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How to Write a Physician Curriculum Vitae

Recruiters at Kendall & Davis receive and peruse thousands of physician CVs every year, and while there is no one formula for creating a professional medical CV, there are some general rules to follow. These include:

Length:

Try to keep the entire compilation from three to five pages. If you have room, add "publications, research grants, continuing medical education and additional information available upon request" at the end of the document.

Organizing your CV:

Contact Information:

You should begin with your full name, current and/or permanent address, all contact numbers (such as cell phone, work phone, pager and fax) and your email address.

Education:

To maintain an organized CV, group your educational and professional highlights into categories. You can begin with your medical education (this will be the most prominent category for residents). List the name of your medical school, its location (city and state), your degree and year of completion. Be as detailed as possible regarding your program and double check all dates for accuracy- the recruiter will do so as well and any errors may eliminate you from consideration for a possible opportunity. Additionally, this category should include any internships with area of specialization, facility, location and year of completion (this information is also applicable to residencies and fellowships). If you are still in a program list the beginning date as well as anticipated date of completion. Provide information regarding undergraduate degrees at the end of this category and avoid elaboration that goes beyond dates, major area of study and grade point average.

Employment history:

The employment history section should be begin with your current or last position with your job title/status (for example, staff physician), admitting facilities, the practice and contact and location information. Describe your clinical and office-related responsibilities and point out the types of procedures that you performed. Outline your employment history beginning with your most recent position, listing each practice since completing medical school. If you worked on a locum tenens basis, be sure to list each practice setting and the staffing firm responsible for placing you in the position. It is important to include all positions—even those you left under less than desirable circumstances. Recruiters, again, will dig into any discrepancies they find.

Several categories require an uncomplicated accounting of paperwork. For example, certification is a simple listing of all Boards and national examinations taken, with dates. Licensure includes the states in which you currently hold a license to practice medicine.

References:

You may indicate that references are “available upon request” or you may list several references. If you choose to list references, select at least three but no more than six professionals with their name, title and contact information.

Final Thoughts:

Remember that your CV is a brief and targeted document so try to avoid personal information. This includes hobbies and other personal matters that will not help direct attention towards your educational and professional record.

One more word of advice: the key to a successful CV is brevity and a compelling list of accomplishments. The cover letter allows you the space to explain any past issues or problems, and their resolution so there is no need to include this in your CV.