Resume Skills For A Doctor (Types And How To Improve Them)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 9 March 2023

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Becoming a doctor typically requires significant efforts through academic education and clinical studies. Summing up all your achievements and qualifications as a doctor and relating them to your medical skills on a resume is important when applying for internships or jobs. Learning about important doctor skills to include on your resume may help you create a more effective application, increasing your chances of earning a new job. In this article, we discuss common resume skills for a doctor, explain steps to improve them and discussways to highlight these skills during a job application.

What Are Resume Skills For A Doctor?

Resume skills for a doctor may include their expertise in performing health checkups and recommending tests based on health assessment. Apart from generating easy-to-understand health reports and researching what medicines are most suitable for the patient's ailment, a doctor's skill set can vary based on their specialisation. For example, a dermatologist may know what nutrients help improve an aged person's skin and which ointments cure skin conditions. Here are some skills common to most doctors:

  • Creating a medicinal prescription after studying the symptoms

  • Administrating patients with medicines

  • Understanding allergic reactions from mixing medicines

  • Diagnosing health problems

  • Staying updated with new medicinal technologies

  • Handling medical equipment

  • Analysing laboratory results

  • Recommending other medical professionals based on the case

Related: What Does A Doctor Do? (Average Salary And Qualification)

Examples Of Skills Doctors Add To Their Resume

Here are some skills doctors typically add to their resume:

Technical skills

Doctors often use medical equipment based on their duties. While some medical experts use a stethoscope or measuring equipment to check the heart rate, blood pressure and varying physical parameters, others use surgical equipment. Their knowledge of different categories of surgical gear may enable them to work as assistants to surgeons or in inventory management departments.

Related: How To Create A Profile Of A Doctor (With Tips And Examples)


Doctors may create prescriptions for their patients, share data for research papers or design regulations for employees in the clinic to follow. Prescriptions usually mention important details such as the medicine names, consumption frequency and alternative treatment remedies. This minimal information ensures the patient understands the treatment plan. Similarly, research papers might use expert medical jargon that students and medical practitioners are comfortable reading.

Leadership skills

As patients rely on medical professionals for their safety, doctors might follow a particular communication and behavioural style for their comfort. This can include their tone of voice, choice of responses to specific questions by patients and how they handle emotionally or physically stressed patients. Having cultural awareness and a positive mindset can help you manage a team of medical assistants proficiently. As some treatment cycles can be long, your patience and composure as a doctor might be an example of your professionalism.

Related: Discover 12 Common Tools Doctors Use (With Types And Usage)

Attention to detail

Diagnosing an illness may be easier when the doctor looks for minor details in the patient's past health records or present reports. Since your treatment plan can involve studying the patient's symptoms and existing prescriptions, attention to detail may help you identify possible drug interactions. Skilled doctors are also familiar with data management software that compares test reports of patients with similar problems. Such detail-oriented skills can improve your knowledge of precise dosages and indicators of specific illnesses.

Interpersonal communication

Effective interpersonal skills are valuable in building reliable patient-doctor relationships. Your interpersonal communication strengths can enhance the results of your interaction with patients. Apart from empathy, your transparency and maturity in conversation with patients can offer them a better experience while under your supervision. Staying aware of such emotional intelligence teaches you to comfort patients and reassure them of a successful recovery.

Related: What Is A Resident Doctor? (With Skills And Career Path)

Medical accuracy

As a doctor, you may often create several prescriptions every day. Since the patients may have allergies to some medicines, different health conditions and may be from varying age groups, it is vital that your prescription suits their body type and condition. For aspiring doctors proficient in suggesting alternative medication, bacteria-specific remedies or drug interactions, this skill can help get faster promotions.

How To Improve Your Skills As A Doctor

You can follow these steps to improve your skills as a doctor and work with clinics, hospitals or expert medical practitioners:

1. Choose a specialisation

Enrolling in a specialisation course allows you to study a specific subject with the expert guidance of experienced medical teachers. You may participate in practical sessions that require a mandatory knowledge of laboratory equipment, conducting experiments and identifying materials used in medicines. This can give you the opportunity to spend more time revising the basics and preparing yourself for a job in the medical industry. Aspiring doctors can find a mentor based on their medical interests and request advice regarding studies or future careers.

2. Participate in an internship

Interning in the medical field lets you experience how the hierarchy in hospitals functions. You can interact with patients in real-time and help junior and senior doctors with prescribing medication after studying the patient's reports. Based on your department, you may contribute to registering a patient's information and generating discharge reports, monitoring inventories or managing appointments by priority. As a medical intern, you can learn from seniors by showing your willingness to take up more tasks.

Related: How To Become A Doctor (With 6 Steps You Can Follow)

3. Improve your interpersonal skills

Patients who have a comfortable experience under the surveillance of specific doctors may recommend your clinic to new customers. It is essential to be a good listener who addresses all the symptoms and key points of the patient's observation. Another factor you can improve is how quickly you recognise sensitive patients. This can make you conscious of what you speak with them and how you use empathy for their mental benefit.

4. Take initiative

Whether enrolling in an internship, doing a specialisation course or working as an assistant in a clinic, maintain a proactive approach. This might inspire your seniors to give you an opportunity by involving you in higher responsibilities. For example, an equipment inventory manager can request the senior doctor to let them attend surgeries requiring more than usual medicine or surgical equipment. This may give you experience in assisting surgeons and improving your knowledge of surgical procedures.

Related: Average Doctor Salaries: A Complete Guide By Specialty

Doctor's Skills In The Workplace

Here are some ways to show your skills as a doctor in the workplace:

  • Guide juniors. Helping junior doctors and interns can show your willingness to share knowledge and educate your colleagues on medicinal subjects. You may teach them better problem-solving techniques which make them medically competent without depending on instructions from seniors.

  • Communicate effectively. Patients feel safer when they are confident in the doctor's professionalism and medical expertise in solving similar health problems. If you observe a patient hesitating, understand their nonverbal clues or gather a comprehensive report.

  • Stay organised. Keep templates of common prescriptions ready to consult patients quicker and increase the number of patients you service in a day. You can also distribute brochures or pamphlets on treatment plans and avoid explaining the same process repeatedly.

Related: What Is An MBBS Doctor? (With Skills And Career Scope)

How To Highlight A Doctor's Skills

Here is how you can highlight your skills during a job application for a doctor's position:

On your resume

Examine the job responsibilities and check whether your existing skill set and background are suitable for the hiring organisation. Once you understand your duties, you can clarify how your skills are valuable to the job. Remember to use keywords and phrases in your resume that explain your skill set's outcome. For example, if the technical skills section says analysing heartbeat patterns, then use the work experience section to mention an instance.

Related: How To Write A Doctor Resume Objective (Tips And Examples)

In your cover letter

A cover letter helps categorise your technical and soft skills briefly. Start with your career objectives and relate them to your technical skills in managing medical equipment, surgical gear or your knowledge of laboratory regulations and procedures for patented experiments. You can add soft skills highlighting your ability to empathise with patients and honestly share their progress through personalised treatment plans. If you were a leader for a department, add your leadership skills, whether by mentioning teamwork abilities, presentation narrations or your composure in instances where stress management was important.

Related: How To Write A Doctor Resume (With Tips And Example)

During a job interview

Job interviews let you talk about your responsibilities in your previous medical roles. Mention how your prescriptions resulted in faster recovery rates. State how you used data management software to compare the patient's medical history to past records, helping in prescribing data-backed treatments. You can also highlight your critical thinking skills that helped in educated judgements. If you published research papers, explain your learnings and practical experiments that prove the research project's outcome.

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