How to Write a Medical CV
A medical CV follows a different set of rules to a regular CV. While the usual format is 2 pages maximum, a medical specialist's CV can be much longer. It all really depends on the length of your career and whether you need to include absolutely every single training courses, publication, etc. You only need to include things that are relevant to what you are doing next.
A medical CV has a very clear structure which, although it varies slightly depending on which commentator is being read, should be adhered to. It is designed to encompass every aspect of a consultant's career, from clinical work through to teaching, research and presentations.
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Personal Information on a Medical CV
The Medical CV starts, naturally enough, with your personal details. This goes beyond your contact details. At the top of the page, present your name, contact address, telephone number and professional email address.
Adding your date of birth isn't necessary in the UK, due to anti-age discrimination laws - however, this CV is so comprehensive your age will probably be revealed anyway. Your nationality will probably be revealed in the same way. If work permits are a relevancy for you, then it's as well to mention in your Medical CV that you possess the relevant documents.
On Medical CVs, when you're applying for health jobs you need to include your GMC registration number, Specialist Register entry date and National Training Number (NTN).
Medical CV Profile
This is similar to the profile or summary that appears at the top of non-medical CVs, although a lot of medical practitioners have a far more in-depth profile. While it can be upwards of 15 lines long, it isn't advisable to write a lengthy piece. If the most important points are covered, it is wisest to leave some information to reveal at the interview. A succinct written statement will always carry more impact.
If you are writing a Nursing CV, then please refer to our other article by clicking on Nursing CV.
Some medical CV formats recommended by professional CV writers suggest that you include this section towards the end, while others (including Bradley CVs) say this should be at the front. Having it on the first page will at least ensure that it gets read.
Try and marry up your stated career goals to motivations that are based in the work you have already done. If there is a focus to your existing work, contextualize it in terms of your goals. Create a connection between your clinical career, your publishing or research, teaching, service development, etc. Do not focus on one to the exclusion of the others, unless it's highly relevant to the post in question. Keep it factual and don't refer to your personal qualities or transferable skills here.
Qualifications for Your Medical CV
Your qualifications can be listed in reverse chronological order . Start with your medical degree or degrees - list the title, the medical school where you qualified and the date.
You can also include your Certificate of Completion of Training and/or Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training dates, followed by any qualifications you are currently studying for.
If you have done non-medical training, such as management courses, then you can also include it here.
Prizes and Awards on a Medical CV
Again, it's sometimes suggested that this section should go further back in your Medical CV, but this risks it being overlooked altogether. As with achievements in non-medical CVs, it's best to place them as high as possible on the CV, so that they at least get noticed. It's important to inspire the recruiter in any way that you can.
Forget school prizes - anything that happened before your medical degree isn't really important now - but do include other awards or prizes that you've received in relation to your medical studies or career.
Medical CV Clinical Experience
Now for the real substance of your Medical CV. Your clinical posts should be presented in reverse chronological order, with the following information provided for each.
On the first line of each entry, include your job title and speciality or sub-speciality, followed by the hospital name and the name of the supervising consultant. On the next line, provide details of specialist clinical experience or procedures. There's no need to list basic competencies.
Once you have progressed as a consultant, with a complex career history involving many positions and secondments, there's no need to list clinical experience beneath every consultancy position. Instead, you can present a separate summary of your clinical experience. This can be a list of subheadings and bullet points.
Surgeons can, instead of listing procedures, include a one-page summary of their log books at the end of the CV.
Teaching Experience on a Medical CV
Next comes a list of your teaching involvements on your Medical CV. If you have designed any teaching programmes, list these first, followed by any other formal and informal teaching.
Start with the place where you taught (you can group courses beneath an institution). Next, include the topic, the audience you were teaching, and the range of teaching methods you used.
Management Experience on a Medical CV
Management, or administration, is another key area of career experience and development to include on a Medical CV. List the position you held along with dates and give specific information as to the nature of the work. With the Medical Leadership Competency Framework specifying expectations of leadership skills, doctors are increasingly expected to show management experience.
This may cross over with, for instance, teaching experience, if you were managing the programme that you also taught on. This duplication is acceptable on the Medical CV, where every area of experience must be presented clearly. Other administration tasks may include sitting on committees, designing rotas, working on the development of guidelines, supervising juniors, etc.
Medical CV Clinical Audits
You are expected to show your involvement and participation in audits, which should be presented in reverse chronological order. First, list the title and date of the audit. Follow this with the institution and your role. You can either list the audit guidelines or write a summary of the aims. These should be short entries.
Research on a Medical CV
How extensive this section is depends on your career goals within your speciality. As is the convention throughout a Medical CV, present your research in reverse chronological order. On the first line of each entry, list the topic of your research, your supervisor and the duration. On the next line, specify the funding source, the goals and findings.
Medical CV Publications List
Again, list your articles and publications in reverse chronological order. You should present each in the normal bibliographical fashion - authors, title, journal and issue. You can separate them into refereed or non-refereed research, abstracts, book chapters, etc. If your list is very long, you can omit less important articles or those that have been superseded by later research.
These may relate to your research, clinical audit or teaching experience. List the date presented or published, title or topic, date, and location or journal. These can be listed by date, titles and authors. If you were speaking at a conference, include the conference name and venue as well.
Courses and Meetings on a Medical CV
It's important to show your commitment to developing yourself professionally on your Medical CV.
For each training event that you attended, provide the date, course title and institution providing the training (rather than the venue).
You can include clinical, management, research and teaching courses.
Simply list the software packages you're proficient in, from the well-known Office programs to more specialist statistical analysis programs. Include any databases you use regularly in research.
Medical CV Specialist Skills and Interests
If you have language skills, include them here, giving your degree of fluency from basic to conversational to fluent. You can also mention any special interests outside work that might be viewed favourably, such as voluntary work in the community or with special needs groups.
Sporting activities can be mentioned, especially if they are team sports or high achievement individual sports, such as marathon running.
However it is acceptable to list less dynamic interests, providing they make you sound interesting (but never a loner).
Memberships on Your Medical CV
If you wish to include memberships of associations or institutions, do so here.
Referees on a Medical CV
It's acceptable (and normal on Medical CVs) to present the names, position or grade, and contact details of 2 to 3 referees.
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