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Is it o.k. to have a rec. letter written by TA and cosigned by Professor?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mr. H, May 30, 2002.

  1. Mr. H

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    The reason I ask is that I spoke mainly with the TA during the year, but only some with the prof. I know the prof. would cosign the great letter my TA would write. Is this really looked down upon? What other options would be best?
     
  2. none

    none 1K Member
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    Is it preferable to a letter written and signed only by a prof? No. Is it acceptable? Probably. If that's all you can get, that's all you can get.
     
  3. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    my pre-med advisor told me it is ok as long as you have at least a couple of other letters from profs. unfortunately i was unable to get hold of my ta <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  4. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    I wouldn't do it! But like none said, if that's all you can get, then that's all you can get.
     
  5. Doc AdamK in 2006

    Doc AdamK in 2006 Now 2 year UB Med Doc
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    Depends on the TA.

    Was he a fellow undergraduate at the time.
    Was he/she a PhD candidate?
    Was he/she a graduate student.

    AK
     
  6. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    doc adam,
    that's a good point. mine was a phd candidate, which is quite a bit different from an undergrduate or masters level student.
     
  7. Doc AdamK in 2006

    Doc AdamK in 2006 Now 2 year UB Med Doc
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    He or she is a DR. by now, right.

    I think it is alright.

    I wouldn't dare do it if the person was a undergrad or masters.

    AK
     
  8. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    Even if the person was a PhD candidate I wouldn't do it. The ideal is to get a full fledged prof who knows you WELL and has tons of good stuff to say about you.
     
  9. paisley1

    paisley1 Senior Member
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    When I applied last year, I asked my Physical Chemistry TA, who I knew very well, to write me a letter to fulfill the science letter requirement. I asked the professor, who I didn't know so well, to co-sign it.

    I spoke to a couple of medical school admissions people beforehand and they said that such letters carry much more weight if it sounds as though BOTH people wrote and signed it. So, I asked the TA to write it in such a manner. The professor agreed to sign it after giving it a read-through. Hope that helps. Good luck! :)
     
  10. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    i think we all agree that the ideal is to get a prof who knows you well. however, if it is between a phd candidate ta who knows you well and can write a stellar letter and a prof who doesn't know you at all and you have doubts as to the strength of the letter, i'd go with the ta as long as i had other strong letters from profs.
     
  11. Cdc28p

    Cdc28p Senior Member
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    I had a great letter from a TA who was a grad student and knew me much better than the prof who cosigned the letter. It turned out fine in the end.

    I think the more important question is not whether you should ask a TA or a prof but whether the person you're asking knows how to write well. I didn't ask a few professors who knew me pretty well to write letters because I knew that they were less-than-excellent writers. I know it's tough to judge whether a professor writes well, but you can guess reasonably from the way he or she talks.
     
  12. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Guitarman for President
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    I had a letter sent by a lab course TA (nearly finished with his Ph.D.) which was cosigned by the professor that directed the lab (2nd semester organic chem lab). I don't think it had any negative effect on my application (applied to 4, accepted to 2, on hold at 1, and rejected at 1). But I also sent about 4 other letters from other professors. I think it makes sense to have somebody who knows you well write the letter, and if you are concerned about it, send an extra letter from somebody you know is "qualified" to assess your medical school potential.
     
  13. jot

    jot

    i was asked to write two letters for med school as a sophomore gen chem ta, and once for orgo as a junior. thats bad news ... i told them they were just better of talking to the prof for a bit and asking them (if you have the time to do so). it seemed almost pretentious on my part to write one since i'm applying this year as well. but i agree with the above ... cosigning is probably marginally ok. goodluck
    -jot
     
  14. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    Hi,

    For this class, i know the prof adn TA quite well. either could write something good. but it's the profs policy that the TA write and he sign. Do you think i should use this? or get a different prof to write? I got an A+ in the class, and they got to know me good also. SO i think it'd be good to use someone w/ this class.

    How would medschools even though who wrote it?

    my TA was a 2nd year grad student. so, i guess when i get the letter, he'd be finishing grad school.
    (oh, and the TA was always kindof lazy, really not caring to TA us, other stuff that would strike me as rather irresponsible for being a grad student... i'm positive i'll have to keep reminding him and such to get the letter on time)

    sonya
     

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