Writing Your Residency CV: A Comprehensive Guide With Examples

May 22, 2024
6 min read
Contents

”Luke

Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/22/24

This guide will help you write a strong residence CV. It’ll tell you everything you need to consider. Create yours with the CV examples found here.

When applying for your medical residency, you’ll need to gather various application materials, such as USMLE scores, a personal statement, or a Curriculum Vitae (CV). 

The residency CV plays a crucial role in helping applicants stand out to residency program directors. A strong, well-crafted CV highlights your academic credentials and clinical experiences while demonstrating your unique strengths and qualities as a candidate.

Whether you're a medical student preparing for residency applications or a current resident seeking to update your Curriculum Vitae, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and examples you need to write a strong CV.

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Why Are Residency CVs Important?

Residency CVs are important because they provide program directors with a comprehensive view of applicants' backgrounds, experiences, and potential contributions. 

They help assess professionalism, communication skills, and suitability for the program. In the competitive residency admissions process, a strong CV can significantly differentiate applicants and demonstrate readiness, commitment, and alignment with program values.

How to Format a Residency CV

Maintaining a clean and professional layout with clear section headings is important. Use bullet points to concisely list experiences and achievements, and ensure consistent formatting throughout the document to enhance readability and professionalism. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to properly format your CV:

Length and Style

Residency CVs typically range from one to three pages, depending on your experience level and the residency program's specific requirements. Aim for a clean and professional style with a clear font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and a font size of 10 to 12 points for optimal readability.

Consistency

Maintain consistency throughout your CV regarding formatting, font styles, and spacing. Use consistent bullet points, indentation, and alignment to create a cohesive and organized document that is easy to navigate.

Chronological Order

Present your experiences and achievements in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent and relevant information. This allows residency program directors to assess your recent activities and accomplishments quickly, providing a clear picture of your professional trajectory.

Adding Detail

Provide sufficient detail for each section of your CV, focusing on relevant experiences, accomplishments, and skills demonstrating your residency training readiness. Include specific examples, quantifiable achievements, and outcomes to substantiate your claims and make your CV more compelling.

Headings and Organization

Use clear and descriptive headings to categorize different sections of your CV, such as Education, Clinical Experience, Research, Publications, and Professional Affiliations. Organize your CV logically and easily, with each section clearly delineated and structured for maximum impact.

Grammar Error Prevention

Proofread your CV carefully to ensure accuracy, clarity, and correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Grammatical errors and typos can detract from the professionalism of your CV and create a negative impression on residency program directors. 

Consider using spelling and grammar checkers like Grammarly and seeking feedback from peers or mentors to catch errors and polish your CV to perfection.

With these formatting guidelines, you can create a well-organized and visually appealing residency CV that effectively showcases your qualifications, experiences, and achievements to residency program directors. 

Remember to tailor your CV to the specific requirements of each residency program and update it regularly to reflect your latest accomplishments and experiences. With a carefully formatted CV, you can make a strong impression and increase your chances of securing a coveted residency position in your desired specialty.

Choosing What to Include in Your Residency CV

Relevant information that effectively highlights your qualifications and experiences is essential. Start by prioritizing experiences directly related to your medical training and residency goals, such as clinical rotations, research projects, and volunteer work. 

Then, show your achievements, skills, and attributes that align with the residency program's requirements and expectations. Additionally, consider including extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and honors or awards demonstrating your well-roundedness and commitment to personal and professional growth. 

Every residency program has specific requirements, so tailor your CV for each application. It should highlight your experiences and skills that are most relevant to their requirements and preferences. 

By thoughtfully selecting and presenting information in your CV, you can create a compelling narrative highlighting your readiness and suitability for residency training.

Sections You Need in Your Residency CV

Here’s how you can structure your CV for a medical residency to make it clear and effective:

  1. Contact Information: Include your name, phone number, email, and address so programs can easily reach you.
  2. Education: List your undergraduate and medical schools, degrees, and graduation dates. Show your academic background.
  3. Professional Experience: Mention any medical-related work, such as clinical rotations or jobs. Briefly describe your roles and achievements.
  4. Research: Detail your involvement in research projects, including your role and major findings. Highlight your research skills.
  5. Presentations: List presentations at conferences or seminars. Include titles, event names, and dates. Show your active participation in the medical community.
  6. Awards: Include any academic or professional awards. These demonstrate your recognition in the field.
  7. Certifications: List relevant medical certifications like BLS or ACLS. These show your qualifications and readiness.
  8. Extracurricular Activities: Mention leadership roles in non-academic groups. This illustrates your teamwork and leadership.
  9. Hobbies: Briefly note your hobbies. This adds a personal touch and shows you're well-rounded.

This format keeps your CV clear and concise, making it easy for residency programs to review your qualifications.

Optional Sections to Add to Your Residency CV

Here are some optional sections you can add to your residency CV to highlight your unique skills and experiences:

1. Interests/Activities/Skills: List your hobbies and skills to show that you have interests outside of medicine. This helps the admissions committee get to know you better. Make sure to name your hobby or interest and briefly describe what you do.

2. Professional Memberships: Show your commitment to the medical field by including memberships in professional associations. Include the name of the association and state your membership status, such as "member since [year]."

3. Languages: Demonstrate your language skills, as this can make you a more attractive candidate. Name the language you speak, and specify your skill level in reading, writing, and speaking.

4. Leadership Experiences: Highlight your leadership roles or training. Include involvement in student organizations, projects, or experiences abroad. Include the name of the organization or institution, state the dates you were involved, and list your relevant skills and achievements.

Adding these sections provides a fuller picture of who you are and what you bring to a residency program beyond your academic and professional qualifications.

Examples of Residency CVs

Take a look at the following residency CV examples from the UNC School of Medicine and UC San Francisco.

Residency CV Sample from UNC School of Medicine 

The Office of Student Affairs at the UNC School of Medicine encourages students to use the sample CV below as a guide.

Yogi T. Bear
100 Yabba Dabba Doo Street, Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) xxx-xxxx
yogi_bear@med.unc.edu

Education

University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill

Doctor of Medicine, August 2012 - May 2017

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Master of Public Health, August 2015 - August 2016

Durham Technical Community College, Durham, NC

Emergency Medical Technician, Basic, May 2012

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Chemistry with Highest Honors, May 2011

Research

UNC School of Medicine

  • Student Researcher: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    May 2016 - Present
  • Preceptor: Abby Normal, M.D.
  • Funding: Holderness Medical Fellowship
  • Description: Brief description of research project and role.

Holderness Research Fellow

  • Summer 2013
    Association of FUT Polyp and Colorectal Cancer
  • Preceptor: R.U. Crazy, M.D., Director of Research
  • Funding: Holderness Medical Fellowship
  • Description: The North Carolina Colon Cancer Study, a large population-based case control study of colon cancer, provided several hundred samples of colorectal polyps and carcinomas for analysis. The specific objective of this project involved determining expression of the FUT3/FUT6 fucosyltransferases in the cases and controls and also identifying specific mutations in these genes. Attempted to determine potential interactions of different genotypes with patient NSAID use, diet, and race. This ultimately will provide some information relating the type of mutation, if any, in the FUT genes to the progression of colorectal carcinoma.

Publications/Posters/Presentations

UNC SOM

  • Doe, John, list of co-authors. Title of Paper. Title of journal, citation and date.
  • John Doe. Title of Presentation. University of North Carolina School of Medicine Student Research Day, January 2014. Oral presentation.
  • John Doe. Title of Presentation. Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium, New Orleans, LA, March 2015. Oral Presentation.
  • John Doe. Title of Presentation. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 2014. Poster Presentation.

Honors and Awards

UNC SOM

  • Board of Governors Medical Scholarship, Dates
  • Heusner Pupil Award, Dates
  • Howard Holderness Distinguished Medical Scholarship, Dates
  • John B. Graham Medical Student Research Society, Dates

UNC Chapel Hill

  • Phi Beta Kappa, Dates
  • University Honors Program, Dates
  • Class of 1938 Summer Study Abroad Fellowship, Dates

Curriculum Enrichment

UNC SOM

  • Rural Health Scholarly Concentration
  • Comprehensive Advanced Medical Program of Spanish (CAMPOS), 2012-2017
  • The Healer’s Art Elective

UNC Chapel Hill

  • Study Semester Abroad: Mexico, Date

Service/Activities

UNC SOM

  • PATCH: Propelling Adolescents Toward Careers in Health Care, Dates
  • Laboratory Coordinator, People’s Clinic of Bloomer Hill, Dates
  • Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC)some text
    • Clinic Coordinator: Oversaw training and scheduling of all clinic medical student volunteers and attending physicians.
    • Medical Student Volunteer: Evaluated patients and served as Spanish translator at free, student-run clinic for Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.

Durham Technical Community College

  • Completed EMT Course; Dean’s List, 2011-2012

Volunteer

  • Urban Ministries, Durham NC, Summer 2011

UNC Chapel Hill

  • Resident Assistant, Dates
  • Big Buddies Program, Dates
  • Baptist Student Unionsome text
    • President, Dates
    • Statewide Action on Issues Chair, Dates
    • Campus Relations Chair, Dates
  • Baptist Student Union Missions Trip to Matanzas, Cuba, Dates
  • University Baptist Church Missions Trip to Nicaragua, Dates

Additional Accomplishments/Activities

  • Valedictorian at high school graduation, 2008
  • Volunteer with Special Olympics as track and field coach since 2007

Language Skills

  • Fluent in Spanish
  • Conversational ability in American Sign Language

Personal Interests

  • Hiking steep mountains
  • Playing guitar
  • Reading classic literature

Residency CV Sample from the University of California San Francisco

The University of California San Francisco offers resources that will take you through how to develop your cover letter and CV or resume, including how to tailor them to the positions you are applying for. Here’s an example of what they offer:

Jack Palmerston

(123) 456-7890 | jack.palmerston@ucsf.edu

EDUCATION

University of California, San Francisco – School of Medicine (UCSF)
San Francisco, CA
M.D. with Distinction Candidate, expected graduation May 20XX
Clinical and Translational Research Pathway

University of California, Auckland
Auckland, CA
B.A., Biochemistry and Economics, May 20XX

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

UCSF Department of [Department Name]
Research Assistant, August 20XX – Present
Advisor: John Nelson, M.D.
Study: Utilization of [XX technique] to identify an antibody that selectively binds to an ABC inhibitor

  • Project Goals: Develop and validate a TT assay for an ABC inhibitor.
  • Responsibilities: Enzymatically ligated ABC inhibitor, and managed partnership between [Department Name] and collaborators.
  • Outcomes: Manuscript in preparation.

UCSF Department of [Department Name]
Research Assistant, August 20XX – Present
Advisor: Megan Hamilton, M.D.
Study: Pilot study comparing AA thresholds measured by smartphone application with thresholds measured by clinical EE screenings

  • Project Goals: Develop and validate an automated screening test to increase access and affordability of EE clinical services.
  • Responsibilities: Calibrated WW devices, recruited patients at clinic, built database, and contributed to statistical analyses.
  • Outcomes: One abstract in press, one abstract in submission, and manuscript in preparation.

UCSF Department of [Department Name]
Student Researcher, March 20XX – October 20XX
Advisor: Tina Wellington, M.D.
Study: Three-patient case series of an atypical presentation of ZZ syndrome

  • Project Goals: Broaden differential diagnosis of YY condition to include ZZ syndrome.
  • Responsibilities: Collected clinical data from patient chart review, and measured volume of XYZ with CC software.
  • Outcomes: Manuscript in press.

UCSF Department of [Department Name]
Research Assistant, September 20XX – December 20XX
Advisor: Carol Dunedin, M.D., Ph.D.
Study: Effect of [XX] on range of motion and outcomes following ABC surgery

  • Project Goals: Collect and analyze data to guide patient expectations after ABC surgery.
  • Responsibilities: Reviewed patient charts and assembled database using Excel.
  • Outcomes: Manuscript in press.

UCSF Department of [Department Name]
Student Researcher, November 20XX – July 20XX
Advisor: Albert Tamaki, M.D.
Study: Determination of utilization, cost, and sources of cost variance in the surgical management of XYZ disorder

  • Project Goals: Provide evidence to inform hospital administrative policies that reduce cost and cost variance of surgery addressing XYZ disorder.
  • Responsibilities: Extracted data from patient charts and assisted with cost-sensitive decision tree analysis.

UCSF Department of [Department Name]
Student Researcher, May 20XX – October 20XX
Advisor: Lance Timaru, M.D.
Study: Characterization of DEF disease transmission in a low-endemic setting using techniques in spatial epidemiology

  • Project Goals: Identify patterns in DEF disease transmission to inform novel interventions for DEF disease control and elimination.
  • Responsibilities: Transcribed individual- and hospital-level data from international rural clinics, and co-facilitated cultural exchange between local undergraduates and U.S. students.

LEADERSHIP AND MENTORSHIP

UCSF School of Medicine Admissions
Admissions Review Committee, Reviewer

October 20XX – March 20XX

  • Evaluated over 200 medical school applications.
  • Contributed to shaping culture and values at UCSF by selecting the class of 20XX.

Admissions Interview Committee, Interviewer
September 20XX – February 20XX

  • Interviewed candidates and submitted written impressions to assist in the admissions assessment.

Admissions Tour Guide Committee, Tour Guide
October 20XX – February 20XX

  • Introduced UCSF campus and culture to applicants.

UCSF Mental Health Advocacy Group
Student Leader, November 20XX – December 20XX

  • Organized a curricular intervention to reduce stigma of mental illness among medical students.
  • Launched the intervention at other medical schools and presented it at a national conference.

UCSF Mental Wellness Event, Fundraiser
June 20XX, June 20XX

  • Raised over $15,000 for mental wellness programs through an annual charity football tournament.

UCSF Student Community Advocate
May 20XX – Present

  • Facilitated discussions to increase transgender pronoun signage across campus.

Housing and Food Insecurity Advocate
January 20XX – Present

  • Collected tents and food donations for homeless encampments in San Francisco.

UCSF Mentoring Program
Mentee Recruiter, December 20XX – December 20XX

  • Recruited over 200 students from underserved high schools for a pre-health and college counseling program.

COMMUNITY HEALTH EXPERIENCE

UCSF First Aid Team
Volunteer, May 20XX – Present

  • Administered first aid to athletes at local competitions.

San Francisco Homeless Clinic
Volunteer, November 20XX – July 20XX

  • Provided primary care and health education to shelter residents.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION

UCSF Health Innovation Competition
Medical Consultant, September 20XX – April 20XX

  • Created a business plan for affordable health through a smartphone application with a team of entrepreneurs.

UCSF Health Entrepreneurship Club
Student Leader, August 20XX – May 20XX

  • Designed curriculum and organized networking events focused on entrepreneurship in health.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Palmerston JA, [Last Name First Initial Middle Initial], [Last Name, First Initial Middle Initial]. Chapter Title. In: Book Title. Edition. Editors [Last Name First Initial Middle Initial], eds., [City, State Abbreviation]: Publisher; Publication Year. In press.
  • Palmerston JA, [Last Name First Initial Middle Initial], [Last Name, First Initial Middle Initial]. Title. Name of Journal (using appropriate abbreviations). Year; vol (Issue Number): pages. In press.

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  • Palmerston JA, [Last Name First Initial Middle Initial], [Last Name, First Initial Middle Initial]. Title of Presentation. Poster presented at: [Name of Conference]; [Month Day, Year]; [City, State Abbreviation].
  • Palmerston JA, [Last Name First Initial Middle Initial], [Last Name, First Initial Middle Initial]. Title of Presentation. Paper presented at: [Name of Conference]; [Month Day, Year]; [City, State Abbreviation].

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • UCSF Research Award (Summer 20XX, $5,000)
  • University of California, Auckland Dean’s List (Fall 20XX – Spring 20XX)

INTERESTS

  • Woodworking
  • Football (coaching and playing)
  • Photography (landscape)
  • Pottery

Residency CV Sample from the New York Institute of Technology

Check out this sample curriculum vitae for residency at the New York Institute of Technology.

[Your Name]

Street Address
Town, State
Telephone Number
Email Address

EDUCATION

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Old Westbury, NY
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), anticipated May 2017

[Other Higher Education Institution]
Town, State
[Degree Type (M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.P.H.)], [Major], Graduation Date

[Undergraduate Institution]
Town, State
[Degree Type (B.A., B.S., B.B.A.)], [Major], Graduation Date

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Student D.O. of the Year, 2015
  • Graduation with Honors in Biology, 2011
  • Departmental Honors for Senior Thesis, 2011
  • Dean’s List, 2010 and 2011

HONORARY AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • Phi Sigma Alpha National Osteopathic Honor Society
  • Sigma Sigma Phi Honor Society
  • Student Osteopathic Medical Association
  • American Academy of Family Physicians

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine: Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Old Westbury, NY
Research Fellow 2013 - 2014
Mentor: John E. Medical, D.O.
Project Title: “The Effects of … on …”

  • [Brief description of project starting with a strong action verb]

NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine: Department of Anatomy
Old Westbury, NY
Research Assistant 2013 - 2014
Mentor: John E. Medical, D.O.
Project Title: “The Effects of … on …”

  • [Brief description of project starting with a strong action verb]

WORK EXPERIENCE

[Company]
Location
Job Title Start - End Dates

  • [Responsibilities starting with a strong action verb]

National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine Summer Program
New York, New York
Faculty Advisor Summer 2014

  • Led a group of high school students in medical simulations including wound suturing and taking vital signs.

Park Slope Volunteer Ambulance Corps
Brooklyn, NY
Crew Chief, EMT-B and Dispatcher 2011

  • Collaborated with dispatch to coordinate quality patient care and provided on-site leadership in crisis situations.

Binghamton University
Binghamton, NY
Resident Assistant 2008 - 2011

  • Supervised student living and developed educational programs on diversity, relationships, and academics.

TEACHING / TUTORING EXPERIENCE

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Old Westbury, NY
Tutor - Medical Students 2014 - 2015

  • Tutored second-year students in their anatomy course and in preparation for the COMLEX exam.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Last, First, Middle Initial of authors as listed in the paper. Underline your name. Title of article, Journal, Publication date; vol (issue): pages.
    May include abstracts as well as papers which are:some text
    • “In Preparation for Publication” (you are an author)
    • “Submitted for Publication” (paper has been submitted)
    • “In Press” (paper has been accepted for publication)
  • Medical, John E., Your Name, Doe, J. Title of article. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

PRESENTATIONS

  • Name of Conference / Workshop / Meeting, Title of presentation, (if ‘placed’, list here), Date, Location
  • American Osteopathic Association Poster Competition, Title of presentation, October 3, 2014, Las Vegas, NV.

CO-CURRICULAR / VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Old Westbury, NY
Mentor - Big Brother Big Sister September 2014 - present

  • Mentored first-year students on adjustment to medical school including preparation for Board exams.

South Nassau Communities Hospital Health Fair
Oceanside, NY
Volunteer September 2013

  • Performed blood pressure measurements and consulted patients regarding blood pressure readings.

CERTIFICATIONS / HEALTH-RELATED LICENSES

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), 2014
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 2013

LANGUAGE SKILLS

  • Fluent in Spanish

INTERESTS

  • Scuba Diving, Sailing, Cooking

Common Questions About Residency CVs

Here are answers to questions often asked about residency CVs.

1. Should I Include All My Clinical Experiences on My CV?

To demonstrate your readiness for residency training, focus on highlighting relevant and recent clinical experiences, including rotations, clerkships, and internships.

2. Can I Include Non-medical Experiences on My Residency CV?

Yes, include relevant experiences demonstrating transferable skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communication.

3. Should I List Every Publication and Presentation on My CV?

Prioritize recent and relevant publications and presentations, especially those related to your specialty of interest. For clarity, include citations, authors, and publication venues.

4. How Long Is a Residency?

Residency lengths vary depending on the specialty, with most programs lasting three to seven years. Primary care residencies like family medicine typically last three years, while surgical specialties such as neurosurgery may require five to seven years of training.

5. Should I Include References in My Residency CV?

Generally, references are provided separately upon request. Focus on showing your qualifications and experiences in the CV.

6. How Far Back Should I Go When Listing My Clinical Experiences?

List your clinical experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. Include rotations, clerkships, internships, and residencies completed during medical school.

Conclusion

Writing a strong CV is essential for effectively presenting your qualifications and experiences to residency program directors. With the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can create a polished and impactful CV highlighting your strengths, achievements, and readiness for residency training. 

Remember to tailor your CV to each program you apply to. Additionally, seek feedback from mentors, advisors, or peers to ensure your CV is clear, concise, and professionally presented. 

While the residency application process may be challenging, a well-crafted CV can significantly enhance your candidacy and increase your chances of securing a coveted residency position in your desired specialty. 

Stay focused, remain organized, and approach the process with confidence and determination. With a good residency CV in hand, you are well-equipped to embark on the next phase of your medical career and pursue your aspirations in residency training.

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