metview

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I would like to send my app in before the 15th. I have 5 letters uploaded, but I am not sure which ones to send. Is it reasonable/possible to assign just 3 letters and then assign the 4th letter at a later time (~ 1 week after submission) after I decide?
 

gutonc

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Yes.

But what sort of information will you get in that week that will help you decide?
 

AdmiralChz

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I would like to send my app in before the 15th. I have 5 letters uploaded, but I am not sure which ones to send. Is it reasonable/possible to assign just 3 letters and then assign the 4th letter at a later time (~ 1 week after submission) after I decide?
Just pick one and go with it, don't spend the next several days/weeks brewing over it. Or, don't use either at all as many programs only require 3 letters. Your choice, but no need to perseverate over it.
 
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aProgDirector

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I agree. The only reason I'd save a slot is if you have a future letter that might be helpful, like a letter from a SubI or perhaps an away rotation. In that case, saving a slot would be reasonable -- but only if the letter is likely to be submitted in a reasonable timeframe (roughly defined as 4-6 weeks).
 

Violetta80

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I agree. The only reason I'd save a slot is if you have a future letter that might be helpful, like a letter from a SubI or perhaps an away rotation. In that case, saving a slot would be reasonable -- but only if the letter is likely to be submitted in a reasonable timeframe (roughly defined as 4-6 weeks).
this is in my case…but like will I have to email the programs again? I am waiting for one important letter but I am not sure if it will get there in time and I would want to submit latest by 9/15 - what should I do? Save a spot for that LOR but then contact the programs? will they have to download my application again to have access to the LOR if I get it later or will this be updated automatically?
 

AdmiralChz

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this is in my case…but like will I have to email the programs again? I am waiting for one important letter but I am not sure if it will get there in time and I would want to submit latest by 9/15 - what should I do? Save a spot for that LOR but then contact the programs? will they have to download my application again to have access to the LOR if I get it later or will this be updated automatically?
There is no more "downloading" of applications, they pull yours up a la database format from the website. If you assign a letter late it will be there (but to most readers, don't do this as you really want to try to have all your letters).

To be honest, letters don't play a huge role for our program until the interview stage - we get such a large number of applications, we simply don't have time to go through them in depth until the interview stage. Our PC just checks for completeness. This certainly isn't true for all programs, though.

Some programs condense the application a few days ahead of interviews for reviewers (making it a more readable or electronic document), so at that point it probably wouldn't be possible to change things.
 

aProgDirector

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There's no reason to email programs about this. When you submit the letter, it will be available. As mentioned, there is no downloading anymore.
 

stop2stop

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There's no reason to email programs about this. When you submit the letter, it will be available. As mentioned, there is no downloading anymore.
Thanks so much for all the info! Going off of this, does not matter when we assign letters, USMLE, etc to programs? For example if I'm still working on a couple things in other parts of the application, is it okay to assign things now or should I wait until everything is finished (Will be before the 15th)?
 

aProgDirector

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Anything you do before the 15th shows up to us as the 15th. Assigning now vs later before the 15th is meaningless.
 
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