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Did you use Pre-health committee or OTHER?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Fooman, Oct 4, 2001.

  1. Fooman

    Fooman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 14, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    For most of the DO schools, most require a letter of recommendation from a pre-health committee or two science faculty members in place of it.

    For all of you who are currently in DO programs, did anyone submit letters other than from the pre-health committee?

    I'm in a bad situation, due to a technicality, that may not allow me to use my pre-health committee. I was wondering if that hurts my chances for admissions.
     
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  3. Big Bill

    Big Bill Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 21, 2001
    Va
    Hey I think that is better than using the committee, using faculty that is. I mean they could be political where the faculty knows you on a one to one basis. Stay with the faculty you have more choices and can control the situation better.
     
  4. Steev2000

    Steev2000 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 7, 2001
    I don't know how your undergrad school works, but letters from faculty were part of my pre health letter. I don't know if that makes sense so I'll try to explain. I had to get three recommendations from professors and submit those to my pre health advisor who then used those, along with her own experience with me, to write the letter that got sent to the medical schools. Particular details of what exactly goes into that letter and how it is put together, I have no idea. But, for me, a letter from a pre health (so called) committee was the same as getting letters from faculty. Either way, I would try to get everything in as early as possible. Although I applied fairly late and still got in so who knows. Good luck and take care,

    zach
     
  5. Fooman

    Fooman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 14, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Steve2000: Our school's process is the same as yours except that the faculty members must also have taught you in the past. Unfortunately, one of my best letters would be from a faculty member that didn't teach me, but I spent three years working with him doing research and he has a better feel for my capabilities than anyone else. But if I go through the pre-health committee, I cannot include his letter. This is the technical issue that I couldn't get the committee to give me an exception on, even after explaining the situation.

    Also, the other professors that I was going to get no longer teach at my school. So it basically puts me in a bind. In order to get the committee to write a letter, I'll have to find professors who don't really know me except for the fact that I got an A in their class. That to me, would make a weak letter.
     
  6. Steev2000

    Steev2000 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 7, 2001
    Foo,
    where do you go to school? the only reason I ask is that I'm from Birmingham myself. Anyway, you want to put your best foot forward. I didn't really know 2 of my three, so what they had me do was to come in, sit down, and talk with them a while. I guess it worked out because I'm here. I don't see why it would be a problem to send them directly from professors instead of the pre health committee route. If you do decide to use the committee, of course it would be better to know the professors really well, but they understand where you are coming from(they can't know all of their students personally) and are ususally more than willing to help you out. You have a tough call though, it seems that the letter from your researcher/faculty would be a really good idea. Refresh my memory, is there a limit to the number of recommendations that you can send? Or just a minimum requirement? I think it is the latter and in that case, if you don't feel comfortable wiht just the two, send the other one in addition to the pre health committee letter. If you send it they will read it. But also, something to remember, you don't want to rush your recommenders. Make sure to give them enough time to write you a good letter. This puts you in a difficult situation because it is important to get everything in as early as possible. If you need them fast, try to let them know in a nice way, but don't be pushy. They are doing you a huge favor, and you never find out what they say. Sorry for the length, good luck,

    Zach
     
  7. Fooman

    Fooman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 14, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I did go to UAB. I graduated a year ago and currently working at Children's Hospital. I know I'm behind on my application and I'm still waiting on my MCAT score too. Where did you go to school?

    If I want to go through the committee route, I'm limited to three letters: 3 science faculty or 2 science and 1 non-science. All have to be professors who taught me.

    If I go on my own, it depends on the school. In addition to the DO letter, most require 2 science faculty or more, regardless of whether they taught me or not I assume, but have some relation with me such as a prof from lab, etc. I also do not know whether they accept more letters than required. I was told that was a bad idea to send them more letters that they require.

    In any case, I'm going to call the schools tomorrow that I'm applying to and ask them specific details on the the recom letters. since I don't have any secondary applications yet.
     
  8. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 19, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Something I didn't learn until too late is that, once your file is established (initial documentation turned in and accepted), you can send "supportive documentation" directly to your desired school and they will include it in your file. This documentation can be updated transcripts or additional letters of recommendation, such as from an employer or research director. Most schools want a whole picture of you, so more information is better. Do not abuse this, however, and make a nuisance of yourself by flooding their mailroom, but a followup packet can move your file to the top. Be sure to check with your school because a few have very strict rules about what can and cannot be included.
     
  9. Steev2000

    Steev2000 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 7, 2001
    Foo,
    I can't believe L. Luck wouldn't let that slide. Let me know how things turn out. Where all are you applying? I'd be more than happy to give any info(not that you want to or need to hear it) I can on the schools that I interviewed at last year. Maybe I can keep you from making the same mistakes that I did. Take care,

    zach
     
  10. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 10, 2000
    kansas city, mo, usa
    i went to a small liberal arts school, and my school didnt have a pre-health committee. i got in using 3 good recs from chem and bio profs, and an MD i worked for. so i dont think that it matters whether you send recs from a prehealth committee or do something else as long as you know some profs who are capable of writing strong recs.
     

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