The ultimate guide to writing a cover letter as a medical doctor
As a medical doctor, you have completed years of academic training and education to earn your doctoral degree and medical license. To earn a job, however, you will also need a well-written cover letter that captures your area of expertise, key skills, and accomplishments.
In this guide, we will teach you 5 key steps for writing a fantastic cover letter as a medical doctor. Keep reading to learn all about:
- Formatting your medical doctor cover letter header & headline
- Tailoring the content of your medical doctor cover letter
- Writing an attention-grabbing introduction as a medical doctor
- Showcasing your skills and accomplishments as a medical doctor
- Concluding your cover letter with a memorable closing statement
1. Formatting your medical doctor cover letter header & headline
Always begin your cover letter by creating a well-formatted header and headline.
Adding a header and headline to your letter gives the document structure, visual appeal, and visual flow. While it should not be too fancy or decorative, including larger and bolded fonts helps make your name and information stand out in the minds of employers.
First up is your cover letter header, which should include all the vital identifying information such as:
- Your name, honorific, and professional title
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the hospital or medical facility you are applying to
- The address of the hospital or medical facility
Here is an example of a well-formatted medical doctor header
Dr. Kate Mills, M.D.
(123) 456-7890 | email@example.com | linkedin.com/in/kate-mills
To: Unity Hospital & E.R.
Medical Doctors Department
1234 Street Address
Austin, TX, 73301
Directly after your header is your cover letter headline, which should include:
- A keyword related to the position
- A number or trigger word that makes the headline more compelling
- A descriptive adjective and/or verb
- A promise that shows the employer you will talk about their company specifically
Here is an example of an effective headline from a medical doctor’s cover letter, followed by a quick breakdown of each component
How My 15 Years of Specialized Experience as a Family Doctor Will Benefit Your Practice
Trigger Word/Number: 15 Years of Experience
Keyword: Family Doctor
Adjective/Verb: Specialized, Benefit
Promise: Your Practice
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2. Tailoring the content of your medical doctor cover letter
When applying for a position as a medical doctor, chances are that you will be up against some tough competition. To give your cover letter a more competitive edge that stands out to employers, you need to tailor the content of your letter to the specific job you are applying to.
For a cover letter to be tailored in this way, you have to thoroughly research the hospital or medical facility, using the information you uncover to add greater context and specificity to your letter.
Look for information such as:
- Current programs, research, or projects the institution is involved in
- Specialized medical care the institution offers
- Which staff member at the institution will review your cover letter
This last piece of information will be used to create a personalized greeting– a type of greeting that addresses a specific person by name and lets the employer know right off the bat the level of research you have completed.
Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings
- Dear Mrs. Jill Jones
- Dear Hospital Administrator Jill Jones,
- Dear Mrs. Jill Jones & the Medical Team,
3. Writing an attention-grabbing introduction as a medical doctor
While your cover letter greeting informs the employer of your completed due diligence, your introduction should quickly and concisely explain why you are applying for this position. A strong introductory paragraph for a medical doctor’s cover letter will include:
- A brief overview of your professional history, years of experience, and specializations
- A statement on your academic qualifications
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible) – including a mutual acquaintance helps to build rapport, credibility, and trust with an employer.
Pro Tip: If you do not have a mutual acquaintance, use a professional platform like LinkedIn to expand your network and connect with relevant employees or associates. Additionally, for medical positions, familiarizing yourself with the currently employed doctors and their research can help as well.
Here is an example of a well-written medical doctor cover letter introduction
Dear Hospital Administrator Jill Jones,
I am a neuro physician with an M.D. from Stanford University. With more than 18 years of experience in pediatric neurology, I know I can fulfil the requirements of this role to the utmost satisfaction of your team and patients. My former university colleague and friend, Dr. Joe King, is a current physician in your pediatrics department and recommended I apply for this opening.
4. Showcasing your skills and accomplishments as a medical doctor
Next up are the body paragraphs of your cover letter.
As a medical doctor, it is crucial to not just list your key skills and accomplishments in the field but to provide specific and quantifiable context. This can include how you have applied your skills in the past or providing exact data associated with an accomplishment.
Additionally, most hospitals or medical facilities will require resident physicians to publish research. As such, you should discuss any of your relevant research or research plans you have if accepted for the position.
Here are 6 great skills to describe in a medical doctor’s cover letter
- Performing diagnostic tests
- Specialized care (neurology, pediatrics, gynecology, etc.)
- Surgical procedures
- Patient consultations and education
- Knowledge of medical specialists (to recommend patients to if needed)
- Proper patient history documentation
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a medical doctor cover letter
As a physician at [Former Employer], I treated more than 35 lung cancer patients annually, administering medications and overseeing treatment plans. Of my 35 patients, an average of 65% entered into remission, and an average of 75% of terminal patients reported a higher quality of life compared to patient reports from other nearby institutions.
5. Concluding your cover letter with a memorable closing statement
To finalize your medical doctor cover letter, you need to write a memorable closing statement that encourages the employer to contact you. This conclusion should include:
- An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
- How and when you can be contacted
- When you plan to reach back out
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a good closing statement from a medical doctor’s cover letter
I am incredibly passionate about this field and feel certain I can bring to your hospital the level of specialized expertise needed to thrive. I would love to connect within the next week and am available any weekday between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best way to reach me is at (123) 456-7890. I look forward to hearing from you and will reach back out next Friday if I have not yet heard back.
If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.