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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by pathologyDO, 04.24.12.

  1. pathologyDO

    pathologyDO

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    I have read that you need to do letters of reccommendation through a program such as Interfolio. What I don't understand is how it works for my LOR writers. For instance, I asked the professor I do research with if she would write me one. When shes done, what has to happen? Does she just send her word document to Interfolio? Should she be writing the thing on interfolio?
  2. DrMediterranean

    DrMediterranean

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    First, you must register and create an interfolio account. It will cost you 20 bucks for 1 year. Then, on the Interfolio website (through your account) you request a letter of recommendation. Set the option to a confidential letter of rec (you waive your right to see its contents, you won't be able to read it), otherwise med schools won't take the letter seriously. The letter of rec request form on the website will ask for the name of the letter writer and their email address, etc. etc. When you submit the request, your letter writer gets sent an email with instructions on how to submit the letter of rec. They can send it through snail mail, or (I think) there is an electronic method (where you can scan the letter and submit it electronically). Once Interfolio receives the letter, it keeps it tied to your account so whenever a medical school needs that letter you can send them it (your letter writer only needs to send his letter once to one place, in this case, Interfolio).

    I know this because I read the instructions on the AACOMAS/Interfolio website. Even though I told you (because I'm such a nice guy), I suggest reading the guidelines and instructions which can easily be found on the website. You won't get anywhere in the application process without doing this.
    :rolleyes:
  3. Iliketoytles

    Iliketoytles

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    The best thing to do is login interfolio, go to "Request a Letter", fill out the information... and at the bottom select "Print out the request form and give it to the letter writer" (or something like that). Make sure your letter type is set to "Confidential". Then... just give your letter writer a stamped envelope with the request form folded inside... and have the address to Interfolio already written on the envelope. This way, all she has to do is print her letter and pop it in the mailbox.

    Oh, remind her to make sure her letter has a "letterhead" on the top. She'll probably know what that means.
  4. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo Gold Donor

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    Precisely this. There is no need to have your letter writers mail-in the recommendation letter as they can just upload the letter (as per the instructions on the request form) to Interfolio through the website. Your letter writer will need to create an account as well to do this. Snail-mail only delays the process due to processing, but if they are old school they may feel more comfortable mailing it in. Electronic submission is just quicker.

    Here is an exact replica of what the request form looks like and what your letter writers will see:

    Request from: (YOU) Document title: Recommendation from (LETTER WRITER)
    Request date: XX/XX/XXXX Document ID: XXXXXXXXXX

    CONFIDENTIAL RIGHTS WAIVER

    By creating this form, I acknowledge that under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, it is my right to have access to letters of recommendation written on my behalf. However, I also understand that letters submitted in confidence may carry greater weight.
    [X] It is my desire that this letter be written in confidence and therefore I waive all rights of access to this letter.

    Digitally signed by (YOU) on XX/XX/XX

    Upload an Electronic Document to interfolio.com [instructions for your letter writer]

    1. Create a free Interfolio account at www.interfolio.com. (If you already have an account, please login.)
    2. On the Write Recommendations page, enter the document id: XXXXXX
    3. Browse for your document and upload it.

    OR

    Mail a Paper Copy of Your Letter to Interfolio
    1. Print and sign your letter document
    2. Print this form
    3. Place the document and this form, without staples or paper clips, in an envelope addressed to Interfolio:

    Interfolio, Inc.
    1900 L Street, NW #603
    Washington, DC 20036
  5. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo Gold Donor

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    Also this. This is important because it makes it official.

    I read on here once that someone actually had to make a letterhead logo for their letter writer because he didn't have one! His letter writer appreciated it and ordered hundreds of letterhead papers :roflcopter:
  6. Iliketoytles

    Iliketoytles

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    This is true... but these are physicians. They are busy enough as it is, so why make them do "extra work" even if it's not that difficult. Just my opinion.

    Since LORs go out with the secondaries, there's plenty of time to snail mail the letter. Handing your letter writer a stamped and addressed envelope with the cover letter already inside makes things so simple... even a caveman could do it. It just gave me more piece of mind knowing this. :cool:
  7. pathologyDO

    pathologyDO

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    Oh wow thanks for the information guys, you have gone above and beyond. I agree with you liketoytles, she is my good friend as I have been doing research under her wing for awhile now, but yet, its still apparent that she often gets swamped and has little time for doing much extra.

    It would for sure be best for me to do as much for her as possible so that she wouldn't have to do more than write the letter. Its just common courtesy IMO :)

    So then, I just need to print the sheet out, stick it in an envelope with postage and address... and good to go. Got it. Oh yes and the letter head. Thanks again!
  8. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo Gold Donor

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    True. For me, I had to hound my letter writers a little bit because mine were not completely ready at the time of me submitting my secondary. :D But once they create an account it becomes a piece of cake for any subsequent letter they have to write and upload for any other applicant. Then it becomes a matter of saving their username and password where they won't forget! Plus at that point, I'd hate for the letter to get lost in the mail or Interfolio claim that they never received it. That would be a bummer. I bet that rarely happens, though.
  9. Dr.TurkandJD

    Dr.TurkandJD One Dream

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    I just want to clarify one thing. On the AMCAS, you can submit all the letters through them. So if you recieved a secondary, you can send the letters to the school through the AMCAS app. As far as AACOMAS, can you not do the same thing?

    Can someone clarify please?

    Thank you
  10. DrMediterranean

    DrMediterranean

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    AMCAS has its own letter service. AACOMAS does not. If you are applying to to both MD and DO, the easiest way to go around this is for your letter writers to send their letters to Interfolio and then send the letters to AMCAS using Interfolio. Use Interfolio to send to specific DO schools directly.

    EDIT:

    Tip: Note that if you are pressed for time and need to send your letters in faster it will take extra time for the MD schools to receive your letters because Interfolio acts as the middle man and your letter writers aren't sending them to the MD schools directly through the AMCAS letter service (Letter writer sends to Interfolio -> Interfolio sends to AMCAS). I was pressed for time and was running really late when submitting secondaries and used an expedited shipping option from Interfolio to send my letters to AMCAS. AMCAS received it the next day. This, of course, costs extra and the fee for it was $6 bucks if I remember correctly. But you won't have to waste money if you plan ahead and nag your letter writers to submit the letters on time.
    Last edited: 04.25.12
  11. crmellon

    crmellon

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    Go with the mail option. I had a Physician get frustrated that I was "trying to make him learn the internet" His exact words (he was an oldschool surg).

    I should clarify, the mail option for interfolio. Use interfolio, it makes life so much easier.
    Last edited: 04.25.12
  12. Dr.TurkandJD

    Dr.TurkandJD One Dream

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    Thank you for the information. Since we have 2 options what would you recommend?

    1- Make an Interfolio right know and submit to them all the LOR as soon as possible even before AMCAS and AACOMAS open. Once they do open, use Interfolio to send the letters to AMCAS and to send letters as secondaries for DO's.

    2- Make an Interfolio right know, and ask my LOR writers to submit to AMCAS and to Interfolio.

    Which one is easiest and cheapest? Is there a step I am missing? I honestly did not know that AACOMAS did not look at the LOR in the primary application and only need it for secondary.

    Thank you for all your help!!!
  13. Iliketoytles

    Iliketoytles

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    Do you have a premed committee letter, or are you getting 3 separate letters from professors? Depending on this... one option is indeed better (and cheaper) than the other.
  14. Dr.TurkandJD

    Dr.TurkandJD One Dream

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    I have both. my committee letter will be good but those professors do not know me that well, they are just writing based off my CV. I have 2 professor letter from my research that I have been doing for 3 years, as well as a DO LOR. In total, I will have 2 Professors who know me very well, 1 DO and 1 Committee. I am planning on sending all 4.

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