Dec 5, 2014
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Only 2 of the 5 people I've asked to write me a letter of recommendation have uploaded their letter. One is from a surgeon (my specialty of choice), and the other is from an internal medicine program director (I'm not sure if I'll end up using this letter, but he offered to write me a very strong letter of recommendation and I certainly didn't want to turn down his offer).

I still have 3 surgeon letters of recommendation pending. I asked an extra person, just in case something like this would happen (to help "guarantee" that my application would be 100% complete by September 15th... which now might not even happen..).

I politely emailed reminders last week with zero responses :( How late is "too late" for a letter to be considered?

If I have letters uploaded after September 15th, do I need to contact each program individually to let them know another letter was added (what a major pain... considering I'm applying to close to 60 programs :eek:)?

On a related note... If only 3 surgeons end up writing me a letter of recommendation (versus the 4 I asked), would it be appropriate to send programs the letter from the IM program director? I believe I can only send programs a total of 4 letters through ERAS.
 
OP
C
Dec 5, 2014
79
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Resident [Any Field]
Anyone? Still no uploaded letters this week. Starting to panic... But one of my letter writers promised to have it in by the 15th, so that's something, I guess.

I'm still planning on submitting my application September 15th, even if some of the letters aren't in yet.

What would be better:
1. Submitting two surgeon letters and one IM program director letter on September 15th, and one late surgeon letter, OR
2. Submitting two surgeon letters on September 15th, and two late surgeon letters (hopefully still in by late September)
 

aProgDirector

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Whatever you do, don't start contacting programs to tell them that there has been an update to your application. We see this in ERAS. Telling us serves no purpose.

There isn't a correct answer to your questions. I would guess that most programs do what I do -- we have a self built definition of what constitutes a "complete" application. In my case, that includes 3 LOR's. Each program can decide exactly what it means to be "complete".

If you submitted your app to my program with only 2 LOR's, I wouldn't look at it at all because my "complete apps to review" filter would filter it out. Once the 3rd letter arrived, then it would show up in my queue to review. Once it's "ready" for review, I review it and make some decisions. If I decide not to interview you, then I never look at the application again. If I'm "not sure" and want some additional information, then you'll be put in a "pended" status. If I'm sure I'm going to invite you, then you get invited.

So:
1. If you apply with 2 surgery and 1 IM letter, and I decide not to invite you, I'll never see the 4th letter. To be honest, it's very unlikely that the contents of a 4th letter would really change my decision anyway.
2. If you apply with 2 surgery letters now, and then add one later, I won't see your application until the 3rd letter is submitted. In that case, if it gets late enough I might have filled all of my interview spots.

I can't speak to the value of an IM letter in a GS application.
 
OP
C
Dec 5, 2014
79
64
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Whatever you do, don't start contacting programs to tell them that there has been an update to your application. We see this in ERAS. Telling us serves no purpose.

There isn't a correct answer to your questions. I would guess that most programs do what I do -- we have a self built definition of what constitutes a "complete" application. In my case, that includes 3 LOR's. Each program can decide exactly what it means to be "complete".

If you submitted your app to my program with only 2 LOR's, I wouldn't look at it at all because my "complete apps to review" filter would filter it out. Once the 3rd letter arrived, then it would show up in my queue to review. Once it's "ready" for review, I review it and make some decisions. If I decide not to interview you, then I never look at the application again. If I'm "not sure" and want some additional information, then you'll be put in a "pended" status. If I'm sure I'm going to invite you, then you get invited.

So:
1. If you apply with 2 surgery and 1 IM letter, and I decide not to invite you, I'll never see the 4th letter. To be honest, it's very unlikely that the contents of a 4th letter would really change my decision anyway.
2. If you apply with 2 surgery letters now, and then add one later, I won't see your application until the 3rd letter is submitted. In that case, if it gets late enough I might have filled all of my interview spots.

I can't speak to the value of an IM letter in a GS application.
Thank you very much for your help!!! I sincerely appreciate the info!