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Importance of LORs???

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by HarlanJS, May 4, 2007.

  1. Lets see...i will start with my bio and go from there...

    I applied as late as possible last year...which i plan to get my app in early this year...like within a month

    3.65 GPA
    28N MCAT...10 BIO 10 PS 8 Verbal
    I have lots of volunteer hours in hospital and out of hospital
    I work on the floor of a heart hospital as a CNA...good stuff...

    anyway to my question...how important are LORs? I know mine are probably not too strong...i never found office hours with my profs helpful and was never good at getting to know them...so yeah...opinions please...and brutal honesty is preferred in necessary...
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  3. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
    Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Once you pass the screening cutoffs for GPA and MCAT, LORs are a very important part of the rest of the requirements. Even if your ECs, research, etc are great, luke-warm letters of recomendation can kill your application.

    So learn to play the game. You could reuse LORs from last year as they are dated less than one year ago. Or if you don't trust the writers, GO to after-hours to talk to your professors, even if you know the answer to your questions. If you get an A in the class, make an appointment to discuss whether they feel they could write you a strongly positive letter. If they say yes, have in hand your transcript, curriculum vitae, photo, and a copy of your AMCAS application (so they can read your Personal Statement). Talk about your goals. They must know you well enough to comment on your personality and fitness for becoming a physician. It isn't enough for them to say, 'he/she got the highest A, showed up to class 97% of the time, and asked a question in class 5 times'.
  4. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Likes Received:
    The ADCOMs officer at my school told us that truthfully good LORs help you very minimally (but a bad one can really hurt you). The reason for this is that most people have good LORs. Who is gonna really send a bad one or a weak one?
  5. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Likes Received:
    With GPA/MCAT/PS aside, the LOR is second only to the interview. A strong letter of recommendation, although by itself may not be critically important can drive what questions are asked during the interview.

    LOR policies also vary among schools. When my PI went to UCSF, the LOR's were worth about 25% of what got you into the program, while GPA/MCAT was 25% and interview was worth 50%. Something like that. You have to be strong in as many aspects as possible. Although NRAI2001 has a point, when you reach the post-interview stage, everything matters: your stats, your LORs, how you interviewed, who you are competing against, and sheer luck. What happens if another student has stronger LORs than you? IMO, LORs are far superior to EC's. Anyone can "exaggerate" what kind of EC's they've done. But only with the LORs and interview can an adcom know more about you as a person/applicant, not to mention verify if your EC's/LORs are indeed true.

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