Jul 18, 2013
90
3
Status
Medical Student
Most programs on their website state they require only 3 letters of recommendation. I believe ERAS allows to submit 4 letters max to each program

Currently I have 4 letters, 2 clinical and 2 research. Both the research letters are very good. I plan on submitting 2 clinical letters but should I submit the 2 research letters.

If a program specifics 3 letters and you submit 4 does that look bad on your part and will they discard one. My fear is if they discard a letter I don't want it to randomly be a name that they know or trust.

Should I submit all 4 letters or only 3 then.
 

snowpea28

ASA Member
Mar 9, 2014
45
23
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I submitted 4 letters to all of my programs (2 chair letters~ anesth and IM, 1 clinical~ anesth, 1 research). This was regardless of whether they asked for 3 or 4 letters. For prelim programs I substituted my research letter for another IM letter.

My school personally counseled us against sending more than 1 research letter. Unless one of your research letters is a clinician that also worked with you in a clinical setting (for example, an orthopedic surgeon that you did productive research with AND worked with a lot in the OR) I wouldn't use two research letters.

However, I'm on an n=1 and others may have different experiences.
 

gutonc

No Meat, No Treat
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2005
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Attending Physician
Most programs on their website state they require only 3 letters of recommendation. I believe ERAS allows to submit 4 letters max to each program

Currently I have 4 letters, 2 clinical and 2 research. Both the research letters are very good. I plan on submitting 2 clinical letters but should I submit the 2 research letters.

If a program specifics 3 letters and you submit 4 does that look bad on your part and will they discard one. My fear is if they discard a letter I don't want it to randomly be a name that they know or trust.

Should I submit all 4 letters or only 3 then.
Forget the total # of LORs, 3, 4, whatever. They really don't care. But unless you're applying to path, you need another clinical LOR.
 
OP
S
Jul 18, 2013
90
3
Status
Medical Student
why do you need 3 clinical letters i thought 2 would suffice with 1 research letter
 

gutonc

No Meat, No Treat
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2005
18,376
11,344
Status
Attending Physician
why do you need 3 clinical letters i thought 2 would suffice with 1 research letter
I'm suggesting that submitting 50% non-clinical letters is a mistake. 2+1 is fine. 3+1 is fine. 2+2 is a bad idea unless applying strictly to a research residency program. Even then, probably not a great idea.
 
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