Jul 23, 2013
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Hey all,

I am starting to get my letters together and I am wondering if it would be a good/bad idea to get a letter from the lead tech at the imaging department I have been volunteering at for 1.5 years.

I have had shadowed Doctors but I don't believe they know me well enough to write me a stellar letter. The people who have actually seen me in "action" in the clinical setting are mostly all x-ray techs. I have developed a strong relationship with a handful of these techs and I also know the lead tech fairly well. I was wondering if it would be a good idea if I asked a some of the techs to write a few paragraphs about me then give them to the lead tech in order for him to compile and put his own spin on my letter.

Would this look bad since it is not coming from a physician? Would it be better to go ahead and ask for a letter from a physician even though they have no idea how I truly am around patients since I am pretty much only observing with them? Thanks.
 

justAstudent

7+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2011
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Medical Student
Contrary to popular belief, a letter of recommendation from a physician is not required nor does it give you any distinct advantages when applying for the exact reasons you stated - they can't possibly know enough about you to write anything significant. It seems like getting a letter from the lead tech is a good idea especially since he has seen your work and presumably knows you pretty well. I would approach him and ask if he is willing to write a strong letter of recommendation for you.
 
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RogueUnicorn

rawr.
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Jul 15, 2009
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I would think such a letter by someone who's supervised you in action, and knows you well (and likes you) would be of benefit, and probably over that of a physician who doesn't know you. One thing you CAN do is have a physician also co-sign the letter, perhaps the radiology chair or whomever it is who supervises the techs
 
May 10, 2013
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I second mdhopeeful... it sounds like the letter from the lead tech would be a lot better than a physician who doesn't know you that well. I think a 'composite' letter with comments from all the techs you know well, drafted by the lead tech, sounds like an excellent idea.
 
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alpinism

Give Em' the Jet Fuel
7+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2011
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Detroit
Hey all,

I am starting to get my letters together and I am wondering if it would be a good/bad idea to get a letter from the lead tech at the imaging department I have been volunteering at for 1.5 years.

I have had shadowed Doctors but I don't believe they know me well enough to write me a stellar letter. The people who have actually seen me in "action" in the clinical setting are mostly all x-ray techs. I have developed a strong relationship with a handful of these techs and I also know the lead tech fairly well. I was wondering if it would be a good idea if I asked a some of the techs to write a few paragraphs about me then give them to the lead tech in order for him to compile and put his own spin on my letter.

Would this look bad since it is not coming from a physician? Would it be better to go ahead and ask for a letter from a physician even though they have no idea how I truly am around patients since I am pretty much only observing with them? Thanks.
Sounds good. You can use it as a character reference letter.

Contrary to popular belief, a letter of recommendation from a physician is not required nor does it give you any distinct advantages when applying for the exact reasons you stated - they can't possibly know enough about you to write anything significant. It seems like getting a letter from the lead tech is a good idea especially since he has seen your work and presumably knows you pretty well. I would approach him and ask if he is willing to write a strong letter of recommendation for you.
Many DO schools require a physician letter. In addition, some MD schools strongly recommend one from a physician.

For example:
http://www.gru.edu/mcg/admissions/application/procedures.php