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How do you get letters of recomendation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by 8MoreReps, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. 8MoreReps

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    I believe I need 3 and they have to be from a PT or teachers. As for the teachers, can I just email a prof from a previous class where I got an A grade (A & P)? I didn't participate much in class but I did well on everything. Or do you really need a close relationship with them and ask in person?

    I'm assuming asking a PT from when I volunteer might be easier because they will probably expect it or even bring it up to you since they know you are applying.
     
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  3. Corks

    5+ Year Member

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    I did two PT's and two profs. But ultimately chose 2 PT's and 1 Prof. The PT's, one I volunteered for over the last year few months in a nursing home, and one I worked for (as a Rehab Aide).

    The Profs, one of them was my cell biology professor, I got a 30% on the first exam, and then eventually went into her office hours and got my grade up to an A with the highest grade on the final, so that was a no brainer to pick her :p.

    The next one was offered to me. The prof I'm taking for Anatomy teaches at another university where I applied to their PT program, she OFFERED to write a letter for me :). Since she didn't know me that well, and the other letter writers knew me extensively, this is how I based my decison. Not on name or reputation.

    You do want to make sure that your letter writers actually know you. So if youre gonna email your profs out of the blue, at least start a few emails of small talk!
     
  4. jblil

    7+ Year Member

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    I'd ask in person, unless you have moved to a different city. It's very easy to ignore an email.
     
  5. lee222

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    Make sure you give them a 1 month notice at minimum. Also, a PT I volunteered with gave me the advice to let your reference know that Physical Therapy School is competitive so you need a high recommendation from them (just be careful not to come of bad). Most people like helping other people succeed (especially Professors) so they will be glad to help you out as much as possible.
     
  6. NewTestament

    7+ Year Member

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    Ask the PT that you would like him to write you a LOR before you start volunteering in the clinic. Since you're not being paid, the LOR will be your paycheck at the end of your service. The same with a professor. Ask the professor on the first day if he can write you a LOR if you do well in the class.

    And yes it's better to have two LORs from PTs and one from a professor. Most schools only require one to be from a licensed PT, but there are a few (Delaware) that want two LORs from PTs.

    Kevin
     
  7. NeophyteParkour

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    You should get LOR's from people who you feel would give you a good review (1-2 PT's, 1-2 professors, 0-1 employers). Know that they won't lie in their letters. If they don't feel you were a top 15% student, then they won't say so in their LOR for you. This does involve getting to know your professors and hopefully you've done that over the years.

    The best way to ask is to meet them in person with your transcript, resume, and other information (such as to expect an email from PTCAS labelled..., for example) ready. They may or may not need those things, but if a teacher is on the fence about writing you one, then your documents will help. I recommend asking in person because a lot of teachers will just ignore your emails instead of just saying no.

    Lastly, let your professors/PT's know as well in advance as you can. It may take them time to write it, and if for some reason they decline last minute, you'll need a backup plan.
     
    #6 NeophyteParkour, Nov 26, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  8. 8MoreReps

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    So once I get their approval to write the LOR, then what? Who do they send it to? Do I get to read it? I am not applying for about 2 years so if they do one now is it too early?
     
  9. NeophyteParkour

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    That depends on what schools you're applying to. The majority of PT schools use PTCAS (you may want to briefly check it out by going to PTCAS.org). Using PTCAS, you essentially create an online universal application that gets sent out to all the schools you choose. On the website is a section that will guide you through references. All you're required to do is enter their name, how they know you, and their email (or physical address, but online is preferred). The teacher will get an email from PTCAS and reply back with your recommendation. By law, you're allowed to see your reference if you select the option to. However, both the person writing the letter and the schools you're applying to will see that you did not waive your right to view it, and they may ask you about it in an interview, as it seems suspicious.
    Other schools may have a separate reference form they want the references to fill out. In my experience, it's basically the same process but on the school's website.

    I think you should ask your teacher at some time during the semester if they would be willing to write you a LOR in the future when you apply in 2 years.
    Personally I think your best option is to choose a recent reference when you're in the application process, which you're still far away from. Ask them about writing the LOR about 1-3 months before you're ready to submit your applications to grad school.
     
    #8 NeophyteParkour, Nov 26, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  10. almcam1921

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    If youre not applying for 2 years, I would take this time to get to know profs. At my university, they tell us it's better to get a recommendation from a prof whose class you got a B in that knows you well and knows you worked hard than a prof whose class you got an A that has no idea who you are. Schools are going to see your grades on your transcript. If all a prof can write about you is that you did well in his class, that's repetative. If you have someone who can speak as to who you are as a person, not just as letter grades, that helps a lot more.

    I know my prof who wrote me a rec wrote more about what i do in school and the things im passionate about and how good i am at time managing and look---i also have a baller GPA. And i know thats helping me get interviews now. So start getting to know profs. show up to office hours just to introduce yourself. Get to know your advisor. Then ask them summer before you apply.
     
  11. 8MoreReps

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    Thanks guys that is very helpful. One more question about observation hours: How do you track those?
     
  12. Ngozi Onyema

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    Hi everyone I'm new to the forum.

    To contribute to the original poster's follow up question; I would suggest just keeping track of the time you spent at the PT facility.

    I hope the original poster doesn't mind me asking a question in this thread, my question relates to the thread topic.

    How do you clear this problem. I have 3 references: 2 PT's and one coworker(a COTA) and I believe one of the schools I applied to requires 2 PT recommendations. I am looking at the requirements for another school that I'd like to apply to but it requires 2 recommendations from professors and 1 PT. PTCAS, from what I read, only allows a total of 4 references. What do I do in this situation? Since there is no room on PTCAS for it, do I mail the other recommendation from the professor to the school myself? By the way I've yet to get the professor recommendations.

    By the way, about myself, I recently went back to school to pursue the DPT. I worked as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant for 4 and a half years, starting in 2007(I wonder how much advantage that gives me?). I started back to school in fall 2010 where I was only taking physics and chemistry classes and wasn't until January 2011 that I started working on my Bachelors(Communications Major, just trying to do something that I could probably finish quickly), so I'm trying to get my bachelors in a total time of a year and a half from when I started basically. I'm taking a full load of classes every semester to get my bachelors by May 2012 so I can start the DPT program in Fall 2012. I have most of the prerequisites done that most schools ask for except the general biology(which I'm taking in spring semester 2012 and possibly part Gen. Bio 2 in summer 1 session) and developmental psychology(which I'm taking this winter session this January). I've taken the GRE test twice and received the same horrendous score of 810 total but improved with the analytical from a 3 to a 4. I only studied literally a day for those two attempts, as I was taking a full load of classes toward my bachelors at the time(which was this past summer by the way). I just recently bought the study guide but I feel I am running out of time. I've barely cracked the book open. I plan on taking the GRE again as soon as I'm prepared but I feel I'm running out of time. It's already December. All the schools that I have applied to have had their deadlines come and go(one in October 1st) and I am still sitting with this low GRE test score. I don't want to take the GRE again until I am ready but I'm scared I am running out of time. There are still some schools in which I'd like to apply to whose deadlines are not until next year(2012) though but my primary choices have had their deadlines. I really want to start PT school in Fall 2012.
     
  13. pjr75

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    8MoreReps- I just kept track of my hours on a spreadsheet until I was able to enter them into PTCAS. Keep in mind that PTCAS is going to ask not just how many hours, but what type of PT you were observing for those hours (i.e. ortho, geriatric, neuro, peds, etc.) within each setting.

    Ngozi- I had the same problem with my schools wanting different types of references. I chose 4 to do it through PTCAS and then contacted the school that wanted a different reference. I was able to have the extra one emailed directly to the school. I would check with the school first though before just sending it to them.
     
  14. 8MoreReps

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    Cool. Will do.. Will the facility I observe at also record this info in case PTCAS decides to contact or verify the hours? Or do they just take your word for it? I would think they would because otherwise anyone can make up the amount of hours.
     
  15. pjr75

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    I had some places that made me sign in and out to keep track of my hours. Other places just took my work for it. It depends on the schools you apply to as to whether your hours will need to be verified by the PT you shadowed. If they do need to be verified you will enter them into PTCAS and then hit the button to send an email to the PT for verification.
     

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