Applying to IM without any medicine LORs


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2011
  1. Medical Student
Is such a thing feasible? I'm in a 3 week FM rotation at an outpatient clinic with two practitioners who don't speak English very well, and as of yet my school hasn't scheduled an IM rotation for me. I don't think I'll be asking the two doctors for a letter, so that leaves me without a medicine letter altogether. If I have a letter from clerkships directors in psychiatry, surgery, pediatrics and ob/gyn with the affirmation that I am dedicated to IM, is it enough to score an interview this season? I'm asking this in case I don't get scheduled for IM next, as many students in my school are still on virtual rotations.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 31, 2011
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
We would view that as a red flag, however this season will be vastly different than the norm. If your other clerkship directors really know you and write strong letters detailing your particular strengths and how they're well-suited for internal medicine, that may fly. Expect for that to come up during your interviews. I would reach out to your medicine clerkship director and chief of medicine to further discuss a plan with both of them. Add the IM PD to that list if you've got an in-house program.
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2019
  1. Attending Physician
Some immigrants write English a heck of a lot better than they speak it. It's likely the case for these 2 physicians. I had a letter from a doc who is not native and that letter was brought up multiple times in the interview trail.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2013
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I would echo what @AussieAg says and add that if you are unable to obtain a letter from IM or an IM sub-specialty due to the lack of a scheduled rotation, you have to ensure that the Dean's letter mentions this. Obviously a different situation if you had the opportunity to obtain a letter and didn't cash in vs not having the opportunity at all.
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