A CV or curriculum vitae (literally course of life in Latin) gives employers their first real in-depth examination of the professional accomplishments of an emergency medicine physician. Even if these employers have already spoken to you on the phone, actually viewing your professional background on paper can be a make-or-break moment in your job search process. CV information is critical to any hospital or ER management group looking to hire physicians skilled in the science and art of this specialty.
But an effective CV should tell a story which includes much more than just where you went to school, where you served your residency or even whether youve achieved special recognition in emergency medicine. This vital document should give any potential employer a sense of who you are as a professional and as a person. After all, theyre hiring a person a team player and not just a skill-set.
While you shouldnt clutter up your CV with trivial personal information (such as favorite sports teams, etc.) any skills, hobbies or personal strengths, beyond strictly clinical ability, which could credibly add value to the employer should be included, succinctly but thoroughly. Examples include (but are certainly not limited to) foreign language capability, computer skills or public speaking ability. It doesnt take much imagination to see how these skills would come in handy depending on the job location, academic setting or level of technology in the emergency room.
However, other less quantifiable skills and traits could also give you an edge over other candidates. For example, how is your bedside manner? If youre especially gifted at putting patients at ease, you could conceivably be able to treat more patients during a shift because they will communicate their symptom more quickly and completely, enabling a faster diagnosis. Are you especially detail-oriented? If so, you will be highly-valued as a good record keeper, especially important in documenting your work with regulatory agencies.
Dont overplay these ancillary traits; a simple bullet point outlining the personality strength and how it would positively impact your job performance in the emergency room will suffice.
Some ED job candidates even go so far as to include a summary paragraph of such traits at the very top of their CV, ahead of obligatory information such as professional experience and education. Heres an example:
A personally-engaging and highly-competent ER physician recognized by his peers for his ability to make sound decisions in high-stress environments. A patient advocate who is able to put patients at ease and thus make quicker, more accurate diagnoses etc.etc.
From there, you might want to include a paragraph on a signal professional accomplishment, such as being selected as ER Physician of the Year for the previous year, or chosen to be a speaker at an ACEP Scientific Assembly. Whatever it is, make sure its important enough to highlight before your professional credentials. (If it isnt noteworthy enough, include the honor at the bottom of your CV, where theyre traditionally listed.)
If youre unsure whether the honor is important enough, or if youre uncertain about your CV in general, you should consider having it reviewed by a physician staffing firm, preferably one that is experienced in matching emergency medicine physicians with hospital and specialty group employers. These professional physician recruiters have seen literally thousands of emergency medicine CVs over the years and know what kind of information carries more weight with employers and which should be relegated to lower positions on the page. (They may even advise leaving some information out of the CV entirely.)
The services of these firms are free to ER physicians; instead, physician staffing firms are compensated by hospitals and groups after a successful job match.
Keith Klamer is the author of this article on emergency room doctor. Find more information, about emergency room doctor salary here