May 12, 2012
During my medicine rotation, I worked with this 1 attending for 4 weeks straight so he had gotten to know me really well and he would always give great positive feedback to me during our meeting, so I was planning to ask him for LOR. But on our last meeting together, he said "oh btw, I'll be writing the department letter to all my students."

This got me confused, what exactly is department letter? should I still ask him for LOR? If I ask him for LOR, the content would probably be very similar to the department letter, but im leaning towards asking him anyway because I will be applying to non-medicine specialty (anesthesiology) so I don't even know if my programs look at medicine department letter.


7+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2012
Attending Physician
Generally you only get a department letter from the specialty you are applying to. Ask him for the LOR. If you end up not needing it, you won't have to send it as one of your LORs.