etp123

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Aug 25, 2014
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From my understanding, you really should try to get letters of rec from your professors. Med school is school, so they want to know how you fare from an academic standpoint which professors are qualified to answer for. If you're graduating within the next year it's not too late to start talking to them. Just go to office hours and even if you don't really have questions, just talk with them and maybe go over the material again, etc. Seriously, the only person holding yourself back from getting those LORs is you, so don't be afraid to put yourself out there. It worked for me and I've got several supportive letters from professors whose classes I didn't necessarily ace, but because I went to office hours so often they knew me and could speak to my potential.

For volunteering, is there no chance you could fit in a 4-hour shift once a week? It'd be nice to have more clinical/volunteer hours to show adcoms that you have been exposed to a medical setting consistently and for a while so they know you're familiar with and committed to it. But if not, then focus on really doing well in your classes and nailing the MCAT. GPA and MCAT are the #1 determinant for getting your foot in the door, before they can even see your ECs.

Best of luck!
 
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GreenDuck12

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Mar 30, 2014
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You can and should talk to your professors about more than the material (though that should be the basis) as you need to develop a relationship with them. You have plenty of time to do that. If you can, try and take a couple courses with the same professor and be a stand out student. You can stand out without having the highest grade but it takes effort and time.

I just never had a good a reason to talk to the my professors, but I'll just start going to office hours to ask about the material. Yes, for the volunteer hours. I start volunteering for a mentorship program next month, but as of now I have 0 hours. I'm hoping working as a phlebotomist counts as clinical hours?

Thank you for the advice :)
 
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psychtx

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Nov 21, 2014
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That's a good idea and I'll try to take a professor I have now next semester. I've had the highest grade in a few classes since I started at this university (2 times with the same professor). I've only talked about my grades with them, but nothing else. So I'll start asking questions about the material and try to develop a relationship that way. I just don't want to seem as if I'm another a pre-med student trying to get a lor.
 

GreenDuck12

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I mean, at the end of the day, you are another pre med student trying to get a lor and that is completely fine. Part of being a professor is writing recommendations. One thing that works really well when talking to professors is to ask them about their area of research (if they are currently conducting research) as that is definitely an area of interest for them. Maybe another lor could come from the person who is overseeing your research.

That's a good idea and I'll try to take a professor I have now next semester. I've had the highest grade in a few classes since I started at this university (2 times with the same professor). I've only talked about my grades with them, but nothing else. So I'll start asking questions about the material and try to develop a relationship that way. I just don't want to seem as if I'm another a pre-med student trying to get a lor.
 
Aug 10, 2013
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There are a couple of things you can do to work on a letter. The first one is participate in class. Don't be the guy in the back with earbuds in, move to the front or close to the front and when the prof asks a question shoot your hand up.

The point about research is spot on, most profs that are doing research do it because they love it, just as often they love to talk about it. Something that was suggested to me, but I didn't follow, is approach your prof at the beginning of the semester and let them know you hope to earn a letter from them. This separates you from the sea of students that will email the prof in 6 months and ask for a letter. Your prof will be able to talk about you instead of just saying psychtx got an A and didn't stand out in any negative way.
 
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psychtx

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Nov 21, 2014
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You're right, I am just another pre-med. I will definitely start asking about their research. One of the reasons I wanted to do the research program was to receive an lor, so hopefully I get one.
I mean, at the end of the day, you are another pre med student trying to get a lor and that is completely fine. Part of being a professor is writing recommendations. One thing that works really well when talking to professors is to ask them about their area of research (if they are currently conducting research) as that is definitely an area of interest for them. Maybe another lor could come from the person who is overseeing your research.
 
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psychtx

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Nov 21, 2014
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Is it good to receive a lor from an MD or DO?


There are a couple of things you can do to work on a letter. The first one is participate in class. Don't be the guy in the back with earbuds in, move to the front or close to the front and when the prof asks a question shoot your hand up.

The point about research is spot on, most profs that are doing research do it because they love it, just as often they love to talk about it. Something that was suggested to me, but I didn't follow, is approach your prof at the beginning of the semester and let them know you hope to earn a letter from them. This separates you from the sea of students that will email the prof in 6 months and ask for a letter. Your prof will be able to talk about you instead of just saying psychtx got an A and didn't stand out in any negative way.
 
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el_duderino

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Have you worked as a phlebotomist?
 
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psychtx

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Nov 21, 2014
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I've only shadowed two MD's, but I have time to find a DO to shadow. If I apply in Utah or Arizona I will get a clinical letter, if I can.
Are DO schools are ok with letters from MD's or would that be a bad idea?

DO school's love a DO letter.
MD schools regard physician LOE's as fluff.
 
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psychtx

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Nov 21, 2014
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Only for 20 hours, it was a part of the phlebotomy program I was in this past summer. I've heard/read working as a phlebotomist counts as clinical hours? It's one of the reasons why I want to work as one after I graduate.

Have you worked as a phlebotomist?
 

gyngyn

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I've only shadowed two MD's, but I have time to find a DO to shadow. If I apply in Utah or Arizona I will get a clinical letter, if I can.
Are DO schools are ok with letters from MD's or would that be a bad idea?
If you are a TX resident I do not recommend an OOS MD application. Only 193 of 3870 TX applicants left the state last year! Many DO schools will accept any physician letter, but I'm sure they would prefer DO.
 
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psychtx

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Nov 21, 2014
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Wow, that's a small number. I had planned on applying to DO schools out of state because of my gpa. I think tx only has one DO school. Do you think applying to at least a few out of state would give me a better chance or just stick to all Texas schools?
 

gyngyn

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