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Residency Application

In spring of your third year, all rising 4th years will be asked to meet with one of the academic deans to review the residency application process. It is recommended that you schedule this appointment for May, June or July. It is suggested that you make this appointment in a timely fashion if you prefer to meet with a particular dean as slots do fill. You will be asked to submit a draft curriculum vitae (CV) before scheduling this meeting. Detailed information about the residency application process may be found in the Residency Application Manual. Information about preparing a CV is reproduced here, as that may be needed for other applications during your medical school years.

If you have not decided on a specialty, the meeting may serve to facilitate the decision making process. We can explore with you some of the things that may be important to you in a specialty, and recommend resources (people, websites, reading) to help with the decision making process. We will also review your senior year plans, discuss the process of obtaining letters of recommendation, and explain the function of the Medical Student performance Evaluation (MSPE). The person you meet with will draft your MSPE, which you will have the opportunity to review before it is submitted. You will also receive instruction from OSA staff about the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Following are guidelines for writing your CV, along with a sample CV, guidelines for writing personal statements, and a sample MSPE.

Suggestions for Preparing Curriculum Vitae for Residency Applications

The document should typically be 1-2 pages in length. However, if you have a previous career and a number of publications, it may be as long as it needs to be without unnecessary padding (to be described below).

An academic CV differs from a commercial resumè in a number of ways: they are more conservative and fonts are of a standard type, such as this (Times New Roman) consistent size, normally 10 -12 point. You may want to occasionally use bold or italics for headings, etc., but don't overdo it. Avoid a glitzy appearance. The CV needn't state a purpose, as the residency program will be well aware of that. In general, do not generally include paragraphs describing the nature of prior employment. It is not necessary to refer to letters of reference (e.g., "References available on request") since you will include them anyway with your application. Keep margins to one inch on all sides, and leave enough white space that the material is easily read.

After a heading containing your name (without degrees) address, phone, and e-mail address, there a number of sections, generally ordered and named as follows; Education, Honors and Awards, sections describing Extracurricular Activities, including organizations and offices held, Prior Work Experience, etc. These would be named as appropriate to your experiences. Then list publications and presentations, and finally, any personal information you would like to add (e.g., hobbies, language skills, etc.).

Under Education, list institutions in reverse chronological order. For med school, indicate that your degree is "expected (date of graduation)." All educational experiences and other activities should include inclusive dates. People look for holes in your life and there should be no extended period of time unaccounted for. It is better to say that you worked at McDonald's for a year (and what's wrong with that?) than to have them wonder whether you were in jail. Include activities in which you participated before medical school, including your college years. Even certain pre-college achievements (i.e., high school valedictorian, Eagle Scout) may be relevant. Programs are likely to be interested in any evidence of organizational activity, athletics, leadership, community service, medically related activities (whether paid or volunteer), research (whether or not you published) and extended travel for any reason. If your activities were done under the auspices of an institution (e.g., your college) include that.

If you list publications, include complete bibliographies in an accepted journal style, including all authors with last names followed by first initials, year of publication, title, name of publication, and, as necessary, volume and pagination. Do not bold your own name. They will assume that you were one of co-authors and they will find you. For this purpose, it is appropriate to list papers as "submitted for publication" if that is in fact the case, but any stage before that should not be included (e.g., "in preparation") as that may be seen as an empty promise.

We are here to help whenever you'd like us to look at a draft!


Last Revision: July 15, 2014