How to Write a Medical CV (Plus Tips, Template, and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 5, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: How to Write a CV for a Job Application: Step by Step Guide

A curriculum vitae (CV) provides an overview of a career in academia, medicine, teaching, and research. In the field of medicine, a CV attracts hiring managers by outlining a candidate's education, training, and research accomplishments. Understanding how to write a CV for positions in medicine can help you secure an interview and build this document for future applications. In this article, we define a medical CV, review how to write this document, outline some tips, and read a template and an example of a CV in the medical field.

What is a medical CV?

A medical CV allows you to apply for positions by summarizing your education, research experience, awards, publications, skills, and extracurricular experience relevant to medicine. It also includes professional presentations, professional memberships, and any languages spoken. Medical professionals may use the information from their medical program application materials to update their CVs.

Related: How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) Template

How to write a medical CV

Medical professionals may maintain a CV to add new information, starting with experience and achievements when they were students. Starting to develop a CV early in your career ensures that you keep track of these details over time and can customize the document when applying for specific jobs. You can follow these steps to write your CV:

1. Highlight contact information

Use your name as the heading on your CV and include your e-mail address and phone number. If your CV is multiple pages, consider repeating these contact details on each page. This technique allows hiring managers to find out how to reach you for an interview or to ask questions about your medical qualifications and background.

Related: Guide to Writing a Professional CV (With Steps)

2. Outline your education

List postsecondary programs you complete and those in progress by specifying the degree or diploma title, name of the educational institution, its location, and the year of graduation. Following this order, your CV may begin with your degrees and diplomas before you list other educational achievements. You may note any disruptions in your studies for personal leave or other reasons.

3. Include certifications and training

Include professional training beyond postgraduate experiences that are relevant to medicine. These may include training by medical or health care organizations, universities, or institutes. For example, some medical professionals have additional training in health specialist skills, negotiation and conflict management, change management, and leadership.

Related: How Long Should a CV Be? (Definition and Advantages)

4. List work experience

Include your relevant professional experience relating to your field and specialization. Include the title of your job, dates of employment, details of your responsibilities, and any quantifiable achievements. You may include committee membership or chairperson duties or managerial, clinical, and administrative tasks.

5. Include publications and presentations

You may have several publications and presentations in your field from your time at university or since graduation. Consider separating publications by categories, such as peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and case studies. List them with the most recent first and use the appropriate referencing style.

This list may also include publications currently under development and those from conferences. You may take part in scientific meetings and symposiums by giving presentations about medical cases or research. This section of your CV shows the highlights of your contributions to your medical field.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Presentation Design (With Tips)

6. Note teaching experience

Many medical professionals teach during their university education or as part of clinical appointments. For example, teaching is often part of a physician's responsibilities when they work at an academic health science centre. List any courses you taught by including their names and the postsecondary institution where you worked. You might also choose to summarize the primary topic of the course and how many semesters you taught.

7. Include relevant skills

Soft skills and hard skills show that you have comprehensive training and understand their importance in the medical field. List three to five key skills that the employer may seek in the person they hire for the role. Consider adding transferrable skills that relate to clinical responsibilities, including leadership, problem solving, and decision making.

Related: What's the Difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

8. Describe awards and honours

Awards may include academic achievements, workplace or teaching recognition, and fellowships. This section of your CV may include academic awards from any stage of your postsecondary education and demonstrate your commitment to the field. This section can also include career recognition from peers or colleagues.

9. Add professional association memberships

List the professional organizations you belong to and any volunteer leadership roles you held as part of those memberships. Include the name of the organization and the dates of your membership. Board or committee service in a professional medical organization is also suitable for this section of your CV.

Tips for writing a CV

Here are some tips to consider while writing your CV for a medical position:

Customize for each job

Review each job posting to customize your CV. Consider developing a template with all your details and then delete or expand certain sections for a particular job application. You can include brief comments about skills and experience in your CV that relate to the specific job and then elaborate on them in your cover letter.

Related: How to Use Keywords in Job Applications (Plus Tips)

Reference names from the field

It may be helpful for a hiring manager to see the names of any professors, physicians, or other medical professionals you have in your network. For example, you may include residency experience on your CV and specify some doctors you worked closely with during that time. Alternatively, you may have earned an advanced degree with your thesis under the supervision of a well-known professor.

Pay attention to accuracy

Working in medicine demands attention to detail and you securing a position starts with a prospective employer reading an accurate CV. Review the dates of your experience and education, job titles, and the spelling of any person or organization's names. This level of professionalism tells hiring managers that you value getting the details right and strive for a high level of quality in your work.

Use known formatting

Consistency in formatting allows hiring managers to read your CV while focusing on your background and skills. Choose a known font and be consistent with the use of bold, capitals, and italics in your headings. Use the standard margin size in your word processing software to leave enough white space on each page to increase readability.

Related: How to Write Effective CV Headings: 5 Steps with Examples

CV template for a medical professional

When organizing your CV, consider using the following template:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or degrees]

[Phone number] | [E-mail address] | [City], [Province or territory]

Education

[Degree], [Major] | [Date of graduation]
[Name of School or University]

Certifications and training

[Certification Name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Publications

  • [Last name], [First initial]. "[name of article or book]," [name of journal or publication,] [date], [page number]

  • [Last name], [First initial]. "[name of article or book]," [name of journal or publication,] [date], [page number]

Experience

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Health care organization name] | [City], [Province or territory]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Health care organization name] | [City], [Province or territory]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Skills

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Awards and honours

  • [Date], [award name], [awarding organization]

Professional memberships

  • [Organization name], [membership dates]

CV example for a medical professional

Here's an example of what a CV can look like:

Janet Smith 123-456-7890 | janet.smith@email.edu | Toronto, Ontario

Education
Doctor of Medicine, 2017
City University, Toronto, Ontario

BSc. in Medical Technology, 2012
City University, Toronto, Ontario

Certifications and training

Change management: Successful planning and implementation | 2018
National Medical Association

Physician Management Institute Leadership Training Program | 2017
National Medical Association

Certification of Special Competence in Emergency Medicine | 2015
College of Emergency Medicine

Experience

Attending Physician - Emergency medicine | August 2017–Current
City Hospital | Toronto, Ontario

  • Diagnose, treat, and manage acute life or limb-threatening conditions

  • Care for acutely ill and injured patients of all ages

  • Interpret diagnostic tests and perform advanced life-saving procedures

Researcher | February 2015–August 2017
National Medicine Centre | Toronto, Ontario

  • Conducted studies entitled "Emergency medicine in elderly patients" in collaboration with Dr. Jones

  • Responsible for the primary data analysis and manuscript writing of three emergency medicine studies focused on environmental factors related to trauma (see publications section)

Publications

  • Smith, J., "Environmental Factors for Trauma Care, Part III," Journal of Emergency Trauma, 2021: 46-115

  • Smith, J., "Environmental Factors for Trauma Care, Part II," Journal of Emergency Trauma, 2019: 198-250

  • Smith, J., "Environmental Factors for Trauma Care, Part I," Journal of Emergency Trauma, 2017: 112-190

Skills

Decision making | Problem solving | Leadership and management | Trauma resuscitation | Pediatric advanced life support

Awards and Honours

  • 2018 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award, City Hospital

  • 2016 Award for Research Excellence, National Medicine Centre


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