The CV – Section I: Educational and Professional History

Section I: Educational and Professional History

For this series on CVs, I’ll use the basic Carver College of Medicine template. Although this template is very helpful, it may not include everything needed, or it may include sections that don’t apply. At the least, it’s a helpful guide for where and how to note achievements on a CV. Headings and sections can be changed or even rearranged to suit individual needs.

I have posted a sample of Section I to show how entries in this section can be listed.

Starting at the top of the CV, be sure to note “Curriculum Vitae,” either with “Carver College of Medicine” or not, depending on your preference. This is simply to note to any reader at a glance what the document is, like any document title.

Next, include full, legal name and all degrees.

It’s helpful to then note the month and year the CV was last updated directly under the name. This can be easy to forget to do when updating, so try setting this to auto-update in Word. It’s also ok to leave the date off, but it does help when submitting either in-house or to other institutions to let reviewers (and you) know when the CV was last updated.

Educational and Professional History

Here is how the CCOM template suggests formatting this section:

A. List of institutions attended (least to most recent)
(Institution, dates attended, field of study, degree obtained, date degree received.) 
Include: Postgraduate Medical Education and Certification and Licensure

B. Professional and academic positions held (least to most recent)
(title of position, dates of service, location or institution)

C. Honors, Awards, Recognitions, Outstanding Achievements (least to most recent)

I also suggest listing dates for this entire section on the left side of the page as it makes them easier to find. If a date is located on the right side of the page, the entry often needs to be broken into two lines and the dates are then difficult to immediately locate. All entries are also listed chronologically, oldest to most recent.

Institutions Attended can be formatted a couple of ways—Higher Education and Postgraduate Education, or all degrees listed chronologically (BA to MD, PhD, etc.). Professional and Academic Positions includes all positions held, not just primary academic appointment.

Certifications and Licensures include board certifications, advanced certificates of achievement, and state and national licensing. Be sure to list the full names of the organizations granting certifications and licensing. For medical licenses, it’s helpful to note your license number and expiration date (these are a matter of public record). It’s not necessary to note DEA or similar pharmacy licensing, and never list these particular license numbers.

The same chronological formatting applies to Honors and Awards. Note: the full title of this section as noted on the CCOM template does not need to be used. “Honors and Awards” is acceptable, or simply “Honors,” which encompasses everything noted within this template’s section heading. List honors beginning with those attainted in medical school, unless you had a very special recognition as an undergraduate that directly relates to your chosen field.

When noting an honor, award, or recognition, be sure to note the full name of the organization that granted it; list the parent institution if the organization is part of a larger entity. See the sample CV above for examples.

If you do not have any honors or recognitions to list, just leave this section off of your CV. Don’t list that section heading and then note “none.”

Next week, I will cover the next section, the Teaching section.

Please feel free to contact me with any specific CV questions, at

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