Letter of Recommendation/Evaluation - 2 Science Letters, TX Applicant Dilemma

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May 3, 2023
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Hello, I'm trying to decide if I need 2 science letters or not. I was originally set to apply this current '23-'24 cycle, so I already have 3 individual letters in Interfolio. I am a TX resident and my goal is to attend a TX med school, so I'm not sure what OOS schools I'll be applying to - or if I will. From what I've looked up, TX schools typically require the TMDSAS requirement of 3 LORs (no specification on who), with BCM allowing 1 more and TCU allowing 2 more. (Incarnate has the most specific - DO/physician, committee, science - 1 can be subbed, but I am iffy on including Incarnate on my list anyway.)

Current letters:
  1. Paid summer research advisor/Service Organization - Leadership position faculty advisor: Did not take a class with them, but have a long-term relationship with them and they have seen me in multiple settings and can vouch for my academic, research, service, and leadership skills (and who I am). They are not BCPM, but the research was heavily reliant on data science.
  2. Neuroscience professor (BCPM) and Genetics Lab professor: I got A's in his Neuro class and Genetics Lab course. I am interested in neurology and psychiatry and feel this is a strong stem letter. His wife is a physician and I have interviewed her before for a different course as an assignment.
  3. Brain & Behavior course professor and research PI: I wanted her to count as a science letter too because the class was heavily based on analyzing and understanding fundamental neuroscience papers. I joined her lab after taking her class and was listed on a poster presentation. Officially, her course is listed under psych because my school doesn't have a neuroscience department, but I'm not sure if I'm overthinking it or if it matters. I feel it would matter when applying to OOS schools requiring 2 BCPM letters.
  4. Physician Letter from a physician I scribe for: I've been working as an ED scribe so I think this letter can serve as one for my clinical experience and job experience. I still have to ask formally etc., but I think I can get this one for my 4th letter that's optional.
My dilemma came in when 1 of my science professors (Science Communication course - research-oriented class) replied yesterday to my emails requesting a LOR from earlier this year and I'm not sure if I should ask her for one or not when I likely won't need it for TMDSAS. She did not outright offer it, but I think part of it is because she thinks I applied this current cycle. I know I should check for any OOS I plan on applying to, but currently, I don't have any in mind. I plan on asking my 3 original writers to reupdate the timestamp for this coming cycle and anything relevant.

I appreciate any help, advice, or reassurance!

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Just came across this old thread but if you haven't sorted it out yet, I'd recommend getting the 2 science letters if you can get 2 good/solid ones. Also, I had 5 LORs through TMDSAS and I think all of them went through, but I submitted them as an HP committee packet so it might be different than submitting individual letters.
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I applied through TMDSAS this cycle and did 1 Science, 1 Non-Science, 1 Physician, and 1 Volunteer Supervisor. It worked out pretty well.
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@LikeableDolphin @Rite1234 Thank you for your replies! I am applying this cycle, so the belated advice is helpful. I am, unfortunately, not able to get 2 BCPM letters but am getting the extra physician letter from working as a scribe. I may also be getting a DO letter (for AACOMAS) and another physician's letter from a different setting. I am not using a committee packet so I can only upload a max of 4 letters for TX. I'm broadening my school list so now I am working on getting those extra letters.
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