Jan 17, 2010
I applied to several internships recently, and one of my recommenders was the volunteer coordinator of a blood bank that I have volunteered at for upwards of 300 hours over almost 2 years. I got a look at the LoR, and it is mediocre at best. It just says the number of hours I did, the jobs I performed, and includes some vague adjectives such as responsible, timely, and such. However, it is very impersonal and could be written for anyone. It doesn't include anything that I specifically did. She doesn't know me very well because I volunteer on the weekend when she is not at work, but she's called me the night before drives she needed volunteers for and I've been there the next morning, and I've showed new volunteers the ropes, so the LoR should have been better.

I guess my question is, if I put on my medical school application that I did this volunteer position, will it cause red flags if I don't include her LoR since I spent so long there? Any advice about what I should do? My boss is generally the secretary, and he knows me better. Should I get an LoR from him instead?


Nov 20, 2009
Boston, MA
Medical Student
I would leave that letter out. It does nothing to help your application.

If the secretary can write you a better letter, ask him to do it and maybe he can also get his boss to co-sign it.