How to write a physician CV

This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com.

Academic and education environments tend to use the word curriculum vitae, or CV, more frequently than resume. But, a CV’s purpose is the same: to get you a job.

Although a CV generally contains more information than a standard resume, the keys to a successful CV are still brevity and a stellar list of accomplishments.

You may wish to group some of these together in broader categories. After contact information, a physician’s CV should include:

  • Education (School Name, School Location, Degree Earned, Graduation Dates)
  • Academic Honors/Activities/Leadership Positions
  • Research
  • Internships/Clinics/Residencies/Fellowships (Employer Name, Employer Location, Specialty Area, Dates)
  • Practice Experience (Name of Practice/Hospital, Location, Title, Type of Practice, Brief Description)
  • Specialty Area
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Professional Memberships
  • Licensure/Board Certification
  • Other Work Experience (Employer Name, Employer Location, Title, Dates of Employment, Brief Job Description)
  • Professional Awards/Honors
  • Language Skills

Also, if you’re a foreign medical graduate, list your citizenship/visa status. Being forthcoming shows a potential employer that you are honest and, if necessary, ready to make the visa process as smooth as possible for them.

Highlight your training, experience, and qualifications 

Within categories, a reverse chronological format for the medical CV is standard. For residents, the most prominent category should be medical education. List the name of your medical school, its location (city and state or country), your degree, and year of completion. Include as much detail as possible. Also list internships, with area of specialization, facility, location, and year of completion. Include the same information for residencies and fellowships.

As in a resume, outline your employment history in reverse chronological order. Experts say if you must clarify any career or practice changes, put that information briefly in the cover letter, rather than the CV.

Under “Certification” you may list boards and national examinations taken, with dates. “Licensure” of course includes the states in which you currently hold a license to practice medicine.

It’s acceptable to list references: at least three and no more than six, with name, title, and contact information.

Formatting

Try to keep your CV to three pages. If you run out of space, it’s okay to alert reviewers to your publications, research grants, continuing medical education, and presentations with a line stating “additional information (or qualifications) available upon request.”

Before you send it, double-check for accuracy: CV errors may eliminate you from consideration. And although it may be tempting, don’t inflate your CV. The Society for Human Resource Management found in a survey that as many as 60 percent of human resource professionals discover “inaccuracies” within the resumes that they review.

To get you started, here is model outline of a physician CV, courtesy of the American College of Physicians.

Eve Harris is a writer, Careers by KevinMD.com.

Find jobs at Careers by KevinMD.com. Search thousands of physician, PA, NP, and CRNA jobs now.

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