Physician Cover Letters

Physician cover letters, are they necessary? I've been asked this question by multiple residents throughout the past few years. As they prepare to apply for opportunities this question often comes up because there are those that are adamant that you must submit a cover letter, and others who say no it's not necessary. Unfortunately, the true answer is typically it is up to the writer.

A cover letter is a letter that accompanies a CV submission to explain more about why you are submitting. This can be used to a physician's advantage when applying to an opportunity because the physician can give their specific reason for applying to the opportunity. In the letter a physician can explain that they have the experiences that the organization is looking for or give a more personal reason for applying to that opportunity.

If you decide to write a cover letter, make sure that you are formatting your letter correctly. You should try to be as direct as possible in the letter. Instead of using terms like "to whom it may concern,", "your organization", "that position" opt to use the actual name of the recruiter, organization, and the job title. This allows you to show that you are not sending the same letter out to multiple jobs at one time and can help you stand out from your peers. In the cover letter, since you are able to speak more freely than on your CV, you can also specify reasons for applying to the job, like the geographic area or personal reason for applying to the opportunity.


cover letter also has a specific format formula that you can follow. Cover letters follow the following format: Dear [Recruiter's Name], Introductory paragraph, main body paragraph, concluding paragraph, and your signature and contact information. Each paragraph is used for a separate purpose. The introductory paragraph allows you to introduce yourself and explain why you are applying to the opportunity and express your interest. The main paragraph allows you to give examples as to why you are applying and why you are the best physician for the opportunity. The concluding paragraph allows you to recap why you are applying and give a call to action for the recruiter to reach out to you.

Top 3 Cover Letter Tips

  1. Don't be generic. As you are writing your cover letter, remember to be personable. It may seem like a good idea to take the easy way out by writing a generic cover letter to hand out to all employers, but by taking a few extra minutes to include the organization's name, the recruiter's name, or specifics about the job can help you stand out from your peers.

  2. Don't get too wordy. Your letter should be no more than a page long. Remember, this is accompanying your CV, not replacing it. Make sure to keep the letter concise and don't use the letter to explain your entire CV.

  3. Be personable. In your letter give your personal reason(s) for applying to that organization or opportunity. Give specific reasons or examples as to why this opportunity is the right fit for you, and why you are the right candidate for the opportunity.

Looking for more Cover Letter Tips? Check out the PracticeMatch Career Center!

Hayley Woszczynski

Hayley Woszczynski - Physician & Program Relations Manager. You can stay connected with me on LinkedIn for all of the latest PracticeMatch articles and upcoming events.