Part 1: Introduction

Preparing your CV for residency applications can feel overwhelming, but it’s a critical component to present yourself as a strong candidate. Alongside your USMLE scores, ERAS letters of recommendation, medical school performance evaluations (MSPEs), and residency personal statement, your CV is pivotal in illustrating your professional journey and accomplishments.

Compiling, formatting, and refining your CV early in your fourth year allows you to capture all your achievements without the rush. It serves not only as documentation of your experiences but also as a reference point throughout your application process.

What is a medical CV? What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive document detailing your academic and professional achievements and focusing on your career trajectory. Unlike a resume, which is typically shorter and concise, a CV in the medical field can span two to three pages and showcase your qualifications in detail.

Your medical CV should highlight your education, clinical experiences, research contributions, publications, volunteer work, and leadership roles. It is a comprehensive tool to demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate for residency programs.

Part 2: Preparing your CV for medical residency

Crafting a strong CV for residency applications involves organizing your experiences in a clear and structured format. While ERAS offers a template, customizing your CV allows for better control over presentation and emphasizes your strengths for program directors and reviewers.

Residency CV structure

Here’s an effective structure for a residency CV tailored for medical graduates:

  1. Contact Information: Include your full legal name, address, phone number, and professional email address.
  2. Education: List your medical school education first, including your degree (e.g., Doctor of Medicine), anticipated graduation date, and university name.
  3. Clinical Experience: Detail your clinical rotations and internships in reverse chronological order, highlighting specialties and key responsibilities.
  4. Research Experience: Describe your research projects, specifying dates, institutions, mentors, and roles in each study.
  5. Publications and Presentations: List any research publications, presentations, or abstracts you have authored or co-authored, including conference details.
  6. Honors and Awards: Highlight academic achievements, scholarships, honors societies, and awards received during medical school.
  7. Volunteer Experience: Outline your volunteer work, emphasizing medical-related activities and leadership roles.
  8. Professional Memberships: Include any memberships in medical associations or organizations relevant to your specialty interests.
  9. Skills: Mention relevant medical skills, such as proficiency in clinical procedures, languages, or software applications.

Residency CV format

  • Font and Size: For readability, use a professional font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman in size 11 or 12.
  • Margins: Maintain 1-inch margins to ensure your CV looks clean and professional.
  • Style: Write in a formal tone using active voice, avoiding first-person pronouns and unnecessary jargon.

Printing and Digital Formats

  • Digital Copy: Save your CV as a PDF to preserve formatting when emailing or uploading to online application systems.
  • Print Copy: For the best presentation, print your CV on quality white or ivory paper using a laser printer.

Other Considerations

  • What Not to Include: Omit personal details like age, marital status, religion, or political affiliations.
  • Accuracy and Integrity: Ensure all information is accurate and truthful, avoiding exaggerations or misleading statements.

Part 3: Example of a Medical School CV for US Residency

Here’s a structured example of a medical school CV for reference:

Your Name

Contact Information

  • Address: X
  • Phone: XXXX
  • Email: X


  • Medical School: Doctor of Medicine (MD), Anticipated Graduation May 2021
    • University Name, City, State
  • Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology, Graduated May 2017
    • University Name, City, State

Clinical Experience

  • Clinical Rotations: Various specialties, Medical School Affiliated Hospitals
    • Dates, Locations, Key Responsibilities

Research Experience

  • Research Assistant: Title of Research Project
    • Research Institution, City, State
    • Mentor: Dr. Mentor Name
    • Description of Research Contribution

Publications and Presentations

  • Publication: Title of Published Paper
    • Journal Name, Date

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s List, Academic Years
  • Outstanding Achievement Award in [Specialty], Year

Volunteer Experience

  • Medical Volunteer: Organization Name, City, State
    • Description of Volunteer Work and Leadership Role

Professional Memberships

  • American Medical Association (AMA) Member
  • Specialty Interest Group Memberships


  • Proficient in [Clinical Skill], [Software], [Language]


Crafting a well-organized CV tailored for US residency applications is essential to effectively highlighting your qualifications and experiences. By presenting your achievements in a structured and professional manner, you increase your chances of standing out to residency program directors. Tailor your CV to reflect your unique strengths and experiences, ensuring it aligns with the expectations of the residency programs you are applying to.


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