3rd year letter of recommendation

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Darkskies, 09.28.14.

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  1. Darkskies

    Darkskies 7+ Year Member

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    Hi,

    I just completed my psychiatry rotation and I was wondering whether it is very important to obtain a letter of recommendation from my preceptor. If I could possibly see myself in psychiatry, is it imperative that I ask my preceptor for a recommendation? This was my 2nd rotation in third year thus far and I enjoyed it but I don't know if I was really able to make myself stand out compared to my peers. Are residency directors keen on the fact that applicants have a 3rd year letter of recommendation?
     
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  3. splik

    splik 7+ Year Member

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    Your LoRs should just be from people who know you best and can write the strongest ones. You need at least one psychiatry LoR but this doesn't have to be from your 3rd year clerkship. I have to tell you, it doesn't make a difference to your performance whether you do psych early or late, if you're going to make an impression or do well. psych is different enough from anything else that you're not going to have magically been able to stand out if it was your last rotation. however i suspect you made a better impression than you think and their perception of you will be boosted by your interest in going into psych given the small number that do.
     
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  4. Darkskies

    Darkskies 7+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the response. I don't think I'll have another chance to rotate in psychiatry again until 4th year when I have electives. Would I have enough time to complete my applications and then send my LORs in at a later point after my psychiatry elective is done? Would my application be late because of this? Is it important to apply as early as possible?
     
  5. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Presumably you're having conversations with this preceptor about psychiatry and your interests therein. I'd make the request at this point something like "Would you mind if I get in touch with you again in a few months and talk about this again? I might seriously be applying at that time, and would definitely want your recommendation." That way you're keeping an open door, and also starting a conversation that will let their recs be "fresh" when the letter is actually written.
     
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  6. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Applying "as early as possible" is overrated--and is breaking ERAS.
     
  7. Darkskies

    Darkskies 7+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the reply. However, I am a current third year and will not be able to have another clerkship in psychiatry until 4th year when I have my electives. I don't know too much yet about the application process but I was under the impression that the application opens in May and can be submitted at the latest by November. I might be able to have another rotation in psychiatry by November but will I have to hold off on sending in my application until I get that letter of recommendation? In that case would it be better to get a LOR from my recent preceptor in my 3rd year psychiatry clerkship even though I don't think I particularly shined on my rotation and am not entirely sure what my preceptor thinks of me? I hope I've explained myself correctly. Please don't hesitate to ask me to clarify if it doesn't really make sense.
     
  8. Darkskies

    Darkskies 7+ Year Member

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    Sorry for bumping this thread. Was my post confusing? I'd really appreciate a reply. I'm uncertain as to whether waiting to get a psychiatry LOR in 4th year would delay my application since I presumably would not be able to rotate in an elective until possibly the earliest being July or August and if applications have to be in by November wouldn't it appear to be cutting it close? I know woefully little about residency applications as a still green third year so maybe I'm completely wrong about this..
     
  9. Dharma

    Dharma 5+ Year Member

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    November sounds too late to wait. You'll be at a greater disadvantage waiting for a letter than applying early with only one LOR from a psychiatrist. I'm only a third year myself, so maybe I'm off about this. Hopefully some of the elders can chime in.
     
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  10. hamstergang

    hamstergang Chief Resident 2+ Year Member

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    You can ask your 3rd year attending if he/she can write you a strong letter of recommendation. You'll most likely be able to get it.

    Additionally, you can do a psych rotation in July or August and get a letter from that on time. You can and should submit your application on time, and it's fine if the letter comes later (even if they take a month or two from the end of the rotation, that's not really a problem).

    So don't worry. You'll end up with 2 psych letters and no problems.
     
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  11. MacDonaldTriad

    MacDonaldTriad 2+ Year Member

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    November is probably getting a little late. Anything between 9/15 and Dean’s letters 10/01 is probably on equal ground. Once we have Dean’s letters with their corroborating or not corroborating descriptions of reasons for delays or failures, things begin to change. If you are a superstar, most places will make room to interview you all the way to the end. If you are more in the middle, it becomes more difficult once we assume most of the data is in and we have decided where to draw the line based on the applicant pool and our capacity to see people. We decide about how many people we can see, and yes we do get some cancelations so some applicants are left hanging until that happens, but the people who are “wait listed” begin to say “no thank you” the closer to the end the process becomes. Applicants run out of time and money so we understand this. The “bar” for invites tends to creep up with time as we face the same interview fatigue that applicants are faced with. It is a bit of a game of chicken on our end. If we invite all that we can handle, we will be faced with “why are we seeing this person” when better applicants are coming in. If we hold off on to many slots, there is anxiety about getting enough to fill.

    Holding large numbers on a wait list is cruel and doesn’t let people plan their lives. Applicants holding 20+ interviews they can’t possibly go to is the parallel sin as it closes out interviews for the less fortunate. If you are a good applicant, please decide how many programs you need to see to make up your mind and bow out early. My coordinator wants to kill applicants who cancel after she has arranged for a full day of interviews, so do not cancel last minute. Trust me she knows about everyone in the business and I have no control over her communication network or her ire. She is the nicest person in the world, but this is the one thing that she has lost tolerance for.

    We will try and keep our wait lists short if you keep your end by doing this. If you get more than 8 interviews, you are very likely to be fine. If you don’t, go to all you get. If you don’t match in your top 5 or 6, you are unlikely to match in your top 20 in most cases. We don’t interview applicants we don’t want to match.
     
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  12. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    This.
     
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