Dec 19, 2019
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Hello everyone, I have two questions I hope someone may have some insight on. I have 8 strong recommenders willing to write me recommendations: 2 science professors, 1 non-science professor, the professor in charge of my undergraduate research psychology lab, my mentor from said lab, my PI from my hospital research experience who is a physician, and 2 volunteer supervisors. I realize 8 may be too many. For schools that allow me to use up to this many, should I do that or refrain? my premed advisor said it won't look good as it'll seem like I don't have a few "strong" letters and will just overload my app.

Also, I don't have a letter from a physician I shadowed/worked clinically with. I just started a endoscopy tech position in February but have not gotten close to any of the doctors yet to ask for a letter. I shadowed a obgyn in November but he only wrote letters for students who shadowed him for long periods of time. The nephrologist who is writing me a letter is writing it from a research perspective, because I did not work wither clinically (did not shadow due to covid). Is not having a letter from a doctor you shadowed/doctor you worked clinically with bad?

Thank you very much.
 
Dec 29, 2019
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Submit the collection of letters that would provide the best overview and least overlap. If X person just a higher up that knows you're a nice person and that you volunteer a lot, it's probably worth rethinking if a letter from them would be beneficial (i.e. a volunteer coordinator).

I think some schools require all PIs to submit a letter for you, by the way, so you'd be at 5 for them already. Also there is no need for a physician letter from what I understand, so don't feel pressured to ask for one just for the sake of having a Doctor rec on your app (someone correct me if I'm wrong here).
 

Lifeblood_20

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Mar 23, 2017
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Keep in mind that adcoms at every school spend 30 minutes max reading your entire application, including your LORs. Ergo more information =/= better. You want to be memorable with the most concise package. For most schools, I would stick to 2 letters from science professors + 1 non-science professor + 1 letter from a research mentor you are closest with. For schools that allow for more than 4 letters (some don't), add the other research mentor letters, then volunteer supervisor letter if you want.
Letters from physicians you shadowed aren't necessary or important.
 
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