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Doctor Cover Letter Example

The abundance of medical career opportunities in the UK take nothing away from the stringent hiring requirements. This practical writing guide is backed by an adaptable doctor cover letter example.
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Doctor Cover Letter Example
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With medical staff shortages putting strain on the entire UK healthcare system, filling doctor vacancies remains a critical priority. But in no way can the hiring process be any less rigorous, which is why every job application should include an impressive doctor cover letter.

If this writing task sounds like an extra hassle you’d rather avoid, let Resume.io make it as easy as possible. Our online resources are geared to busy job seekers with a lot on their mind. That includes a growing collection of occupation-specific writing guides, with corresponding cover letter examples.

The guide you’re reading now is geared specifically to doctors. It’s backed by sample wording from a doctor cover letter that you can adapt to your own situation. Here’s what we’ll discuss:

  • The best format for structuring a doctor cover letter
  • Vital signs of success in each cover letter section (header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion)
  • Common mistakes to avoid when writing your doctor cover letter.
How to write a cover letter
Related article
How to write a cover letter

An effective cover letter acts as a complement to your CV by adding some much-needed personality, highlighting your fit within the specific role, and setting the tone for your interview.

Best format for a doctor cover letter

Cover letters are like a ‘written handshake’ with a recipient who likely has some say in the hiring decision — possibly the final say. They are meant to be brief — never more than a single page — saying just enough to have an intriguing and memorable impact. 

Writing your doctor cover letter should seem easier when broken into manageable steps. This is the structure of parts it has in common with all cover letters:

  • Header
  • Greeting / salutation
  • Introduction
  • Middle part (body)
  • Closing (conclusion and sign-off).

Next, we’ll take a closer look at each cover letter section, along with wording you can modify for each doctor position being sought. It comes from this adaptable doctor cover letter sample.

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Dr Perks,

I am an experienced General Practitioner with seven years of experience in GP practices of different types around the country. I hope to be considered for the new Associate General Practitioner you are seeking from January next year. I know that Swan Hill Surgery is a close-knit family practice on the edge of a university area, which is why I believe my experience would be an excellent fit for the culture of top quality care you have built.

My first years as a qualified GP took me to very different practices and communities in South London and Cambridge, respectively. Through these two positions, I learned very different ways of earning patient trust. In the South London NHS practice, where appointments were allocated randomly, I gained the ability to quickly create a rapport with a patient I may never see twice. In Cambridge, on the other hand, I worked in a small private practice which mainly catered to the elderly. Here, building a strong relationship with assigned patients and their families over a longer period was paramount. 

My ability to overcome such challenges were reflected in my relationships with my colleagues, too. As well as maintaining excellent patient satisfaction feedback, I gained knowledge in the operations of two very different types of GP practices. I have maintained an excellent relationship with management in both cases, who would be happy to provide an enthusiastic reference. 

I believe my ability to listen and deliver on the needs of a range of people is reflected in my rapport with staff — both administrative and medical — and patients alike. In fact, my current employer identified my role in the surgery as ‘instrumental’ to changes which led to an outstanding report from the Care Quality Commission in January.

As I prepare to move with my family to Taunton at the end of this year, I am looking for my next challenge. I believe my experience and skills would be an excellent fit at Swan Hill Surgery, and I hope to have the opportunity to discuss with you further.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Cara Holden

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Cover letter header

The header of your doctor cover letter adds a nuanced personal touch to visually distinguish it  from all the others — preferably paired with a matching CV header design. As a document label, it draws the reader’s eye to where your name, medical specialty and contact information are displayed prominently. The adjacent white space offsets your cover letter text so it’s inviting to read. At arm’s length, the overall look is impeccably professional.

Goal of the cover letter header: Set your job application apart in an eye-pleasing manner that makes the identifying information stand out and the overall impact more reader-friendly. If you need some inspiration, check out our cover letter sample. 

Cover letter greeting

Professional but personable is the tone you’re aiming to set for the interview you hope to have with a medical colleague, administrator or search committee. You can’t go wrong using the traditional salutation ‘Dear Dr. Surname’ (substitute ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ if appropriate). Even if you and the recipient know each other, more casual variations or first-name only greetings are generally not recommended.

Make every effort to address someone by name in your cover letter greeting, because it’s more conducive to a positive response. Non-personalised greetings can be a turn-off if they suggest you may be mass mailing a generic job application, not bothering to target any specific medical position or employer.

Compared to other occupations, it’s likely easier for doctors to identify the individual(s) responsible for hiring. But if that’s not possible, strive for the most accurate version of ‘Dear XYZ Clinic Medical Director,’ ‘Dear ABC Hospital Chief of Staff,’ or ‘Dear JKL Doctor Recruitment Team.’

Goal of the cover letter greeting: Form a direct, immediate connection with the employer that’s personalised to the extent possible. Take a look at our cover letter sample.

Cover letter introduction

An effective cover letter introduction will engage readers from the start with an enthusiastic hook. Originality and authenticity are the surest ways to win and sustain their attention.

Of course, your most compelling professional assets belong here, but that’s likely not enough to move any needles in your favour. From a ‘why me?’ perspective, offer some personal insights into your passions and motivations as a doctor — perhaps with a relevant anecdote or observation. This becomes your pivot to ‘why you need me on your medical team.’ Show that you understand what this employer needs and how eager you are to contribute in ways that would benefit the healthcare facility and its patients, as well as colleagues.

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Make an up-front case for being the employer’s sought-after solution, as a doctor with well-matched qualifications and personal attributes.

The greeting and introduction from our doctor cover letter sample appear below.

Adaptable cover letter greeting and introduction example

Dear Dr Perks,

I am an experienced General Practitioner with seven years of experience in GP practices of different types around the country. I hope to be considered for the new Associate General Practitioner you are seeking from January next year. I know that Swan Hill Surgery is a close-knit family practice on the edge of a university area, which is why I believe my experience would be an excellent fit for the culture of top quality care you have built.

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Cover letter middle part (body)

The body of your doctor cover letter builds on the introduction by fleshing in some background on medical credentials and education. Hit the high notes only. The same goes for your synopsis of impressive career achievements. Carefully select two or three that seem most relevant to the position you are seeking.

Avoid merely listing where you worked as a doctor and what you did. This factual account will be in your CV. Instead, offer reasons to read your CV. Tell a success story that employers can imagine being part of in the next chapter if they hire you. Again, appeal to their specific needs by describing challenges you helped overcome in previous doctor roles. Use facts and figures to quantify positive outcomes relating to patient care, staff management or resource allocation. 

Goal of the cover letter body: Suggest how this employer would benefit from your contributions as a committed, solution-focused doctor, reflecting on relevant accomplishments.

Our doctor cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part:

Adaptable cover letter body example

My first years as a qualified GP took me to very different practices and communities in South London and Cambridge, respectively. Through these two positions, I learned very different ways of earning patient trust. In the South London NHS practice, where appointments were allocated randomly, I gained the ability to quickly create a rapport with a patient I may never see twice. In Cambridge, on the other hand, I worked in a small private practice which mainly catered to the elderly. Here, building a strong relationship with assigned patients and their families over a longer period was paramount. 

My ability to overcome such challenges were reflected in my relationships with my colleagues, too. As well as maintaining excellent patient satisfaction feedback, I gained knowledge in the operations of two very different types of GP practices. I have maintained an excellent relationship with management in both cases, who would be happy to provide an enthusiastic reference. 

I believe my ability to listen and deliver on the needs of a range of people is reflected in my rapport with staff — both administrative and medical — and patients alike. In fact, my current employer identified my role in the surgery as ‘instrumental’ to changes which led to an outstanding report from the Care Quality Commission in January

Copied!

Cover letter closing 

End your doctor cover letter on a positive note, sounding confident and hopeful but not presumptuous.

A call to action leaves the door open to a response from the employer — hopefully an interview invitation. You might simply say that you look forward to hearing back soon. Or, you could express an interest in visiting the healthcare facility and perhaps meeting informally with the hiring decision-maker.

The concluding paragraph should also briefly restate your case for being an ideal match to the doctor position, adding a note of thanks.

Then, simply sign off with ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Best regards’ above your name. 

Goal of the cover letter closing: End on an optimistic note with a call to action that implies you expect to hear back from the employer.

Below is the closing section of our doctor cover letter.

Adaptable cover letter closing example

As I prepare to move with my family to Taunton at the end of this year, I am looking for my next challenge. I believe my experience and skills would be an excellent fit at Swan Hill Surgery, and I hope to have the opportunity to discuss with you further.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Cara Holden

Copied!

Common cover letter mistakes to avoid

With the bar set especially high for medical professionals to make no mistakes, a doctor cover letter must measure up to that standard. Proofread more than once to catch and correct typos, misspellings and grammatical slips. Don’t rely on spell-check and grammar applications alone, and don’t rely solely on your own eyes either. Enlist at least one other proofreader.

These common cover letter mistakes could also sabotage your best efforts:

  • Failure to custom-tailor the greeting and content to the specific position and employer
  • Overly formal, stilted language and overuse of the passive voice
  • Repetition, vagueness and overused clichés
  • Unpolished or messy layout, design and formatting elements
Expert tip

If you’re not up for fussing with the way your cover letter looks, you don’t have to. Leave the layout, design and formatting details up to us. Choose a field-tested cover letter template from Resume.io’s collection in four style categories. Then, drop in your own replacement text using our online builder tool.

Key takeaways for a doctor cover letter

  1. The critical shortage of UK doctors makes it no less essential to include an exceptional cover letter with your job application.
  2. Cover letters enable you to connect directly with prospective employers in a more personalised manner than what CVs allow.
  3. Your cover letter should tell a story suggesting how the hiring organisation would benefit with you on its medical team.

For more inspiration, take a look at our care assistant cover letter example.

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