The ultimate guide to writing a medical doctor resume

In this ultimate guide to writing a resume for a medical doctor, readers will learn all about the best formatting and writing options that will help land their dream job. This guide includes actionable advice and writing tips to help medical doctors create effective resumes.

After years of hard work and determination, you have finally earned your medical doctorate and are ready to enter the field. Alternatively, perhaps you are a seasoned medical professional looking for a new opportunity to further your career.

No matter what your situation is, you need a killer resume to showcase your medical expertise and experience. 

Welcome to the ultimate guide for writing a medical doctor resume. In this guide, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about writing a resume fit for a medical doctor. These include: 

  • Which resume format is best for a medical doctor?
  • How do you write an effective resume objective as a medical doctor?
  • What skills should a medical doctor include on a resume?
  • How should a medical doctor describe work experience on a resume?
  • How much educational history should a medical doctor put on a resume?
  • What additional sections should a medical doctor include on a resume? 

1. Which resume format is best for a medical doctor?

In lower-level medical jobs, the standard resume seen would typically be a reverse-chronological or functional format. However, when seeking a position as a doctor or physician, you will more than likely need to employ a Curriculum Vitae format. 

The Curriculum Vitae – or CV – is a long-form resume primarily used in the scientific and academic fields. Clinical medicine falls within both the scientific and academic realms, making it the perfect companion for the CV. 

CVs are comprised of multiple pages and often contain many additional sections not included on a standard resume. 

Here is a basic breakdown of what a CV may include:

2. How do you write an effective resume objective as a medical doctor? 

If you are using the CV format, you typically will not include a standard summary or objective statement in your document.

Instead, these sentiments should be expanded upon and created into a cover letter that serves as an introduction to and overview of your CV. This cover letter will help create a positive first impression and allow you to clearly outline what value and strengths you bring as a medical doctor. 

What are the details you should strategically place within your cover letter?

  • A summary of your professional achievements
  • Interest in the community or geographic location of the medical organization
  • An overview of key skills and how they have been previously applied in your career
  • Your professional objectives and goals if you were to be given the position

3. What skills should a medical doctor include on a resume?

When describing your skills as a medical doctor, you should aim to be a bit more specific than you would on a standard resume for a lower-level job. 

5 best skills to include on a medical doctor CV

  • Assessing and interpreting lab results
  • Patient symptom assessment
  • Prescribing correct medications
  • Empathetic patient counseling
  • Specializations in specific conditions (cancer, Still’s disease, etc.) 

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4. How should a medical doctor describe work experience on a resume?

The work experience section for a medical doctor is one of the most important. 

Oftentimes, this section will bleed into the education section, given that medical students put in a vast amount of clinical hours to complete their degree programs. Of course, if you have more formal work experience in a salaried or contract position, this will only give your resume or CV more power. 

When describing previous work experiences, it is crucial to be highly detailed and place precise emphasis on your various accomplishments in that position. 

These descriptions should be meatier than those you might find on a standard, entry-level resume where are employers are simply looking for competency. As a medical doctor, your competency is the bare minimum – what makes you stand out is your commitment to the field of medicine and what you have been able to achieve for both the medical organization and your patients. 

Example work experience section for a medical doctor CV

Physician | Riverview Medical Facility

August 2018 to May 2021 | Austin, TX

  • Developed customized treatment plans for patients with diabetes and chronic illnesses with specific resources for alternative treatments and educational resources. Maintained ongoing treatment plans for more than 50 patients.  
  • Increased patient retention by 35% through the implementation of a new digital platform that allows for patients to speak directly with physicians and assistants through a virtual network. 
  • Wrote and compiled notes on patient records, admissions, progress, and discharge summaries. Organized these notes into an easy-to-navigate database accessible remotely by all authorized staff members. 

5. How much educational history should a medical doctor put on a resume?

As a medical doctor, you have undergone years of training and education to get where you are – and this education is a qualification that does not go unnoticed. 

In fact, having a certain level of education is a prerequisite to becoming a medical doctor at all. The position is earned not just through work experience and achievement, but also through the completion of the highest level of academic education

As such, showcasing your entire educational history is often necessary on your resume or CV – especially if you graduated from a university of high esteem, such as Harvard Medical School or the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Though you want to include as much information regarding your educational credentials, you should still keep things brief when possible. For instance, there’s no need to list out your relevant coursework unless it pertains to a specific project, clinical practice, or other accomplishment you wish to highlight. 

6. What additional sections should a medical doctor include on a resume?

As we covered earlier, you will likely need to opt for a CV-style resume rather than the standard formats used for entry-level positions. 

Depending on the type of medical position you seek, certain additional sections may come in handy on your CV. For example, if you are applying to a physician position where you have the opportunity to carry out research, you may want to include a section on your previous work and publications to help showcase your qualifications as a researcher as well as a doctor. 

Additionally, there are many awards and honors given within medical society. If you have earned any such awards or honors, creating a section where you list these can work wonders for giving you a greater competitive edge.

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead, College Recruiter, and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.

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