gregoryhouse

Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine
Nov 6, 2013
332
257
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys, so I am getting ready to apply for this cycle and I was wondering if you guys think its okay to have 2 non-optho LORs and 1 ophtho LOR. I dont have a home program and so I had to rely on away rotations for LORs but the only problem is that I started aways late in July so I could only get one ophtho LOR so far. However I am receiving it from a great program and it should be a strong letter, plus the attending told me he adds in all the comments from the other attendings I worked with.

I have another rotation in August but I feel like I will be rushed to get another letter on time. I have a strong LOR from surgery and another from medicine at my home institution. Also the rotation I am going to next splits up the rotation into a different specialty each week, so I feel like it will be hard to get a good letter due to lack of continuity with the attendings.

The program director at the institution I am at now is the one who actually suggested to get a strong LOR from my medicine clerkship instead of a second ophtho letter. But I am just wondering if you guys have any experience with this.

What do you guys think or suggest?

THanks
 

DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
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I think this fine. Especially without a home program. Med students in general do more work and studying and have more chance to demonstrate work ethic on their core rotations in 3rd year such as medicine. If you did well on the tests and activities asked if you as well as formed a relationship with an attending such that he is willing to write you a letter than I'm sure it will be a great letter.

Ophtho letters on away rotations are often written based on a gestalt that people have for you based on their interactions and their review of your personal statement. That doesn't mean the letter won't be strong. Just that there isn't much concrete we can test you on and it's not really fair to do that anyways. Now if you do research or spend months on and off with people shadowing and coming to their clinics that's different.

So basically what I'm saying is that medicine and surgery and other specialty letters can be plenty strong especially since they spend considerable Time with you and see your performance clinically, your through the process on rounds and even give you a shelf or oral exam... so I think you're gonna be fine. :) A strong letter is a strong letter any way you slice it.


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gregoryhouse

gregoryhouse

Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine
Nov 6, 2013
332
257
Status
Medical Student
I think this fine. Especially without a home program. Med students in general do more work and studying and have more chance to demonstrate work ethic on their core rotations in 3rd year such as medicine. If you did well on the tests and activities asked if you as well as formed a relationship with an attending such that he is willing to write you a letter than I'm sure it will be a great letter.

Ophtho letters on away rotations are often written based on a gestalt that people have for you based on their interactions and their review of your personal statement. That doesn't mean the letter won't be strong. Just that there isn't much concrete we can test you on and it's not really fair to do that anyways. Now if you do research or spend months on and off with people shadowing and coming to their clinics that's different.

So basically what I'm saying is that medicine and surgery and other specialty letters can be plenty strong especially since they spend considerable Time with you and see your performance clinically, your through the process on rounds and even give you a shelf or oral exam... so I think you're gonna be fine. :) A strong letter is a strong letter any way you slice it.


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Thanks good to hear that!
 
Jul 17, 2012
117
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West
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Medical Student
I called a few programs to ask a similar question: is three strong letters w/ one ophtho better than replacing one strong non-optho with a meh-ophtho letter, giving me two ophthos. The responses varied. Two programs said definitely the strongest letters regardless of specialty, and the other three said that only having one ophtho letter was sometimes a red flag but wouldn't exclude one from consideration. In your situation, I'd guess that one ophtho letter would be more acceptable than with others who have a home ophtho program.
 

100D

2+ Year Member
May 17, 2015
47
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Status
Attending Physician
You have no choice so I would just go with it, and have your ophtho mentor go bat for you. Just know that some adcom faculty may ignore non-ophtho letters first pass.
 

Corey3326

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2008
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Pre-Medical
You will be fine; I did the same a few years ago when applying for residency, and I had a home ophtho program. I had two very strong non ophtho letters, and one very strong ophtho letter, and it all turned out fine for me.
 
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gregoryhouse

gregoryhouse

Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine
Nov 6, 2013
332
257
Status
Medical Student
You will be fine; I did the same a few years ago when applying for residency, and I had a home ophtho program. I had two very strong non ophtho letters, and one very strong ophtho letter, and it all turned out fine for me.
Thats great to know! Thanks
 
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