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*~*~*~*Official Letters of Recommendation Questions Thread 2012-2013*~*~*~*

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by sector9, 03.14.12.

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  1. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    It depends on what went into the committee letter. Some committee's have students submit professor recommendations prior to writing the committee letter and then these are all compiled into a committee "packet." If you have only a letter from the committee, I believe you will need additional letters.
  2. DallasCowboys22

    DallasCowboys22

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    Looking for advice to see if my letters meet the requirementsfor most schools. No committee letter at my school.
    1. Science 1-Organic Prof
    2. Science 2- Prof who taught me in a science basedpharmacology course and pharmacy addiction/neuro course (going to list both asBCPM)
    3. Non-science-Allied Med class-Non science class about thehistory and practice of medicine
    4. Physician Letter

    I received an A in all those classes. My alternatives wouldbe an entomology prof who I got a B+ in his class or an Astronomy prof who Itook two classes with and got an A in both.

    What do you guys think?
  3. Xpectation

    Xpectation

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    Ok thx.

    2 more questions:

    Is a class considered a "science" LOR even tough the professor is listed under the "Social Science" school. ie. a class about evolutionary mechanics. even tough 70% class was science (bio evolution) is it considered a "science". I just recall reading that if the class was 50% or more science it is considered under BCPM.

    Second question prestige of the person who wrote the LOR. i can possibly secure a LOR from an individual who did Law School at Yale. Does it matter at all the fact that the person writing the LOR is well accomplished?
  4. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    It's irrelevant.
  5. cfive22

    cfive22

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    So for whoever can offer a helpful word of advice, please do.
    My LORs are as follows:

    I met with the professor that I researched with for over a year and was a teaching assistant for and he wasn't absolutely delighted to write the LOR but said that he would if I needed it. He said that although I had a lot of positives, I also had a few negatives. He then followed up with the fact that he didn't write negatives in his letters so he would just write the positives. He made it clear though that he wouldn't be raving about my performance. I am scared out of my mind. Part of me wants to say screw it and just say that I don't want the LOR anymore. But the other part of me says that I'm going to be asked about it during interviews or won't get interviews because I don't have a LOR from him. What do you guys think?

    My second dilemma is that I don't have a letter from a second science professor that knows me very well. Yes I can probably get one from a professor in my last quarter but since I attend a UC, my quarter doesn't end till mid-June, which means that I would need to give them until the middle of July to write the letter. I'm horrified! I am now thinking that my LORs or lack thereof will bring down my application. Any thoughts??

    Here are the ones that I do have for sure:

    1) Bio professor who knows me well. (science)
    - A+ in 1 course & A- in the other
    - will write very good things about me
    2) History professor who knows me very well (non-sci)
    - A in her course
    - will write great things
    3) Internship boss
    - worked with him for 2 years
    - I am writing the letter and he is signing off on it
  6. virtuoso735

    virtuoso735

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    Some schools require/recommend that you acquire a LOR from a physician, but does it matter if it comes from a DO if you are applying to MD schools? Would that be looked down upon, or would it not really matter that the LOR is from a DO instead of an MD?
  7. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    We can't answer this question. Every premed committee is different. Some committees just use the LORs from professors to craft their letter and don't include the full text of the LORs when they send it on to VirtualEvals/Interfolio/AMCAS. Some create a packet of everything (including all LORs). You'll need to find out how it works at your school
  8. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout barefoot jackrabbit Moderator

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    Merging with LOR thread.

    And no, it shouldn't matter (unless he/she focuses on your potential to be a DO specifically in the letter, which obviously should not be done unless the letter is being used for DO schools.)
  9. 1cor1311

    1cor1311

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    DO is still a physician. Many DO's are better doctors than MD's. If you ever work with them you'll notice they are no different on the floors. Ad Committee knows that
    That's fine as long as he is writing about YOU, and not how you want to be a DO also for AMCAS apps
  10. vayntraubinator

    vayntraubinator

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    Just had a committee letter interview and the latter is how it works. Thank you for your ongoing answers sector9 :) (Lily!!! :love:)
  11. Tsukiyo

    Tsukiyo

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    I'm having problems picking people to write me for recommendation letters. I knew instructors well at my community college, so I could definitely have my old Chemistry teacher write me one.

    I never went to officers hours the two years I've been at the university, though, so I never really got to know my professors. I even tried going to office hours once to ask a stupid question to get to know them, but the professor wasn't there! So I gave up talking to the one instructor that had regular office hours.

    Here's what I can possibly do:

    Get letters from:

    -Comm college chemistry professor (Got an A)
    -Comm college honor society coordinator (Saw me get a national award, other things.)
    -University English professor (I didnt really have any non-science/math classes here. He'd be the only choice since it was a small 30-ish people class. But I got a B and I'm not sure it will be a "strong" letter.)
    -University Research Mentor (She saw me almost daily, I worked in her lab last summer for 10 weeks.)

    Would the university research mentor work in place of a university professor? That's the main thing I'm worried about. I never got out and did much at the uni because of all the heavy responsibilities I have as a non-trad. (I'm only 23 though.)

    And I have a feeling the community college professors could write much stronger letters, since I was in every possible club/event/thing when I was there. Its easier to get to know people when classes have 30-40 students instead of 150.
  12. Ismet

    Ismet is a girl :) Moderator

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    Most schools require at least 2 letters from science faculty. I had 2 science faculty letters + my research mentor's letter (+ 2 other letters - humanities and leadership) and that covered all the LOR requirements for the schools I applied to. There might be some schools that allow you to substitute a research letter for a science professor letter, but that might limit you for schools you can apply to. A letter from a chem professor you took 3-4 years ago most likely isn't as strong as one you could have gotten from a more recent professor at your university. Only ask for letters if you are sure it will be strongly supportive - a bad or indecisive letter can be detrimental to your application.

    Most of my professors don't have set office hours, but it's as simple and easy as emailing them to set up an appointment to come in and talk. And this is with class sizes of well over 150. You have to be proactive, they're not going to come to you!
  13. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Merging with the LOR questions thread.

  14. bearcat7

    bearcat7

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    Hi all,

    I requested letters of rec from a few professors a while back (a couple months back), but they haven't submitted them yet (I'm using Interfolio). I'm planning on e-mailing them to check in, but I'm not sure what to write in the e-mail. Any suggestions? I want to come across as polite, and I don't want to sound too impatient... Thanks for your help!
  15. duress

    duress

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    I think the best way is to phrase it as someone else's request, if you can. e.g. "the pre-med department/AMCAS has asked us to remind our LOR writers ______. Once again thank you for blahblahblah"
  16. torshi

    torshi PA-S

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    I have reminded mine so many times! and even one of them never contacted me back ? But she said she will write me a good one - I'm confused. Also I met with one of my letter writers a week ago, she said she was going to expedite the letter, a week pass so far...no letter on file. These LORs is prob the worst part of the app process
  17. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    Merging thread.
  18. sc4s2cg

    sc4s2cg

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    I only had to remind them once or twice, it went something like:

    "Hi Dr. Blah, I just wanted to thank you again for helping me with the medical school application process. The letter of recommendation is highly valued by the admitting committee and I highly appreciate your willingness in that regard.

    I just wanted to remind you that my deadline for applying is fast approaching, and if you could submit the letter by [Date] then I would be able to send in my application early.

    Thank you again Dr. Blah!

    Sincerely,
    sc4s2cg"

    Something like that. Use the sandwich method: first say something positive, then remind, then end on a positive note.

    Edit: Another way I did it was by giving them their thank you gift a little early. That sped things up, guilted them into writing the letter within a week. ;)
  19. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    My professor has agreed to submit a LOR, but I must write it myself. I've tried Googling LOR samples but I'm not sure what distinguishes a neutral LOR from a strong LOR. Does anyone have any samples that might help me?
  20. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    You're in a tough situation with the research prof. Most schools are going to expect a raving letter from that prof and it's absence would be a potential red flag. Of course, getting the letter and seeing that it isn't raving would be another possible red flag, although at least he said he wouldn't include negatives. I would get it if I were you just because he said he wouldn't include negatives but it's a tough call.

    I don't know what to say about the second science letter. I ended up using a letter from a science professor who I took 3 or 4 classes from but didn't know too well. It worked out for me. I guess I'd try to go to office hours and be a stand-out student in one of your upcoming classes if you don't know any past sciences profs to ask
  21. TheCheckmate

    TheCheckmate

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    To whom should my letter writers address the LOR?
  22. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Member

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    I'm not sure if anyone asked this (tried searching), but if I'm getting a committee letter, how many letters should I try to get?

    Should it still be 2 science 1 non-science and on top of that the committee letter (4 total)?
    Of course the more the better, but could the committee letter be possibly used to replace one of the letters perhaps?
    Thanks guys in advance!
  23. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    It depends on the committee. Mine requires 3 professor letters and 2 non-professor letters (i.e. MD, DO, etc). I don't believe the committee letter can really replace one of the other letters.
  24. pfaction

    pfaction

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    All my letters of recommendation are at the school. All of them, even the 3rd party ones. When should I tell them to send to AMCAS? Do they put my ID# on all the letters, even the 3rd party ones?
  25. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    Your letters will not go to AMCAS, repeat after me they will not go to AMCAS. Your letters will go to the schools that send you secondary applications. Until this point, feel satisfied that your letters are safely in your school's hands but they are of no concern right now.
  26. pfaction

    pfaction

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    Sorry, I'm new to this whole thing. They won't go to AMCAS.
  27. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    No worries, I completely understand. :cool:
  28. pfaction

    pfaction

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    Er, if you have some time, could you help me out with the course list? Toxicology, not sure if that's under Biology or Health Sciences.
  29. COMedic2Doc

    COMedic2Doc

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    I'll have to defer that one to someone else, for me Toxicology would fall under Biology and/or Public Health. It all depends on the framework of the course.
  30. 09ine

    09ine

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    How late is too late to ask for a letter of recommendation? Eg. almost getting done with a class and finishing strongly and then asking? Is finally receiving the letter in August or July just as bad as not asking?
  31. vayntraubinator

    vayntraubinator

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    Unless you have a committee to write a letter (if they need to see all your LORs) then you shouldn't have a problem. From what I understand, you're just not marked "complete" until LORs + secondaries are in.

    The LORs part of the process has a later deadline.
  32. cfive22

    cfive22

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    Thanks sector9. I'll do what I can but after reading over your response and mulling over it with a counselor, I think that I'm going to pass on the letter. Even if I get asked about the absence of the letter during med school interviews, I'd rather be asked and explain that I didn't know him well rather than have a so-so/bad letter limit what medical schools think about me. I'm just trying really hard to control myself from sending him a scathing email. :thumbdown:
  33. vayntraubinator

    vayntraubinator

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    I wouldn't recommend that explanation :/ But I feel you- the LOR process is really out of your control
  34. TheKDizzle

    TheKDizzle

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    Do you all feel that 2 science professors is pretty much mandatory, even if the specific schools don't list it as being a requirement? Most of the schools I'm applying to only require at least 1 science and 1 non-science (only one school requires 2 science 1 non according to their admissions websites). At the moment I only have 1 science and 1 non-science recommendation (and others from research, ECs). The two that I have should be strong, and if I went looking for another it'd probably be weaker than the two that I have. Thoughts?
  35. cfive22

    cfive22

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    What explanation would you recommend? I'm in such a rut I need to come up with a very good reason as to why I don't have this letter...
  36. JWP07

    JWP07

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    Hey All,

    I have a letter packet that will be sent to AMCAS with about 5 LOR. However, I just found out that some schools mention they don't want more than 4 LOR. How do I go about this situation?

    -JWP07
  37. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    You specify which schools get what lors when you add a school to your list.
  38. 1289

    1289

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    I could be wrong, but I thought that if schools give you a max LOR it means that theyll only read that number of letters. so if you give them 5, they will only read 4, no guarantee of which 4 those will be. but I would contact them just to be sure
    Last edited: 05.03.12
  39. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    But if you have a letter packet, it is listed as a single item in the AMCAS application, so the packet with all 5 letters can be either assigned as a whole to schools, or not assigned as a whole.

    OP, consider splitting the letter packet into two packets, or sending each individually, or alternatively call the admissions offices of the schools that request 4 letters and ask them what they want you to do.
  40. 1289

    1289

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    i met with a premed adviser at my school yesterday, after getting some bad advice from her last app cycle i take everything she says with a grain of salt. well anyway she told me that I need to contact all of my letter writers and tell them they have to write my AMCAS id somewhere in their letter? after getting home I skimmed the amcas instruction manual and saw nothing that said this? I use Interfolio, and since they allow you to include an ID number on all deliveries it seems redundant that I would have to ask the writers to actually include my ID number in the letter.. has anyone else heard this? I really would like to avoid contacting every one of my letter writers unless it's necessary.
  41. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    You don't have to put the number on each letter. As long as the letters are sent into AMCAS with the cover letter that has your app number, the letters will be properly assigned to your application.
  42. TheKDizzle

    TheKDizzle

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    She's incorrect. If you're using Interfolio, you do not have to give your letter writers a cover sheet or your AMCAS ID. In fact, you don't even have to have your AMCAS ID yourself yet - you can generate it later and assign it to the letter yourself.
  43. octupus

    octupus inside a lobster suit!

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    That might be the case back in the days, but don't think it's necessary nowadays. My PI who has been writing LOR for years asked me for my AMCAS number and labeled it in the letter herself.
  44. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Merging
  45. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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  46. Hopeful101

    Hopeful101

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    Okay so someone please help me!
    I have created a "letter form" and given it to my advisor (he is writing one of the letters). But he keeps saying that AMCAS has not notified him to submit a letter yet. Does AMCAS do this??? I thought I just had to create a letter form and then that person can submit their letter. Is this right??

    Thanks,
    Hopeful101
  47. Maxine450

    Maxine450

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    WTF is a PI letter?
  48. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    PI stands for Primary Investigator. It's the big boss of your research lab.
  49. sbuxaddict

    sbuxaddict

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    I asked one of the doctors at work for a LOR, and he asked me to write one first, saying "no one knows you better than yourself". Then he'd change it up and add more things, and mail it out.

    Any tips/advice for writing my own LOR? :confused:
  50. Wolverine Fan

    Wolverine Fan

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    They're not stupid... they'll know it came from you instead of from your doctor.
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