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a physician letter important?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by uhohspaghettio, May 15, 2007.

  1. uhohspaghettio

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    for med school application, if you've volunteered for long time in hospital?
     
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  3. Doc Henry

    Doc Henry blowin' in the wind

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    you should still shadow a physician and get a letter. volunteering just isn't as good of an experience as shadowing.
     
  4. uhohspaghettio

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    Since I've shadowed some residents of internal medicine, should I ask an attending to mention about it in the LOR?
    Is this sufficient?
     
  5. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    uh.... yea you're gonna want a LOR from at least 1 doc who has some familiarity with you.

    kinda a "duh" question.
     
  6. uhohspaghettio

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    well, this one guy i know didn't send one from a doctor, but he still got into one of the Cali med schools, so...
     
  7. Hot Push

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    FOr med school or any grad school,

    its the quality of the letter not who its coming from. but then again it does help you who its from and their title...It can't hurt you thats for sure. its better to get a profesor who know you then some doc who doesnt.
     
  8. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    give me a break. getting a MD LOR when your applying to med school is a no-brainer. that doesn't mean letters from other professors (phd's) whatever aren't also important... but if you have a doc that knows you fairly well and you get along with, for gods sake get the letter!
     
  9. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon

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    I didn't have a letter from a physician.. but it's not going to hurt you to have a good one from a doc. Just don't get a BAD one from him :)
     
  10. charles17

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    I'm abit skeptical that LORs from physicians that you've shadowed would provide enough insight on you. Shadowing experiences are passive in the sense that you're just observing the physician. I may be wrong, but it just seems to me that this setting doesn't allow for much evaluation. Does anyone agree with me on this?
     
  11. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection
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    I agree with you. If a medical school doesn't specify that you need a physician letter (like DO schools do), there's no reason to submit one. It would be a rare physician (unless they are a family friend and thus ineligible) who would get to know you well enough to write a great letter that would demonstrate insight into your character, problem solving skills, and future potential. Further, it would be a rare physician who would have the time to craft a really great letter. If you do have the opportunity to get such a letter, of course you should get it. But all schools don't allow elective letters so you may never get an opportunity to use it.
     
  12. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending
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    A shadowing experience doesn't simply have to be a one-way experience where you goto an office, quietly observe the physician, then leave. If it is a two-way experience over time where you get to ask the physician questions, learn a few things about what it's like to become a physician, and the physician you are shadowing gets to know you and your motivations, then it's not "passive".
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Not so rare if you do clinical research. But I agree with you if we are talking about an afternoon of shadowing.

    There is a hierarchy of the nonacademic LORs. From what I have been told, the ideal LOR writer will have worked with you and observed you in a work or volunteer related, or research capacity and know you personally. Once you pass this threshold, then sure, adcom physicians and deans tend to put more weight on the words of other physicians than other individuals, because it is felt that such people are better judges of whether you would make a good physician/colleague. But there is no specific requirement for this for MD schools (I think there is for DO); if you've worked for/with a physician who knows you well and likes you, it is generally beneficial to include such a letter, but if not, don't worry about it.
     
  14. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.

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    Did not submit a letter from a physician.

    Received 4 acceptances in 2004.

    Third year student now.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Not exactly scientific. I mean, I had multiple letters from physicians I had worked with, and basically got the same results.

    See my above post -- use 'em if you've got 'em, if you don't, I wouldn't worry.
     
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  17. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    i'm not implying that you can't get in without a physician letter. but if you have built a strong relationship with a mentoring physician then you're nuts not to submit the LOR. i agree that a weak, generalized letter from anyone is basically worthless. but if you have a doc you get along with well and actually thinks you'd be a good doctor, you'll never convince me that's not an LOR. i got lucky and built an interactive shadowing experience with a couple of docs that has lasted from sophomore year of college to now (MSIII) and i know those letters helped me.

    also submitted LOR from a PhD I researched with for several years and an literature prof. i got along well with.
     

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