Writing a Medical CV That is Flawless

CV for physicians
Medical Doctor Associates
December 07, 2018 00:17 AM (GMT-04:00)
Locum Tenens Tips

The seasoned physician can attest to having spent decades sculpting and refining a medical curriculum vitae. However, what if you are a resident or Fellow just embarking on your medical career? How can you build a flawless medical CV?

The perfect medical CV will be a living, evolving document that accurately represents your background and skills while reflecting your unique personality and professional interests. If composing a medical CV feels like a burden or chore, think of it as sculpting a personalized template on which to record your history and accomplishments. That way, it can be quite rewarding to see what you have done and to take note of where you are headed! Here are some CV tips, essential components and helpful resources to get you started.

Dos and Don’ts When Writing Your Medical CV:


  • Begin by brainstorming everything you’ve ever accomplished related to medicine
  • Separate your accomplishments into logical categories, such as education, training and work history
  • Your education history should include the name, city, month and year of attendance for each program
  • Organize information in reverse chronological order within each category
  • Indicate dates using month/year format
  • Account for any gaps in employment (most facilities need an explanation for gaps longer than three months)
  • Describe your accomplishments in past-tense, action verbs
  • Opt for clean, clear formatting and a uniform font such as Times New Roman or Arial
  • Use bullets to avoid overwhelming the reader with large blocks of text
  • Revisit your CV for each position you are interested in and adjust as appropriate
  • Have several people proofread your CV


  • Embellish or fabricate information
  • Use humor, brag, or be overly promotional
  • Make any errors in grammar, spelling, or formatting
  • Waste space with a cover page or index
  • Include information about whether you have a spouse or children
  • Ramble on for pages – on average, CVs range from 3-8 pages
  • Use colored paper for printing your CV – stick with white or neutral
  • Try to write a CV alone – if writing is not your strong suit, use outside resources

What to Include in Your Medical CV

General Information: name, address, phone number, email address
Education: colleges, degrees, dates, locations
Licensure and Board Certifications: name, date, numbers (indicate which licenses are active)
Relevant Experience: positions, location, title, dates, description of work
Other Experience: positions, military service, volunteer work, etc.
Languages: primary and secondary languages, level of fluency
References: if requested, include photocopies of reference letters or contact information
Photo: only if requested
Professional Certifications: name, organization, dates
Memberships: professional and society, dates, offices held, duties
Awards and Honors: name, organization, dates
Publications and academic research: authors, name, journal, dates
Presentations: at national or international meetings, dates, names, location, topics
Interests: clinical and research interests
Grants: name, organization, purpose, dates
Bibliography: list of publications

Resources for Building Your Medical CV

If you know that writing is not your forte or loathe the idea of creating a CV, you can always hire a company to help. However, you are the number one expert on YOU – and potential employers want to see a CV that captures your uniqueness. Capitalizing on your resources can help:

  • Get a friend, colleague, mentor or family member to assist
  • Keep an ongoing list of when assignments begin and end, and be sure to record both the month and year
  • Contact the career resource center at your alma mater
  • Search online for several sample medical CVs and then mix and match to create your template
  • Visit the healthcare facility’s website to learn about their culture, clinical focus, and needs
  • Reach out to your seniors to ask about their experience or opinion
  • Read the useful medical CV guides and see sample medical CVs at:
  • Ask your recruiter or staffing expert for feedback and tips

Remember that your CV will be one of many. Potential employers may have only minutes to review candidates. Your CV must rise to the top of the pile so that you can be matched with the position that is right for you.

And if you are ready to discover your ideal locum tenens assignment, our MDA recruiters are here for you. Call 1.800.780.3500 to speak with us or find the perfect locum tenens assignment online.

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