Letter of recommendation question

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Coolguy23

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Hi everyone,

My research lab is run by an extremely famous PI. They are quite literally a living legend in Medicine and a great person, and I am very fortunate that they wrote a letter of recommendation for me. However, they are very busy and while I've spent time with them and talked with them about my goals I'm not sure if the letter was as personal as you'd want a letter of recommendation to be.

At the same lab, I work closely with another PI who I believe wrote a more personal letter of recommendation for me, but they told me to use the famous PI's letter of recommendation instead of theirs because of the weight the name holds. Is this good advice? Can I send both to schools even though they are from the same experience, or is it a better idea that I pick one?

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Some schools will only allow X number of LORs and sometimes have requirements such as 2/3 must be professors that taught you, etc. in my opinion, for LORs it is more important for them to be personal as the purpose of the LOR is to 1. make sure you can work well with others, but also give insight into your work ethic and how others around you view you. BUT for more research intensive programs, the big name PI might play a larger role especially if the average applicant reader you believe would recognize the name without having to look it up. If you do not think they would recognize the name, I would personally go with the more personal PI letter. If you think the two letters show different sides of you as an applicant I do not see an issue with submitting both, especially if you have been working in the lab for a while. I submitted two recommendations from my job as a MA and it was brought up multiple times in my interviews that the two surgeons wrote good recommendations with different insights into me. Either way, LOR do play a role in admissions, but wont kill you (unless really bad) or save you.
 
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Some schools will only allow X number of LORs and sometimes have requirements such as 2/3 must be professors that taught you, etc. in my opinion, for LORs it is more important for them to be personal as the purpose of the LOR is to 1. make sure you can work well with others, but also give insight into your work ethic and how others around you view you. BUT for more research intensive programs, the big name PI might play a larger role especially if the average applicant reader you believe would recognize the name without having to look it up. If you do not think they would recognize the name, I would personally go with the more personal PI letter. If you think the two letters show different sides of you as an applicant I do not see an issue with submitting both, especially if you have been working in the lab for a while. I submitted two recommendations from my job as a MA and it was brought up multiple times in my interviews that the two surgeons wrote good recommendations with different insights into me. Either way, LOR do play a role in admissions, but wont kill you (unless really bad) or save you.
Thanks for the advice. I think I'll send both letters to more research-focused schools and then just send the PI I'm closer with's letter to the less researched-focused schools.
 
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Hi everyone,

My research lab is run by an extremely famous PI. They are quite literally a living legend in Medicine and a great person, and I am very fortunate that they wrote a letter of recommendation for me. However, they are very busy and while I've spent time with them and talked with them about my goals I'm not sure if the letter was as personal as you'd want a letter of recommendation to be.

At the same lab, I work closely with another PI who I believe wrote a more personal letter of recommendation for me, but they told me to use the famous PI's letter of recommendation instead of theirs because of the weight the name holds. Is this good advice? Can I send both to schools even though they are from the same experience, or is it a better idea that I pick one?
Sounds like a no-lose situation. In general, it doesn't really matter for medical school admissions, but if either of them feels confident they can champion you with a letter of evaluation, it's good to have an abundance of choices here.
 
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