For those who are currently studying medicine or who aspire to study medicine – having a well-written medical student resume is a must!
It can help you get that internship residency you need to kickstart your future career, for further studies, or even get into medical school if that’s where you are currently at.
This guide, along with a full resume sample, will hopefully facilitate the process of writing your own medical student resume.
Resume objective for medical students
The resume objective is your first (and perhaps) only chance to catch the interest of the person reading your resume.
It is optional to include a resume objective or a professional summary, but we found in our research that about two-thirds of the 15 resumes we sampled included a resume objective.
Our first tip is to always adjust your resume objective depending on where you will be sending it. The resume for a residency application probably won’t look the same as a resume for being accepted to med school.
If you are a medical student or an aspiring medical student, you probably lack professional experience, and that is what makes the resume objective so important. It offers an opportunity to show personality, passion, and dedication, and to stand out among other applicants.
The University of California and its office of career and professional development highlights the importance of an original resume. You should never copy someone else’s resume objective, but write your own to make sure it features your best attributes, skills, education, and relevant experiences.
Compassionate and driven medical student currently completing medical school and entering the stage of residency. Responsible, fast learner, communicative, organized and independent, and with a special interest in internal medicine.
Resume skills for medical students
Going to medical school is a responsibility unlike many others, and it takes a special kind of person to deal with the pressure and the stress that comes both with the program and medical career.
According to the UVM Outreach (University of Vermont), some of the most important skills to possess as a medical student is the ability to feel empathy for others, along with a strong dedication to the medical profession.
Our research and job post sampling also showed a preference for individuals who are responsible, humble, accountable, and unselfish, and these are all personality traits you can include in your resume skill section.
One thing to avoid is to list only soft skills, like those mentioned above, and to mix in a few hard skills like proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, along with practical skills like patient assessment and care evaluation.
When you are writing a medical student resume, you don’t have to know everything, and few will expect you to, so what you want to do is make sure you come across as someone who is eager to learn and open to new experiences.
Flexible | Communicative | Adaptable | Excellent Time Management | Empathetic | Multitasker | Problem Solver | PowerPoint | Microsoft Word | Excel | Team Player | Passionate | Hard-Working
Medical student work experience
If you are still in medical school, then you probably don’t have too much relevant work experience yet. We recommend volunteering as a way to boost your resume, as volunteering is something you can do in related fields, without needing a medical license.
This means the work experience section of a medical student resume will likely look a little different than what you might be used to, as you can leave out irrelevant work experience like having worked at McDonald’s when you were 17 or having been the town paperboy (or girl) for many years.
Another experience that looks great on a medical student resume is having worked as an EMT or an emergency response team member.
As a medical student, you can also opt for switching this section for a clinical experience section, or research experience, where you would instead list achievements in these areas.
If we assume that what you plan to do with your medical student resume is apply for residency, then they are probably more interested in your specializations, preferred medical fields, and clinical experience.
With this in mind, we are going to show you three different ways of filling out the experience part of your medical student resume. To clarify -these types of experiences should each have their own section.
Sample Work Experience
LifeStar MD, Seaford, DE
EMT, 2017 – 2019
Operated the assigned emergency vehicle, provided excellent care and safety procedures for both patients and their family members, handled reports, and responded to dispatcher instructions.
- Met goals set up by management every week and earned recognition for exceeding expectations.
- Drove the emergency vehicle successfully without any complaints, accidents, or incidents.
- Implemented a new routine for equipment inventory, which allowed the team to dispatch faster.
- Received compliments for having a calming effect on patients and bystanders.
Sample Clinical Experience
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Student Doctor/Medical Student, 2019 – 2020
Worked closely with doctors and nurses to perform tests (such as pregnancy tests), make assessments, and provide prenatal care. Kept and completed reports and paperwork.
- Assisted with the delivery of four babies.
- Prepared patients for physical exams and provided reassurance.
- Assisted the doctors with end-of-life consultations.
- Recorded medical history and kept medical records in order.
Sample Research Experience
Children’s Hospital, New York City, NY
Clinical Research Assistant, 201 – 2020
Responsible for providing administrative support, processing scientific specimens, and patient recruitment for a nationwide children’s leukemia research study.
- Analyzed publications and presentations in the field of cancer medication adherence research.
- Designed a clinical study on the effect leukemia has on children aged 2-6.
- Discovered an important factual error in existing research which could then be fixed.
- Responsible for editing articles for various scientific journals.
Medical student education
Education is obviously very important when writing a medical student resume, especially since you are – supposedly – still studying.
Medical schools like Windsor University mention skills every aspiring physician needs, but how about education? What education should you list on your medical student resume?
We sampled dozens of medical student resumes to get a solid idea of what the standards are, and we saw that most job applicants tended to list an undergraduate degree, along with the med school they are currently attending. We also saw a tendency of listing GPAs (provided they are high).
Don’t forget to state on your resume that you are still a student, and you can also choose to include an expected graduation date if you wish.
UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC
M.D: Medical Doctorate Program, 2017 – Ongoing
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Bachelors in Natural Sciences & Mathematics, 2013 – 2017
- GPA: 3.5
Adding courses can greatly enhance your medical student resume, especially if you choose to highlight coursework relevant for the residency position you hope to acquire.
Including courses is not a definite requirement, but you can benefit from listing coursework that speaks of your areas of expertise or interest.
Avoid adding courses just for the sake of adding them, and only list what you have a reason for want the person reading it to see.
- Cellular and Molecular Biology
- Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Community and Preventive Medicine
On a regular resume, you tend to list certifications and licenses, but it is a little different when you are still in med school. Most medical certifications are only available after you graduate and complete certain requirements, so feel free to skip this section if you have nothing relevant to add.
However, there are other certificates you can consider listing, which isn’t directly related to your future medical career.
Examples of these are Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certificate, Advance Trauma Life Support certification, Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Complete medical student resume sample
Writing a medical student resume might be one of the most important things you will ever do, as it can be what gets you a residency, which in turn can get you invaluable personal contacts.
To better demonstrate how you can use the tips and examples featured in this article, we have picked out a real job post, and written a tailored resume as if we were applying.
You might use your medical resume when applying for residency, but here we will be applying for an internship.
This internship job post is for a position at a public health institute, where you are offered the opportunity to work to improve VMMC programs. It is an excellent opportunity for medical students.
Now, let’s have a look at the requirements:
The institute is looking for someone who is currently enrolled in a post-bachelor’s program, such as ab M.D, and they want someone with experience with HIV programs and an interest in learning more about biomedical prevention.
The ad also mentions how they want someone with great communicative skills, strong interpersonal skills, an understanding of a multicultural work environment and a problem-solver.
Driven and self-motivated medical student with an interest in HIV research and preventive care. Enthusiastic people-person with a genuine desire to make a difference, and a strong belief that real change starts with making a difference for one person at a time.
Problem-solver | Professional | English & Spanish | B.A in Natural Sciences | Medical School Student | HIV Coursework | Software knowledge | Organized | Strong Writing Skills | Administrative Experience
Merck & Co, Washington, D.C.
Medical Writing Intern, 2018 – 2019
Created clinical study reports, clinical study protocols and investigative material, and worked on enhancing existing files and written information to aid workplace efficiency and coherence.
- Suggested creating two versions of all relevant material – one for medical professionals, and one for regular people without medical knowledge.
- Successfully met strict deadlines and was rewarded for dedication and perseverance on the job.
- Conducted an independent study on sexually transmitting diseases and their spread within a local high-risk community.
- Discovered an efficient way to save time during the workday by rewriting daily routine guidelines, which was highly appreciated by supervisors and management.
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
M.D: Medical Doctorate Program, 2017 – Ongoing
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Science, 2012 – 2016
- Health Sciences in Clinical Research Administration
- Medical Education and Leadership
- AIDS: Fear and Hope
- Clinical and Translational Research Track
Writing your medical student resume is an important step in your future career, and it is something well worth taking seriously. Use a professional tone and highlight all the achievements that could help you get accepted to your dream residency position or internship.
Below are a few key takeaways from our research, based on what we found when sampling job posts, medical student resumes and expert advice.
- It is okay for a medical student resume to stray from the usual resume format, and you will often focus more on the educational section than on a work history section.
- Show that you are eager and willing to learn, by using positive adjectives in your resume objective and skill section. This is your chance to show your personality.
- Highlight any coursework or research experience related to the internship or residency position you seek.
Tips from Experts
“Because you don’t have a work history, the personal statement is crucial. Try to show how you can have a bit of value to the employer.” – The Career Doctor, Medical HR Expert
“Knowing exactly what to include in your residency CV can be challenging, and if your CV isn’t put together correctly, and doesn’t demonstrate what makes you unique as a candidate, residency directors won’t be convinced you are a suitable match for their program.” – Nadine Evans, Admissions Associate
“While your GPA and test scores are already set in stone, and are very objective measurements of academic performance, the personal statement is a creative expression of you as a person. The personal statement can make or break your application.” – Kevin Jubbal, M.D
Think back to when you first decided to study medicine, and how dedicated and driven you felt then. Use this same motivation to write your medical student resume, as it could be what takes you to the next step in your career.
The biggest mistake you can make is thinking the resume doesn’t really matter, because while your studies may – to a certain point – speak for themselves, you also want to stand out from the competition.
We hope that this guide has given you some ideas for how to perfect your medical student resume, and we want to take the opportunity to thank you for your dedication to such an honorable profession.
Good luck with your future medical career!