Resident Rules of the Road: Chapter 8 Summary: “Curriculum Vitae”

Originally Published: AAEM’s Rules of the Road for Emergency Medicine Residents, 7th Ed. Chief Editors: Tom Scaletta, MD FAAEM; Michael Ybarra, MD FAAEM; Leana Wen, MD MSc. AAEM and AAEM/RSA. Milwaukee, WI. 2010.

Chapter Summary By: Aga De Castro, MPH, MA, MSIV Medical Student, Georgetown University School of Medicine

Summary Series Editors: Muhammad Alghanem, BS, and Andrew W Phillips, MD, MEd

The curriculum vitae (CV) is an important component of one’s professional career since it is an organized representation of a person’s education, work history and job qualifications. The CV must be detailed, yet concise enough for a future employer to get a good grasp of an applicant’s professional accomplishments. Having a CV that is well organized will ensure that a candidate is worthy of further consideration.

The CV has several components that are considered essential. It should have the appropriate contact information displayed at the top of the page including name, mailing address, phone number and email information. A training subsection should follow to outline an applicant’s residency and/or fellowship experience. An education subsection typically follows, highlighting all higher academic institutions from which the applicant received a degree. High school education or earlier are typically not included in this subsection. An experience and skills subsection should describe any current or prior experiences as they would relate to a prospective job. Each of these subsections should be in reverse chronological order with the most recent experience listed first.

Other subsections do not need as much emphasis but are still important to be included. These include awards/honors, certification and affiliations to professional organizations such as AAEM/RSA ( and AAEM ( If applying for an academic position, it is important to also include a research/grant/publications/presentations subsection. This will highlight a candidate’s breadth of experience as it relates to academics.

Finally, although references are typically not included at the end of a CV, it can be acknowledged with a statement along the lines of ‘strong references available upon request.’ Ensure that a separate list of references and appropriate contact information is readily available for distribution at the chance it is actually requested.

Regardless of where in the employment process you are, the Young Physicians Section (YPS) of AAEM offers a CV and Cover Letter review service for graduating residents. The service is available for a small fee and returned within two weeks. More information is available on the YPS website: