Even doctors have to write cover letters, perhaps to introduce themselves to prospective colleagues in a medical practice. Also known as a letter of interest, a doctor may use it to stop just short of formally applying for a position, but its goal still is to gauge interest in forging a collaboration. As a doctor, you should follow the basic tenets of writing an informative cover letter by summarizing your credentials, experience and interests. A good cover letter is part information and part salesmanship, and the latter should liberate you to exhibit your personality and medical philosophy. Before you get started, make sure to do some quiet research on the medical practice to assess, from a distance, whether you believe it would present a good professional fit to complement your career goals.
Use your professional stationery to convey a polished image. If you do not have a formal letterhead, center your name at the top of the page, followed by your abbreviated credential, such as “M.D.” or “D.O.” Type your contact information underneath.
Begin your letter on a friendly tone that expresses interest in the medical practice. Doctors may not always formally apply for a position – especially if they’re not certain one is open -- but may use a cover letter to vet a practice and assess its interest. In this case, you might say, “As a chiropractor with 10 years of professional experience and an enviable patient base, I am interested in talking with you about joining your growing and exciting practice.”
Cite your medical credentials, including the dates you graduated. Be sure to mention any continuing education courses or board certifications you aspire to.
Describe your professional accomplishments and your patient base. If you specialize in treating sports injuries among adolescents and young adults, mention how many patients you treat each week, on average. Many doctors assume that patients will “move” to a new practice with their doctor, so this is important information to share with the medical practice.
Provide an overview of the ailments you treat and the services you perform. As a chiropractor, you might also provide acupuncture treatments, health and nutrition counseling and food allergy testing. At this point, be sure to refer to your resume or curriculum vitae for more comprehensive information.
Segue to your personal characteristics and qualities, painting a picture of your medical philosophy and how you interact with patients. Let your personality come through and share an anecdote, if relevant, about why you chose to practice medicine.
Explain why you believe you would be a good professional and personal fit at the medical practice. This is where you should demonstrate that you’ve done your homework by researching reliable sources of information.
Express your desire to meet in person to discuss a collaboration with the practice. Pledge to follow up on your letter in a few days. Offer to answer any questions the recipient may have in the meantime. Then, thank the recipient for her time and consideration.
Proofread and edit your letter for grammar and spelling. It should be error-free.
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Quick Content Tips for Cover Letters
- Cover Letters: Types and Samples
- Letters from the Homeroom: Writing a Letter of Interest
- Colorado State University: Writing Guide: Business Letters
- The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Writing Concisely
- Try not to feel frustrated if it takes a few weeks to cement an interview date. Many medical practices try to find one convenient time for several of its doctors – and perhaps even an upper-level business and marketing executive – to meet together at one time. Finding a slice of time among multiple schedules can be difficult, and a delay shouldn’t be taken personally.
With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.