Residency CVs: Optional Sections

Medical Residency Application & Interview Preparation Specialists

As well as the core sections, it can be useful to include certain other elements in the residency CV. Here, we’ll briefly run back through the must-include core sections, then consider optional sections that can add to the CV, if you have a suitable level of accomplishment.

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Re-cap: Core Sections

The first core section is your personal information. This will be at the top of the first page of the CV, and should be in the header. You’ll need to include name, address, phone number, email, and ideally a professional headshot. Next is your education. You should focus first on your medical school education, then focus on your pre med undergraduate education, then your high school education. Ensure that you name the school, program or programs attended, the quality of degree that you attained, and the years in which you studied. After this is your clinical experience – provide a list of all clinical experiences that are relevant – once again, work in reverse chronological order. You must name the institutions where you gained experience, the position that you had, and core aspects of your role. Your research experience is next – it’s vital to stand out from others, particularly in residency programs that are heavily research-orientated. Then comes your publications – you may also include research presentations, although the main body of this section should be published journal articles, or other published work. Ensure that you use the correct bibliographic citations. You may include forthcoming papers if they have been accepted but are yet to be published. After this, focus on any relevant extracurriculars and volunteering. It’s vital that you stand out as a well-rounded individual both within Medicine and outside it. Then, the final ‘core’ section is your awards. You could include this within the academic section, but if you have real achievement here then write it up separately. Work through grants, scholarships, being on the Dean’s list, and any other truly outstanding award or recognition that you have received.

Throughout, remember to use reverse chronological order.

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Optional Sections for your Residency CV

The first optional section is your professional memberships. These can serve well to highlight your interest in Medicine, and your awareness of the importance of networking and professionalism. For example, if you’ve been a member of a body that represents medical students in the US, highlight the dates of your membership, and the name of the organisation. If you’ve undertaken any particular activities for the organisation, make sure to mention these.

The next section is your skills or interests. This can include hobbies, and the section should be seen as a chance to show how well-rounded you are. It can show your personality beyond just Medicine, and give a better idea of who you really are. However, you must also remember that you are selling yourself, in a competitive field – it’s therefore best to choose hobbies or interests that you can further evidence with some achievement. For example, ‘I’m a keen ultrarunner, and competed in the 2022 Marathon des Sables’ is far better than ‘I enjoy running, and can often be found running laps in the city park in the evening.’ Therefore work to explain how the hobby has developed you, or the attributes that you possess that are best illustrated by it.

Next are your languages. If you speak an additional language, this is a great selling point in any career, and should be included in a Medicine CV as well. Include both the language(s) that you speak, and the level that you are at.

Lastly, many candidates will choose to highlight their leadership experience independently. This could also be done through your extracurriculars or interests – however, if you have particular roles that you believe make you stand out, it can be worth adding a section specifically for this domain. Consider both organisations which you have founded, as well as others that you have taken over leadership, and also consider leadership training. Make sure to mention the specific elements of the role, the dates, and reflect on what you learnt from the experience.

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