Preparing a Medical CV

A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume has two primary purposes: to get you shortlisted for the position, and to provide discussion points for the interview.

Start by listing your contact details: your full name (make sure it matches your registration name); address (street, city, province, postal code); telephone and/or mobile phone; email address.

Professional objective

This section conveys your clinical, research, teaching, or academic ambitions. Your career goals are helpful in projecting a proactive image and a good career objective can prompt employers to read your CV in a more positive light.

Tailor this section to the job that you are applying for. Mention any special interests that you are interested in developing (ensure it will be possible in the position that you are applying for); list service development that you want to become involved in; your academic ambitions (research projects, teaching involvement, and at what level); and your managerial goals.

Qualifications

Write a concise list of your qualifications, starting with your postgraduate training (rotations completed; institution, city, country; date range), medical degree, and undergraduate degrees. List all credentials, including completion dates, such as LMCC, FRCPC, CCFP, CCFP-EM, ACSL, ATLS, PALS, etc.

Educational/professional honours and awards

Include the date of the awards, the granting organization, and the purpose. You may need to repeat some of this information later. Including a prize, for example, on the first page will create a good impression; repeating it later on will place it into context.

Work experience - clinical, research and volunteer

List the dates (month and year), job title, and specialty/subspecialty, hospital/employer name/group practice, name of supervisor, residency training posts, and electives. Under each heading, describe your experience and proficiency.

Managerial experience

This should include any experience with managing people and resources, including:

  • leading projects such as research.
  • designing and implementing teaching programs.
  • representing colleagues on committees e.g. team meetings.
  • implementing new guidelines.
  • recruiting (although sitting on interview panels is not really a managerial activity).

You may wish to include experience outside of medicine. If so, keep it short and at the end of your CV, or divide this section into medical and non-medical.

Teaching experience

Include all formal and informal teaching. Mention the type of audiences that you have taught (e.g. peers, nurses, GPs) as well as some of the key topics. Employers will be looking for an awareness of a range of teaching methods so list the methods that you used, such as bedside teaching, formal lectures, informal/formal supervision, videos, etc. List any formal training received and courses attended. If patient education is a large part of your job, include it in this section of your CV.

Scientific or academic research, laboratory experience, and related skills

Indicate the year of each project, the title of your research, and a short description of your role.

Publications

The list should start with the title, authors (note your ranking on the authors’ list), and relevant dates. Place the year in the left margin and the rest of the information on the right; or present each element on a different line for maximum readability. You could also separate your publications by category e.g. peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, case reports, etc.

If you have a lot of publications - books, papers, thesis/dissertation - consider skipping some of the less interesting papers, abstracts, or cases. Your CV is designed to get you shortlisted; it’s not a complete biography.

Academic or professional presentations

List the year and the month of the publication, the title, and the authors. Prizes or awards should be included under this heading. If you have made a lot of presentations, list them by type such as international, national, provincial.

Courses and meetings attended

If you are a resident, list these after your clinical experience. For each course, include the date, title, and organizing institution (not the place that where the training took place). Include management, research, and teaching courses as well as clinical ones but leave out courses which relate to exam preparation.

Technical and specialized computer skills

Include relevant software programs such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, but don’t mention skills that you have limited experience with. Include all specialist software (such as statistics packages, reference managers) and databases that you search for literature.

Languages

List all languages that you speak and write as well as your fluency e.g. German - basic, French - fluent. If you speak several dialects, refer to them as a group such as “fluent in seven Indian dialects.”

Interests

Keep this section short and only include information that supports your career objective. Mention volunteer work and list your hobbies/extracurricular activities. Include your community involvement and mention travel/cultural experiences, striking a balance between single and group activities.

References

You can state “References available upon request” or list three references. Bring a list of your references to the interview, including their full name, title, telephone number, and email address. Remember that references might be checked without your permission.

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