Key contents of letters of recommendation?

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Jan 7, 2015
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I have asked the main researcher and manager of my lab –also my "bench mentor"– to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf. They have agreed and even expressed a desire to do so. However, they know very little to nothing about MD/PhD, and have never written a letter for such an applicant. They have asked me to provide them with guidelines and an strong example so that they can speak specifically to what matters most.

They said they'll work with the PI to make sure it what it needs to be, but the PI is not from the US and also knows very little about such programs. I have written them both stating that it ought to address my abilities to be a physician, but more so my abilities to be a scientist, and they would still like a few more guidelines.

Any advice or guidelines/examples would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for your help and feel free to ask me any questions.