saki0005

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It's my understanding that in the grand scheme of things, LOR's don't hold much sway in comparison to other aspects of the applicant file.

In your opinion, would it make a difference if that LOR came from a famous surgeon whose uncle is the name-sake of a medical institute at the school you are applying to?

Both would most likely give me equal evaluations.

Do you guys think it really makes a difference or does it come down to grades.

I'm just trying to get a hold of whether I really do have a good thing here.
 

Law2Doc

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saki0005 said:
It's my understanding that in the grand scheme of things, LOR's don't hold much sway in comparison to other aspects of the applicant file.

In your opinion, would it make a difference if that LOR came from a famous surgeon whose uncle is the name-sake of a medical institute at the school you are applying to?

Both would most likely give me equal evaluations.

Do you guys think it really makes a difference or does it come down to grades.

I'm just trying to get a hold of whether I really do have a good thing here.
The best LORs are from MDs and professors who actually know you and have seen you perform in some way. A big name person only holds water if he is willing to state that he knows and has worked with you. If a famous surgeon placed a call, he might be able to get you a courtesy review of your otherwise ignored file, but I doubt the mere name on a letter where he wasn't able to attest to much about you will get the job done. As for importance, a bad LOR can certainly keep you out of med school, glowing ones can help, and certainly if it comes down to otherwise equal candidates, the one with better LORs will have an edge. But a great LOR won't get a mediocre student into med school, I don't think.
 

Elastase

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LORs can make or break an applicant. I believe they are very important, and actually they have been mentioned in some of my interviews...

They are the factors that make you legit...they are the proof (besides publications) that you have actually done something. They show the real person besides the interviews.

Every portion of the application has weight. Good luck!
 

thegenius

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Law2Doc said:
The best LORs are from MDs and professors who actually know you and have seen you perform in some way. A big name person only holds water if he is willing to state that he knows and has worked with you. If a famous surgeon placed a call, he might be able to get you a courtesy review of your otherwise ignored file, but I doubt the mere name on a letter where he wasn't able to attest to much about you will get the job done. As for importance, a bad LOR can certainly keep you out of med school, glowing ones can help, and certainly if it comes down to otherwise equal candidates, the one with better LORs will have an edge. But a great LOR won't get a mediocre student into med school, I don't think.
I, to some extent, disagree with the OP on the importance of LOR's. I think if a candidate can provide three excellent, personal, non-standard form letters and all say something great (and different) on behalf of the applicant, then that would only help the applicant.

Like Law2Doc said, if it comes from a person whom you've known for several years, that should help. I know a woman who used to be on the pre-medical advisory committee while at Harvard med and she said Harvard takes LOR's seriously, and a bad (or even mediocre) LOR can hurt your chances.