Can I ask my professor to future date a letter of recommendation?

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carson16666

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I can't find anything online pertaining to this question (maybe I'm just wording my searches incorrectly), but I'm wondering how I should go about asking for a letter of recommendation when I'm applying to medical school in 2025. I feel like the optimal way to do this would be to just ask my professor to date the letter in 2025 or so, but I don't know if this is allowed. I don't want to wait until I'm applying to ask for a letter because by then my professor would've forgotten many things about me. Does anyone know how I should approach this? I feel like this is a dumb question but I really can't find anything after 30 minutes of google searches. Thank you!

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I can't find anything online pertaining to this question (maybe I'm just wording my searches incorrectly), but I'm wondering how I should go about asking for a letter of recommendation when I'm applying to medical school in 2025. I feel like the optimal way to do this would be to just ask my professor to date the letter in 2025 or so, but I don't know if this is allowed. I don't want to wait until I'm applying to ask for a letter because by then my professor would've forgotten many things about me. Does anyone know how I should approach this? I feel like this is a dumb question but I really can't find anything after 30 minutes of google searches. Thank you!
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FWIW, I’d consider it unethical if a student asked me to future date a letter for them.

But also, I wouldn’t write a letter for a student not applying this cycle. I’d wait to write it until they applied, and most colleagues are in the same boat.

There are a number of reasons, but the top two are (a) something comes out about a student between letter writing and a future application, and (b) the student never ends up applying.

I’ve spent so many hours writing letters that students never get used, and I try to minimize that.
 
FWIW, I’d consider it unethical if a student asked me to future date a letter for them.

But also, I wouldn’t write a letter for a student not applying this cycle. I’d wait to write it until they applied, and most colleagues are in the same boat.

There are a number of reasons, but the top two are (a) something comes out about a student between letter writing and a future application, and (b) the student never ends up applying.

I’ve spent so many hours writing letters that students never get used, and I try to minimize that.
That makes sense. How do you remember all relevant information about a student if they took your class a couple years before you write them a letter?
 
That makes sense. How do you remember all relevant information about a student if they took your class a couple years before you write them a letter?
If it's a student I knew well enough to write a good letter, I'm not going to forget them, and chances are I've kept up with them since they've graduated and can talk about what they've been working on.
 
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