Apr 30, 2020
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Hey there, I have a question about letters of recommendation for medical school. Most medical schools ask that you get a LOR from a science professor. I have 300+ hours of research and a publication from my research lab. I worked directly under my PI who is a PhD researcher in the lab. I asked my PI for a letter of recommendation and he was saying that it would be better if the professor who is the head of the lab signs the LOR. I've never actually seen or interacted with the professor that leads the lab but I still get the professor to sign it anyway? Or should I get my PI to sign it? If the professor signs it, would that count as a science professor LOR (he teaches neuroscience classes on campus, but I never took his class).

Also, can you ask the medical school you're applying to if you can submit LORs from doctors that you worked/shadowed under instead of sending science professor LORs? Considering the fact that the doctors see and get to know you much better than school science professors, would this be alright? I just graduated college in June 2020 and won't be applying for at least 2 years so the LOR from college will be outdated anyway.

Would an LOR from a DPM be alright for MD/DO schools?

Let me know, thank you! Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
 

TragicalDrFaust

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If the professor signs it, it’s not ideal for a science prof LOR- what adcoms is used to seeing is “I had MSMsong in my biochemistry class. They were in the top ten percent.”. Your lab’s professor isn’t going to be able to give you that.

A letter from a DPM is not suitable as MD/DO LOR. They haven’t been through a MD/DO program so can’t speak to your ability to succeed in medical school the same way a MD/DO can. DPM school is considered less academically rigorous - look up admittance requirements. The stats are lower.
 

gonnif

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Hey there, I have a question about letters of recommendation for medical school. Most medical schools ask that you get a LOR from a science professor. I have 300+ hours of research and a publication from my research lab. I worked directly under my PI who is a PhD researcher in the lab. I asked my PI for a letter of recommendation and he was saying that it would be better if the professor who is the head of the lab signs the LOR. I've never actually seen or interacted with the professor that leads the lab but I still get the professor to sign it anyway? Or should I get my PI to sign it? If the professor signs it, would that count as a science professor LOR (he teaches neuroscience classes on campus, but I never took his class).

Also, can you ask the medical school you're applying to if you can submit LORs from doctors that you worked/shadowed under instead of sending science professor LORs? Considering the fact that the doctors see and get to know you much better than school science professors, would this be alright? I just graduated college in June 2020 and won't be applying for at least 2 years so the LOR from college will be outdated anyway.

Would an LOR from a DPM be alright for MD/DO schools?

Let me know, thank you! Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
1) Some medical schools ask specifically for letters from science faculty that you have actually taken a class with. The reason for this is schools want opinions on how you perform in a rigorous academic class as that is what medical school is.
2) You have the PI sign it and have the professor counter sign
3) Letters from shadowing doctors will most certainly NOT be a substitute for a science letter. Shadowing is a passive activity and these letters perhaps have the weakest impact on an adcom as invariably they are full of praise without the length or depth of professional relationship for evidence to support such praise. They do not have anything to do with your performance or skill set in an academic setting
If the professor signs it, it’s not ideal for a science prof LOR- what adcoms is used to seeing is “I had MSMsong in my biochemistry class. They were in the top ten percent.”. Your lab’s professor isn’t going to be able to give you that.

A letter from a DPM is not suitable as MD/DO LOR. They haven’t been through a MD/DO program so can’t speak to your ability to succeed in medical school the same way a MD/DO can. DPM school is considered less academically rigorous - look up admittance requirements. The stats are lower.
1) Adcoms do not look at shadowing letters to somehow give an opinion to how you perform medical school. Indeed these letters are full of such praise with little evidence and have little impact
2) Shadowing letters should talk about what you observed and interactions
3) DPM indeed go thru medical school but obviously specialize on the foot. Most programs will have clinical rotations across specialties. Some in a more "general way" (ie in private practice) but others such as IM, Endocrinology, Orthopedics, and Surgery and the same as MD/DO students.
4) Shadowing a DPM and focusing on interactions with patients would be no different than with MD/DO
 
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Apr 30, 2020
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1) Some medical schools ask specifically for letters from science faculty that you have actually taken a class with. The reason for this is schools want opinions on how you perform in a rigorous academic class as that is what medical school is.
2) You have the PI sign it and have the professor counter sign
3) Letters from shadowing doctors will most certainly NOT be a substitute for a science letter. Shadowing is a passive activity and these letters perhaps have the weakest impact on an adcom as invariably they are full of praise without the length or depth of professional relationship for evidence to support such praise. They do not have anything to do with your performance or skill set in an academic setting

1) Adcoms do not look at shadowing letters to somehow give an opinion to how you perform medical school. Indeed these letters are full of such praise with little evidence and have little impact
2) Shadowing letters should talk about what you observed and interactions
3) DPM indeed go thru medical school but obviously specialize on the foot. Most programs will have clinical rotations across specialties. Some in a more "general way" (ie in private practice) but others such as IM, Endocrinology, Orthopedics, and Surgery and the same as MD/DO students.
4) Shadowing a DPM and focusing on interactions with patients would be no different than with MD/DO
Hey there Gonnif, I appreciate you taking the time for giving me such a thorough and response. I didn’t even thinking about just getting both signatures from my research lab. Also, I’ve currently been working as a scribe and medical assistant under the same doctor (I’m closely working with him every minute I’m at work) and will have almost 3000 hours by the time it’s time for me to submit my application. Would this be good enough to potentially replace a science professor letter of recommendation? By the time I apply, I’ll be around 2-3 years past college and it would be the best and most meaningful experience that I will have. Let me know, thank you!
 

gonnif

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Hey there Gonnif, I appreciate you taking the time for giving me such a thorough and response. I didn’t even thinking about just getting both signatures from my research lab. Also, I’ve currently been working as a scribe and medical assistant under the same doctor (I’m closely working with him every minute I’m at work) and will have almost 3000 hours by the time it’s time for me to submit my application. Would this be good enough to potentially replace a science professor letter of recommendation? By the time I apply, I’ll be around 2-3 years past college and it would be the best and most meaningful experience that I will have. Let me know, thank you!
1) A majority of medical schools require letters from both science and non-science instructors that you took a course with. No amount of work as a scribe would be able to fulfill this requirement
2) A sizable of fraction of schools have alternative recommendations for those who have been out of school for some time (which may mean 5 years or more
3) You should get a science letter no matter how long ago the course was or how mediocre it may be. Some schools will simply not look at your application without
4) The letter from doctor should be framed as a your work supervisor
 

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