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as an IMG, how do I make my CV for residency programs in the USA appealing?

July 14, 2016

After leaving no stone unturned for creating a great profile with high USMLE scores, US clinical experience, research experience and strong letters of recommendation, this is time to assimilate all of your hard work together and prepare a compelling CV.

For US residency application every candidate has to go through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). After getting ERAS token from OASIS service at ECFMG website, you will have MyERAS application profile and you can send your application through it to multiple US residency programs. There are many components of MyERAS application profile but CV, letters of recommendation and personal statement are vital parts of it.

CV should not be lengthy but it must include all important points in your profile. There are various sections of ERAS CV.

  1. Medical Education/Other Education: in this section, you can add MBBS degree and other education have done out of your medical school. You can also add if you are pursuing any MD/MS degree in India.
  2. Membership and Honorary/Professional Societies: you can mention about any membership of any group or society. Do not use short form in this section because it can be unknown in the US.
  3. Work Experience/ Volunteer experience/Research Experience: this is a significant part of your CV and you can show your major strengths under these headlines. Try to describe your experiences in bold and understandable language. Remember, many things done by IMG, are not familiar for program directors. So, do not use short form and give a small and clear explanation of those points which cannot be understood by US doctors. Do not try to exaggerate your work/ volunteer/ research experience but also do not undermine it by using the words like "help or "assisted" or any other way. There is word limitation for writing any work or research experiences on ERAS CV. Describe these experiences carefully and put relevant points first. You can add observership as a volunteer experience in your profile. You can also add any volunteer work, done during MBBS. Internship during MBBS and externship can be added as work experience. The internship is an important hands-on experience for Indian medical graduates, it should be described comprehensively as your work experience. In research experience, write any research done during your medical school or later either in India or the USA and also describe your role in that research work.
  4. Publications: You can include research article published, paper presentations, talks or a book or part of a book written by you. Do not lie, if you do not have any publication. It is ok, not to have any publication in your profile.
  5. .
  6. Medical School Awards/ Other Awards/Accomplishments: If you have not won any award during medical education or anywhere, do not feel sad! You can mention anything you have done well in your medical school—like being the top in the class or had done anything excellent during MBBS. In another accomplishments/awards section, you can add any award won or done anything impressive in any field like sports, arts or science even during high school. This section is also a good place to write competitive examinations accomplishment while qualifying for MBBS which is an important aspect of your profile.
  7. Hobbies and interests: this section has its own relevance, sometimes it can be valuable for your interviews. Do not fabricate your hobbies. Write which you do and can explain.
  8. Language Fluency: It is good to be multilingual. Mention as many languages you know in language fluency section.
  9. Certification/Licensure: There is limited space in this section. You can write only one or two points in this section.
  10. Current/Prior Training: you can mention any specialty training in your country in this part or you can write any other training out of the medical field if you had done in the past or currently doing it.

Every part of CV is important. Write it carefully and check your CV multiple times for grammatical and spelling mistakes before submitting it. Always try to write the truth and be confident whatever you are writing. With a strong CV, the personal statement is also an important part of MyERAS application and it also can lead to the interview call sometimes. This is the part which is in your hand. Try to write a concise and expressive personal statement. Best of luck for your application!!


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