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Do Schools Like "Extra" LORs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Chemist0157, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Chemist0157

    Chemist0157 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Many schools appear to just require 1 letter from a committee or 3-4 individual letters. Do schools actually want more than that because it seems like many of you are getting LORs from several professors, physicians you shadowed, etc. and I don't really understand why if schools just want 1 letter?
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  3. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Most schools will ask for 3 letters, often from 3 faculty members (2 from sciences). Additional ones are up to you.

    I'd limit myself to two letters over what they recommend. More of that gets pretentious and has diminishing returns.

    Most reviewers give each application about the same amount of time. If you have bundles and bundles of LORs, the reviewer will just spend less time on them and they'll have less impact. Don't go overboard.
  4. Chemist0157

    Chemist0157 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Right. I didn't know we actually could send more than what the schools required. I started looking at my schools, and I think all of them ask for a committee letter so I had these other LORs for nothing. I'll probably send over that committee letter and 1-2 individual letters.
  5. BklynWill

    BklynWill EM Attending 10+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2003
    New York
    n+2 is the rule I've always tried to follow as well
  6. tardyturtle

    tardyturtle 2+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    The user Hückel3464 said the rule was 4n+2... but who knows...

    (if you didn't get the joke, then you need to retake orgo)
  7. bcat85

    bcat85 10+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Yeah I would send as many LOR's as you deem meaningful. If you have done a lot of research with different doctors, then it is probably ok to get letters from them. Now, if you want a letter from the lady whose grass you cut in junior high, maybe don't.
  8. rowerlauren

    rowerlauren 2+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    I feel that if they add something new about you that another rec doesn't provide then it should be included. I had to get the two profs I TAed for (science classes), my PI, a non-science prof that I have had 4 classes with and my coach just because they knew me in different ways and can mention substantial interactions with me. On top of that we have a pre-med committee, so I am going to have 6 letters including the cover letter... But I can't think of any letter I would want to cut, my dean told me that my letters are "wonderful" and they all know me differently.
    Hopefully the adcoms will not see this as excessive...
  9. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Dec 26, 2005
    I would think it highly depends on the school. Tulane for example ONLY wants your pre-med committee letter and if not that then your 2 sciences and I think 1 non-science letter.

    I had 1 pre-med committee letter and then 2 letters from attending physicians, one a surgeon I had volunteered with for 2 years and another from a medical attending I volunteered with in another capacity for a similar time span. My pre-med "committee" letter was actually written by a single person (head of the biology, math and science department), he called a few of my professors and asked them questions about me, but they did not write any of it. He was also my pre-med advisor, so he knew me very well. He asked me to contact two or three of my professors I had good relationships with, and ask them if they would mind assisting him in writing a letter for me. I felt my "academic" letters were greatly helped by the fact that I went to a small school where all the professors knew your name and all about you.

    I think most schools would have let me get away with only a pre-med committee letter, while others wanted that, plus some "additional" letters. While Tulane for example wanted nothing but the essentials.

    During my interview I found that the interviewers referenced my pre-med letter but never once my additional letters. So I would bet any extraneous LOR carries much less weight than the essential letters do.

    Of course some people say if you can get one from a prestigious type it could help, but I don't know. I think the best letter is from someone who really knows you well and if you have that, then sure go ahead and send it. If not don't try to snag some letter from a person you hardly know. I was very lucky in that I got three letters written and all three knew me well and they were all very good letters (from what I understandd, I never read them).

    Another thing to remember is, if you are getting a letter written help your writer help you. Have your PS, AMCAS activities, transcript and other items available to send to them so their writing process will be easier and likely include the things you are proud of.

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