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How important are good LoRs and how to set yourself up to get a great one?

Gauss44

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  1. Pre-Medical
    How important is it when applying to MD schools, that LoRs are terrific? How does that weigh compared to MCAT, activities section, personal statement, etc. Higher, lower?

    Let's say, you are going to request a LoR soon (so the factors of how well you know the professor, etc. are already set). What can one do or write in a request (verbal or written) to increase the chances of getting a good letter? (And not getting, "no," or a bad letter.)
     

    neurophilic

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    1. Pre-Medical
      Let's say, you are going to request a LoR soon (so the factors of how well you know the professor, etc. are already set). What can one do or write in a request (verbal or written) to increase the chances of getting a good letter? (And not getting, "no," or a bad letter.)
      I would suggest providing the professor with an updated and tailored CV or Resume and perhaps an unofficial transcript so they can get a better idea of your academic capabilities.

      Edit: Also, often times professors would like to see your personal statement so it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to provide them with this right from the get go to show your interest in medicine.
       
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      Zosa

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      1. Pre-Medical
        How important is it when applying to MD schools, that LoRs are terrific? How does that weigh compared to MCAT, activities section, personal statement, etc. Higher, lower?

        Let's say, you are going to request a LoR soon (so the factors of how well you know the professor, etc. are already set). What can one do or write in a request (verbal or written) to increase the chances of getting a good letter? (And not getting, "no," or a bad letter.)

        From alot of the advisors and admission committee's I've spoken too, I've generally been told that an LoR can make or break you. With outstanding LoR's it may give you a nice boost, esp if the school is not sure yet. But a bad one could throw you into question. Schools usually say everything is "holistic" when thats not really the truth but in those holistic school cases its suppose to be equal.

        and for them to write a better one, maybe send them some information about yourself, or if your close to them really explain the importance of a good letter.
         
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        gyngyn

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          Goro

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            Most pre-meds have this delusion that LORs are magic and will land them a seat in med school all by themselves (PS's also fall under the same spell).

            In reality, they all gel after awhile, just like PS's. When I see a candidate who has a slew of great LORs, I will not this and mention it in my evaluations of the candidate and in our Adcom meetings.

            This by itself will NOT push someone into an accept. The whole package does.

            To get a good LOR, I recommend asking: "Professor X, do you know me well enough to write me a good LOR for my med school app?"
             

            aaronrodgers

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              Most pre-meds have this delusion that LORs are magic and will land them a seat in med school all by themselves (PS's also fall under the same spell).

              In reality, they all gel after awhile, just like PS's. When I see a candidate who has a slew of great LORs, I will not this and mention it in my evaluations of the candidate and in our Adcom meetings.

              This by itself will NOT push someone into an accept. The whole package does.

              To get a good LOR, I recommend asking: "Professor X, do you know me well enough to write me a good LOR for my med school app?"

              after presentation, is it a majority vote or unanimous vote to allow an acceptance? how much back-and-forth is there when adcoms discuss an applicant?
               

              DameJulie

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                I felt like if all or most of your LOR is outstanding (aka "this is the best student I have ever taught"), then it might be a deal breaker.

                But if it's just 1 LOR that says that, then it's only helping marginally?
                 
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