Creating A Medical CV (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 22, 2020
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The curriculum vitae, more commonly known as a CV, is a comprehensive document that outshines a resume. It elaborates further, going beyond education and work experience to list achievements, awards, honors, and more. CVs can be as short as two pages or as long as twelve pages depending on your professional accomplishments.

CV’s are popular among academics. Typically, graduate students will spend time putting their work up for publication and establishing credentials and accomplishments during their post-grad years. Although having a degree is an important accomplishment on its own, higher-education establishments will often look at where the applicant has been published.

This document is used in various other places, including professionals in academia, medicine, teaching, and research. CVs should continuously be updated as an individual’s career progresses.

How Does a CV Differ From a Resume?

CV’s and resumes are used for different purposes. The most significant difference is the length of these two documents. The CV is static and should not be tailored or altered to fit different positions like a resume would be. Instead, the CV is a detailed overview of the accomplishments and credentials you’ve built in your life, especially if they apply to the realm of academia.

A young grad student’s CV will differ wildly from a sixth-year graduate student who may be getting ready to graduate. The document should only change as your accomplishments grow when you publish something or you receive an award. Meanwhile, your resume should be updated every time you gain a new skill, start a new job, or are applying for a job opportunity.

Why Is a Medical CV Different?

A medical curriculum vitae differs from a regular CV in that it is used specifically for roles within medicine. This type of document will help to distinguish candidates applying for various positions within the medical field.

Although many medical jobs may be applied for online without the need for a CV, it’s important to have this document when applying for surgical training, consulting posts, general practice training, portfolio assessments, and grants.

Having one place to find all of your up-to-date achievements and skills will help identify which areas might require more training or areas where you are skilled enough to provide value in the role you’re applying for.

The medical CV does not have a required length, although they tend to be between 2-3 pages. However, if you are applying with an academic CV, this may be longer. In this instance, you’ll want to include research and publications where applicable.

How to Write a Medical CV

An ideal CV will highlight the points and accomplishments that are most important for the position or career you’re hoping to enter or apply for. This should conform to standard conventions within the specific discipline, so be sure to do your research on examples of CVs from others who work in your field.

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However, there are additional details you can choose to include or leave out, depending on the jobs you are interested in and what your strengths and weaknesses may be. The stronger and more impressive items should also be placed at the beginning of your CV. Don’t forget to include the information listed below:

  • Personal details. Include your full legal name on your CV. This is important, especially if you have ever changed your name. It allows your prospective employers to trace and verify all of the information listed on your CV. This portion should include your abbreviated qualifications as well, such as MBBS or BSc.

    It’s essential to ensure these contact details are professional and not personal. Additionally, consider including your general medical council number and medical defense numbers if you have already been registered.

  • Contact information. Similar to a resume, your prospective employer needs a way to contact you. Provide your current address, phone number, and email address for an inbox you check frequently.

  • Career statement. Your career statement does not need to be lengthy, but it’s a useful way to highlight your suitability for the role you’re applying for. This space can be used to state your most relevant experience and abilities and outline the goals you have for your professional career.

  • Education. Your education should be listed before anything else, with your most recent at the top. List the name of the institution you attended, the degree you obtained, as well as any associated dates.

    For university degrees, make sure you include relevant details for any special study areas or electives. You can also include qualifications that you gained during your time at school, like GCSEs and A-levels. For these, include a short summary that has the institution, associated dates, as well as your grades.

  • Certifications and Licensures. Arguably the most critical piece of your CV, list your certifications and licensures with any associated dates of completion. If you are in the process of obtaining a certification or license, list where you are in the process.

  • Postgraduate training. All training that has been completed should be listed here, including internships, residencies, and fellowships. Include the name of the institution where this training was completed as well as the associated dates. Like education, your most recent training should appear first.

  • Practice and training experience. Similar to postgraduate training, ensure you list your recent practice experience first and any information necessary to explain your experience adequately. This can include both academic and professional appointments, fellowships, and any other unique training experience.

  • Research and publications. A key part of your CV is to list your research and published works. Cite any presentations, publications, or research that you have written and prepared both on your own or jointly.

  • Volunteer work. If you have any volunteer work that applies to the medical job at hand, you can add this to your CV. However, a non-medical experience like charity work or general volunteer work can also benefit your application. Be sure to articulate what you believe you have gained from these experiences.

  • Accomplishments. Accomplishments may vary widely, but be sure to include results from the committee where you served, projects you managed, clinical and non-clinical administrative skills, managerial skills, or other relevant details in this section.

  • Society memberships. If you belong to a relevant society, include this on your CV, including any responsibilities or leadership positions you may currently or have historically held.

  • References. Include both personal and professional references on your CV. These individuals should be listed by name, with their contact information. They should be able to speak to your work ethic, your skills, and your personality in recent experience.

    Inform those you list as references that you’ll be including them on your CV. Be sure to include at least two references. If you don’t feel comfortable listing names and contact details directly on the CV, it’s appropriate to state “available upon request.”

If there are other relevant sections that you feel may be necessary, you can add them. However, this is a comprehensive list of things you should consider including. Remember, your CV is not the place to discuss things such as compensation, previous job exits, personal details, exam scores, or any references to your face, religion, age, or similar.

Tips for Writing a Medical CV

Due to the nature of the CV and its uses, there are a few different considerations to take that you might not take when creating a resume:

  • Understand the specification. Before you begin writing your CV, be sure you understand exactly what the role or person specification is looking for. Ensure that the potential employer can look at your CV and immediately take away which role you are applying for.

  • Make an immediate impact. Good presentation is the most important thing on your CV. You should consider printing on a nicer paper quality for immediate impact. Print your CV in a legible font like 12-point Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Ensure you have a clear, clean layout with even spacing, bullet points, and correct spelling and grammar.

  • Use writing style to your advantage. The style of writing for a CV should be short and succinct while remaining professional. Use simple sentences and active words.

  • Be honest. Don’t exaggerate information on your CV, and certainly do not lie about accomplishments. Do not include everything you’ve ever accomplished, either. Ensure what you include in your CV is relevant to your career goals. If removing these things makes you nervous, remember you can always mention them during your interview.

Final Thoughts

Remember, your CV is the first impression your employer has of you, so be sure to take the time to look it over in detail before you submit your application. It’s a good idea to see if a friend or colleague (ideally someone in your field) can look over it for you.

Having a second pair of eyes on something this important can help you catch mistakes you may have overlooked. They can also ask you questions that may help you find areas that might not be as clear to the reader as they are to you.

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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