A few questions about LOR and committee letter (AMCAS and AACOMAS)

Awesome Sauceome

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Next cycle I will be applying to both allopathic and osteopathic schools. So I have all of my letters set for my committee letter. Now I have been working on trying to get a separate letter from a physician to supplement with my application (many DO schools specifically ask for a composite letter and a separate letter from a physician). I contacted my pre-health adviser and she asked me to send the letter to them so they can put it in the committee letter. Would this be redundant to have a separate letter, but then have anecdotes that were taken from that separate letter that are used to make my composite letter? Or should I try and keep them separate? Note I have plenty (I think like 9-10) of awesome letters (as far as I know) that would already be put into my composite...

Secondly I am having trouble with understanding the separate LOR and the letter service through ACMAS. So Through AMCAS my school will write and then somehow attach the committee letter to my AMCAS account? Then if I want a separate letter I will have that letter writer send it to AMCAS (while signing a paper saying he was a letter writer or something?). Then I can pick and choose which schools will get what letters? (either my composite and/or the separate letter).
Is all of that correct so far?

So then for AACOMAS, they do NOT have a letter service built in to their application. So I would have to make an Interfolio account and have my committee letter attached to my interfolio account, and then have my separate LOR also sent to my interfolio account? Then similar to AMCAS I would pick and choose which letters go to which institutions? Also every DO school uses interfolio correct?
So is all of this also correct?
Also is there another/more efficient/ better way for me to do this? Should I just have my school as well as my letter writer snail mail all of my letters to each of the schools? Would that be easier for them?

My pre-health adviser is INCREDIBLY nice, but I do not know how much experience she has with the med school stuff (she just started like a year ago) and I am not sure if she has any experience with the osteopathic application. Should I just have my letter sent to my undergrad school and let them deal with it? Would they be able to send out my committee letter and my separate letter (by obviously photocopying it) to each school that I am interested in? My school does not have a formal Interfolio or Virtual Eval program as it is a very small school.

As detailed of help as you can give would be awesome. I have tried to separately find each of these answers but some of them are old and/or disjointed. As of right now I have everything like pretty much set for my application next cycle, the only thing that I am struggling with is this letter stuff...

By the way what is the timing I should have all of this done by? Like I plan on submitting the very first day that I can, is it reasonable to not have this stuff done until my secondaries? So like July-ish? Or should I really push everyone to have this crap together before the application cycle starts, just so its all there?
Thanks so much for the help.
 
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I can't answer all of your questions but I'll take a stab at some.

You can definitely wait to have your LOR submitted after your submit your primary. It will take you time to get verified and it will take you some time to write your secondaries. You will need to have your LORs in by the time your secondaries are in to be considered "complete". Sometimes it takes schools a few days or even a couple of weeks to process secondaries/LORs.

You say that you have 9-10 letters. My committee said to not have more than 6-7 at the most. At least at my institution, the committee letter includes a full scan of each individual letter of recommendation. So basically my committee letter consisted of my 5 LORs + commentary from the committee. If your school works the same way then you are actually sending 9-10 letters + commentary....and I don't know that more is better.
 
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Awesome Sauceome

Awesome Sauceome

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Awesome, thanks for getting back to me.

I plan on pre-writing secondaries as much as I can. I am a pretty average applicant stat wise so I am really going to try and use time in my favor. I hope to have everything in line and sent in as quickly as possible.

I am not 100% sure of the details of the committee letter. But the impression that I have gotten is that they take excerpts from each of the letters and form one larger letter from it. I have heard no mention of whether or not they also send the letters that it is made from. The adviser just basically said "start collecting letters" without any real direction on to how many. Again, I feel sort of in the dark about it; my pre-med adviser, while very kind and helpful, seems to not have everything straight (hence I am starting this stuff as early as possible). Like I know she was going to start writing the committee letter in september-october (she claims thats when they normally do it) which I threw a freaking fit about because I hope to be DONE secondaries by August (assuming I get everything else in on day one and schools even like me enough to send secondaries heh). So like that has sort of set this unsettling tone about the whole thing and was actually one of the reasons why I postponed my application another year.

So in all reality I dont know exactly what is going on. I will try and contact another member of the committee who I am closer with, maybe they will give me some insight on it. But realistically I am just trying to figure out as much as I possibly can so that I can do as much that is in my power to do.
 

Euxox

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Would this be redundant to have a separate letter, but then have anecdotes that were taken from that separate letter that are used to make my composite letter? Or should I try and keep them separate?
Call some DO schools that you plan on applying to and ask them what they would prefer. Make sure to tell them if your committee scans in the full letters like kyamh's does, or if they just quote the letters.
Note I have plenty (I think like 9-10) of awesome letters (as far as I know) that would already be put into my composite...
Too many. Quality is better than quantity, and I highly doubt that all 9 - 10 of those letters will be top notch. I posted a similar statement in another thread yesterday: It's better to have five great letters than five great letters mixed with four mediocre ones. A good letter of rec comes from someone who can say something more substantive than "Awesome got an A in my very difficult class." You want them to be able to pass comment on your work ethic, your teamwork leadership abilities, your personality -- things which the admissions committee can't glean from just your transcript. There were only four professors and staff members that I felt knew me well enough to write about me in this way, so I only sent four letters of recommendation to my committee.
So Through AMCAS my school will write and then somehow attach the committee letter to my AMCAS account? Then if I want a separate letter I will have that letter writer send it to AMCAS (while signing a paper saying he was a letter writer or something?). Then I can pick and choose which schools will get what letters? (either my composite and/or the separate letter).
Yes, that all sounds about right, but it couldn't hurt to call AMCAS to double check.
So then for AACOMAS, they do NOT have a letter service built in to their application. So I would have to make an Interfolio account and have my committee letter attached to my interfolio account, and then have my separate LOR also sent to my interfolio account? Then similar to AMCAS I would pick and choose which letters go to which institutions? Also every DO school uses interfolio correct?
Again, sounds about right, but it is best to call or email the relevant groups to double check.
By the way what is the timing I should have all of this done by? Like I plan on submitting the very first day that I can, is it reasonable to not have this stuff done until my secondaries? So like July-ish? Or should I really push everyone to have this crap together before the application cycle starts, just so its all there?
You just need to get your letters in by the time you start submitting your secondaries. That ensures that the lack of letters will not prevent your application from being marked complete. July sounds like a reasonable deadline. If you already know that you are going to be swamped with work next summer, or if you just like the piece of mind of being done ahead of the deadline, then get your letters in early. Otherwise, you should be fine if they arrive in July.
 
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Awesome Sauceome

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awesome thanks, I will call a few and see what they think. I will also contact my home school to find out exactly what they do with my letters.

And seriously though on a side note, I might have out of those 9 or 10, 1 that is meh. The rest were after doing a ton of research with them (like a year+) or working for them for like at least 6 months very closely. Of those 9 or 10, I only have a single letter that is from a professor that I only took their course. Of the rest of my letters from bosses (at research institutes), or from professors that I did research for, TA'd for etc, I had very close relationships. In general I would say I have decent EC's and awesome relationships with the people I worked for and/or did research with. (we are talking like, came to my wedding and stuff kind of good relationships).

So with that in mind, should I still try and wean down the numbers?
 

Euxox

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And seriously though on a side note, I might have out of those 9 or 10, 1 that is meh. So with that in mind, should I still try and wean down the numbers?
I'm not sure. You should probably ask an admissions person like LizzyM, Catalystik, or Goro. When I was applying for undergrad, one admissions officer said "we usually get the idea" after the first five or six letters, but he never said that you would be penalized for sending in an excessive number of letters. I'm not sure how that would translate to medical school admissions.
 

Catalystik

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If your committee specifies a maximum number of letters, then don't exceed that number. Whether the letters are attached to the composite letter or not, it still counts as one letter by AMCAS rules.