As a medical doctor, you’ve managed to successfully finish at least 12 years of education and training. While this is impressive in and of itself, let us guess—you can’t write a doctor resume to save your life!
Quite ironic, isn’t it? Well, the truth is, you don’t need to be a professional writer to craft a job-landing resume. In fact, it is a rather standard procedure—and if there’s one thing medical school has taught you to do, it’s certainly following instructions to a T. So, you’re off to a great start!
With this guide, you’ll learn how to write a job-winning medical doctor resume in no time. Let’s jump right in!
The best format for a doctor resume is reverse-chronological, as it puts the spotlight on your work experience.
Your medical doctor resume should contain at least five sections: contact information, resume objective or summary, work experience, education, and skills.
To increase your chances of landing the job, write a doctor cover letter that covers your professional achievements and motivation in greater depth.
Don’t forget to tailor your resume to the job and proofread it before sending it out.
How to Format Your Doctor Resume
Besides being ATS-friendly, this format emphasizes your relevant work experience by listing your most recent jobs at the very top of your medical doctor resume.
Not only that, but most recruiters also favor the reverse-chronological format over others, further increasing your chances of landing the job.
Now that the format of your doctor resume is out of the way, let’s briefly discuss the difference between a medical CV and a resume.
Simply put, in the U.S., CVs are used in academia. You might have to write a doctor CV to apply for an academic job or a grant, for example.
However, any time you apply for a job outside academia, you’ll be asked to send a resume—a concise document that summarizes your work history. In most countries besides the U.S., though, this document is simply called a CV.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll be using the term “doctor resume” throughout this guide.
Just to be clear—if you want to apply for a medical job in Europe, for example, and are wondering how to write a CV for doctors, you can still follow our step-by-step process and craft a stellar doctor resume/CV.
Doctor Resume Layout
Essentially, the layout determines the look and organization of your resume.
While this may not seem as important as the contents of your resume, it is. Recruiters are very busy, so they’ll likely move on to other resumes if yours is illegible or messy.
So, here’s how to perfect the layout of your medical doctor resume:
Doctor Resume Layout
Use a professional font (e.g., Arial or Times New Roman) and set it to 10-12 pts to ensure your resume is easy to read.
Set all margins to 1 inch to allow for ample white space and make your doctor resume easier on the eyes.
To craft a neat, easily skimmable resume, use bullet points to organize information whenever possible.
Doctor Resume Sections
Here are five sections your doctor resume must include:
Resume summary or resume objective
You can also include one or more optional sections, such as:
Certifications and licenses
Awards and honors
Hobbies and interests
Yep, writing a job-landing medical doctor resume from scratch takes some work!
However, you can make it much easier for yourself by opting for our resume builder and simply filling in the suggested sections.
This way, you don’t have to worry about formatting your doctor resume the right way or making sure to include all the necessary information—our resume builder has got you covered!
How to Add Contact Information to Your Doctor Resume
First things first, you should add your contact information so that the hiring manager can reach out to you.
This part is simple—all you have to do is correctly list the following details:
Name and surname
Location (city and state only)
Optionally, you can mention your:
The key here is to keep things professional.
So, make sure to leave your nickname and any odd job titles (even if you find them funny!) out of your doctor resume. Also, use a professional email address (e.g., email@example.com).
Here’s a good example:
Isabella Mitchell Family Physician 012-345-6789 firstname.lastname@example.org Scottsdale, AZ linkedin.com/in/isabellamitchell53
Medical Doctor Resume Objective And Summary
After listing your contact details, it’s time to craft an attention-grabbing resume objective or summary.
Both of these are short statements placed at the top of your resume that summarize your professional background in 2–4 sentences.
So, which one is the right option for you?
As a rule of thumb, you should always opt for a resume summary if you have relevant work experience.
Here’s what you should mention in your resume summary to impress the hiring manager:
Resume Summary with Experience
Your professional title and years of experience
One or more greatest professional achievements
Now, if you’re applying for an entry-level position with little to no work experience, a well-written resume objective can help you capture the hiring manager’s attention.
Here’s a time-tested formula for writing a compelling resume objective:
Resume Summary with No Work Experience
List any relevant skills or experience
Explain your motivation for working at this specific healthcare facility
Now that you know which statement you should write and how to do it, let’s check out some examples.
Entry-Level Doctor Resume Objective
If you’re a medical student or a recent graduate, here’s a great example of a doctor resume objective you can follow:
Enthusiastic and compassionate third-year medical student with a passion for patient care and a solid foundation in pathology seeking an internship at Hospital X. Eager to put theoretical knowledge into practice and assist in providing quality care for patients with my solid communication and collaboration skills.
And here’s an example of a poorly-written resume objective:
Medical student seeking an internship at Hospital X to get experience and become a doctor after graduation.
The difference is striking—while the first example is specific and explains how the student can contribute to the hospital, the second one lacks detail and only focuses on personal gain.
Experienced Doctor Resume Summary
Let’s see an example of an eye-catching medical doctor resume summary:
Patient and attentive board-certified pediatrician with 8+ years of experience in pediatric care. Treated 1,800+ children yearly with a 95% patient satisfaction rate. Maintained an above 90% patient retention rate in the past five years. Looking to leverage medical expertise, diagnostic skills, and effective communication skills to deliver top-quality patient-centric care to the youngest patients of Hospital X.
On the other hand, here’s an example of a lackluster resume summary that isn’t likely to entice the hiring manager to read the candidate’s resume fully:
Experienced pediatrician looking for a job at Hospital X. Good communication skills, always ensures that patients are happy and satisfied.
As you can probably tell from these examples, the secret to crafting an impressive resume summary is being specific and using numbers to back up your skills and achievements.
Medical Doctor Resume Work Experience
The work experience section is the most important part of your medical doctor resume, so make sure to do it right.
Generally speaking, each entry in your work experience section should be listed in the reverse-chronological order and include:
Work Experience Section Mandatory Details
Your professional title
Company name and location
Employment date (use the mm/yyyy format)
3–5 bullet points with your responsibilities and achievements
The job outlook for physicians and surgeons isn’t perfect—in fact, these jobs have a slower growth rate than most other occupations.
This means that you might be competing against hundreds of candidates for a position. For this reason, you should use every opportunity to make your doctor resume stand out.
So, here are some tried-and-tested tips that will help you bring your work experience section to the next level:
Work Experience Section Expert Tips
Focus on quantifiable achievements. While everyone has similar responsibilities, achievements set candidates apart. Use numbers to show what you’re capable of!
Tailor your work experience section. Rather than covering all the jobs you have had since high school, only list the ones that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Use action verbs. To make your achievements and responsibilities pop, use action verbs—such as “reduced” or “assisted”—instead of repeating “Responsible for.”
One great thing about being a doctor is that even if you’re looking to land your first job, you likely have lots of relevant experience you can leverage to write an impressive doctor resume.
If you’re applying for an entry-level position, consider mentioning your internships, residency, volunteering experience, and the like.
It should look something like this:
Work Experience Internal Medicine Intern Medical Center X 09/2020–08/2021
Assisted in evaluating and creating management strategies for 50+ patients weekly, achieving a 93% accuracy rate in diagnosing chronic illnesses.
Collaborated with a team of 5 internal medicine doctors to create treatment plans for 20+ complex cases.
Coordinated patient follow-up appointments and maintained an electronic health records (EHR) system.
Medical Doctor with Experience
Here’s an example of an outstanding work experience section on a medical doctor resume that makes use of all the expert tips we mentioned above:
Work Experience Senior Endocrinologist Clinic X 02/2017–05/2022
Provided compassionate care for 4,000+ patients with endocrine disorders while maintaining a 98% patient satisfaction rate.
Developed a comprehensive care program for 250 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, resulting in a 15% improvement in glycemic control within 6 months of starting the program.
Led a team of 10 endocrinologists and oversaw patient care, research, and preventative care initiatives.
Medical Doctor Resume Education Section
It’s no secret that becoming a medical doctor takes years of education and training. As such, you can safely skip your high school diploma and use the extra space for an optional section.
To fill out your education section correctly, start with your highest degree first and list the following:
Education Section Layout
If you have any prominent achievements, a high GPA (3.5+), or anything else worth mentioning, you can list this information in bullet points.
Here’s an example:
Education Doctor of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine 08/2014–06/2028
Also, if you haven’t finished your degree yet, you can list any completed courses that may be relevant to the job you’re applying for.
30 Skills for Doctor Resume
The next step in writing a job-winning medical doctor resume is listing your skills.
While you certainly can—and should—sprinkle your best skills throughout your resume (e.g., in your resume objective, work experience section, etc.), you should also create a dedicated skills section. Here, you should list your soft skills separately from your hard skills.
However, rather than listing all of your skills, you should tailor this section to the job listing and only focus on those that are relevant to the position.
So, skim the job listing, pick out the skills you possess, and note them down to show you’re the ideal candidate for the job!
Doctor Hard Skills
Hard skills are also known as technical skills, as they require specific knowledge and/or training.
These will depend on what type of doctor you are, but here are some examples of technical doctor skills for inspiration:
Reading medical charts
Measuring vital signs
Doctor Soft Skills
Essentially, soft skills are personal qualities and interpersonal abilities that help you successfully perform a job.
Here are some soft skills doctors should ideally possess:
Attention to detail
Doctor Resume Optional Sections
If there’s still some place left on your doctor resume after you’re done with the must-have sections, you can make good use of it by including these additional sections:
Licenses & Certifications
To practice medicine, you must have a medical license in your state, so don’t forget to mention it on your doctor resume. You can also list any other licenses or certifications you’ve obtained.
It should look something like this:
Licenses Utah Medical License Utah State Medical Board License #123456 (updated 2023)
Foreign language knowledge is useful in virtually any field that relies on communication with people, including medicine.
So, if you know any other languages besides your mother tongue, include them on your resume, together with your proficiency level. Be honest—after all, if you just started learning Spanish on Duolingo and present yourself as a near-native speaker, the hiring manager might quickly call your bluff.
Check out this example:
Languages English - Native or bilingual proficiency Dutch - Native or bilingual proficiency German - Limited working proficiency
Are you a member of any professional associations or organizations?
If so, squeeze more out of your membership by listing your professional affiliations on your medical doctor resume!
Simply write down the organization/association, membership dates, and your role.
Here’s an example:
Professional Affiliations American Academy of Ophthalmology (2020 - Present) Board Member
Should You Send a Cover Letter With Your Doctor Resume?
You should always send a cover letter with your doctor resume to maximize your chances of being invited for a job interview.
A cover letter gives you a chance to mention anything valuable you’ve left out of your resume, as well as convince the hiring manager that you’re the ideal fit for the job and the company.
So, to craft a compelling doctor cover letter, emphasize the achievements you’re most proud of. Then, explain why you want to work for that healthcare facility in particular and finish with a call to action.
For bonus points, use matching resume and cover letter templates to draw the hiring manager’s attention and showcase your attention to detail!
Doctor Resume Writing Tips & Best Practices
Last but not least, here are some tips that will help you refine your medical doctor resume and bring it to perfection:
Expert Tips and Best Practices
Unless you have decades of relevant work experience and dozens of impressive achievements, keep your resume one page long.
Ask a friend to read your resume or use a grammar checker tool to ensure you’ve left no errors.
If you’re applying to several jobs, tweak your resume and tailor it to each job listing to ensure it passes the ATS check and impresses the hiring manager.
Save your doctor resume as a PDF file to guarantee that it looks the same across all devices and operating systems.
Top-Notch Medical Doctor Resume Examples
Without a doubt, analyzing different doctor resume examples is one of the best ways to learn how to write a job-winning resume.
So, let’s look at some truly impressive medical doctor resume samples:
Doctor Resume with No Experience:
Doctor Resume with Experience:
As you can probably tell by now, crafting a resume is no rocket science, but it certainly takes some time and effort.
Remember that your medical doctor resume is a reflection of your professional background. So, make sure to make a unique resume for each job you’re applying for and accentuate your achievements to set yourself apart from other candidates. Good luck!