tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise of experienced professionals, increasing their chances of success in research endeavors. 

How to find research positions in the US

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to reach out to research mentors, email and CV templates, who is the best mentor, and what is the best research position, check out our course on how to find research positions in the US

2. Reaching out to people online for online research opportunities:

As remote work and online collaboration become increasingly prevalent, medical students have the opportunity to expand their research horizons through virtual means. By exploring online platforms, forums, and social media, students can connect with researchers from around the world and discover virtual research opportunities in various fields, such as clinical research or basic science research.  

This approach allows students to engage in research projects beyond the confines of their local institutions, broadening their perspectives and gaining diverse experiences. To maximize these online opportunities, students should actively participate in relevant online communities, join webinars or virtual conferences, and network with researchers via social media channels like LinkedIn or Twitter. By leveraging the power of the internet, medical students can access a vast array of research opportunities and collaborate with experts in their chosen fields. 

For more info, check out our blog on how to do remote online research.

3. Reaching out to well-published residents:

Connecting with residents who have a strong track record of publications in medical research can offer valuable insights and guidance for medical students looking to get involved in research. These residents have firsthand experience in navigating the research landscape and can provide advice on identifying research projects, mentorship matches, and strategies for successful collaborations. Furthermore, they can share tips on manuscript preparation, submission, and the peer-review process. By networking with well-published residents, medical students can learn from their experiences, gain access to potential research opportunities, and develop skills that will benefit them in their medical careers. 

4. Applying for summer research programs and internships:

Many institutions offer summer research programs and internships that provide medical students with hands-on experience in their chosen fields. These opportunities can be invaluable for building a strong CV. 

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Make sure you have the research knowledge before you reach out to mentors or join a summer internship. That’s how you impress your mentors! Our Systematic Review Premium Bundle covers all our research courses in one package.

5. Joining research-focused student organizations and interest groups

Becoming involved in student-led research organizations can help medical students connect with like-minded peers and gain access to research projects. 

6. Exploring local, national, and international research conferences:

Attending research conferences offers opportunities to network with professionals, learn about cutting-edge research, and even present your own work. These events can lead to potential collaborations and research partnerships.

Not sure how to create a research poster? Check out our free blog on
how to prepare a scientific poster.

7. Utilizing university resources and research centers:

For medical students seeking research opportunities, universities and medical schools offer a wealth of resources through their dedicated research centers and facilities.  

Medical students can tap into these resources by exploring the research centers’ websites, attending seminars or workshops, and connecting with center staff or faculty members.  

Additionally, many universities provide research support services, such as grant writing assistance, statistical consulting, and access to cutting-edge technology or equipment. By leveraging these resources, medical students can enhance their research experience and build a strong CV when applying to residency.  

In conclusion, engaging in research as a medical student opens doors to personal growth, valuable mentorships, and a competitive edge in your medical career. By utilizing university resources, networking with mentors, and exploring online opportunities, you can actively contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge and shape the future of healthcare. Embrace the journey and make the most of the research experiences available to you.

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Clear up any doubts you have about the residency application process and maximize your chances of Matching at your Dream Specialty!

CV Editing

Our editing goes beyond language and grammar corrections to structural editing and content advising based on your personal story and achievement.
Interview Preparation
The best way to learn something is to do it. That’s why we divide our one-hour interview preparation sessions into two parts. The first half of the session would be a mock interview as if you are interviewing with a program while the second half would provide you with feedback on your performance.

Research Course

The research course will teach you how to take a research project from idea to publication and in which I will share my 3-year experience of clinical research in which I had over 100 publications and 80 presentations.

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Mastering Medical Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Study Designs for Medical Students

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Mastering Medical Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Study Designs for Medical Students

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