Jan 30, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
I am applying in this upcoming cycle and my school has us do a mock up application to our pre med board coming up soon. As of right now my top choice is USUHS, but I am also applying to civilian medical schools and the HPSP. I watched a lot of my friends apply to military academies and having grown up in the military I know its a lot about who you know. I am starting to talk to people preemptively about letters of recommendations, and I have quite a few people in or were in military medicine, including a USUHS graduate that is a family friend, a surgeon currently serving active duty that I shadowed under, a retired medical administrator in the army that is a family friend and a scout leader when I was in BSA, and lastly a retired medical recruiter for the air force. Who should I be looking to get a letter of recommendation from? And should I be looking to send more letters of recommendation from people related to or in military medicine in my USUHS application only?
 
Nov 6, 2019
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  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Those options all look great on paper. But as you may already know, the quality of the letter is most important. How long have these people known you? Did you shadow the family friend surgeon only once, or is he/she a lifelong friend that can speak about your character in depth?

If it helps, I was accepted to USUHS last year and did not have any military members write a letter of recommendation. From personal experience, I would say USUHS loves BSA - especially if you talk about the skills you've learned and how they will help you as you move forward. Are you an eagle scout?
 
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Rachapkis

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Apr 5, 2018
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In the category of who you know in the military, it sounds like you’re stacked. I would focus on getting traditional letters of recommendation from science professors and the like that show you would be an excellent medical student and doctor.
 
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Jan 30, 2020
20
2
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Those options all look great on paper. But as you may already know, the quality of the letter is most important. How long have these people known you? Did you shadow the family friend surgeon only once, or is he/she a lifelong friend that can speak about your character in depth?

If it helps, I was accepted to USUHS last year and did not have any military members write a letter of recommendation. From personal experience, I would say USUHS loves BSA - especially if you talk about the skills you've learned and how they will help you as you move forward. Are you an eagle scout?
Yes, I achieved Eagle Scout and was a crew leader for Philmont. I shadowed the surgeon twice as well as attended a paramedic course he volunteered at. I met him through my church's congregation at the beginning of college and we actually sat down and talked about my life and what I should look to focus on moving forward during summer after my freshman year of college. I know two people from my BSA troop that have military medicine ties and that I have known outside of just BSA.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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Feb 12, 2017
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Not sure if the requirements are still the same as a few years ago, but when I applied USUHS had pretty specific letter requirements, including academic letters (these would need to be professors) and a clinical letter. For the clinical letter I believe they prefer someone who has directly seen you in a clinical environment (not just a doctor you know from another setting, but can include an EMS supervisor or similar). I was accepted without any military-affiliated letters.

In your case, I would go with one of the doctors you shadowed under. If you completed your paramedic course and actually worked in EMS, a supervisor from that job could be even better. If you school committee allows you to submit extra letters then you could consider people who've known you in other capacities to round it out.
 
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Jan 30, 2020
20
2
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  1. Pre-Medical
In the category of who you know in the military, it sounds like you’re stacked. I would focus on getting traditional letters of recommendation from science professors and the like that show you would be an excellent medical student and doctor.
I checked on the MSAR website "If your undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or graduate institution has a pre-medical committee that produces a letter of recommendation, then that letter, in addition to a letter from someone that has viewed you in a patient care setting, is sufficient to meet the requirement. Otherwise, please submit two letters from professors in the natural sciences, one from a professor in a different field, and one letter from a writer that has worked with you in a clinical setting." thats what it said. I have two natural science professors I am asking for letters from, one of whom I have taken two semesters with of a small graduate level course, the other I had for organic chemistry 1 and 2 as well as I have TA for her. Should I be looking for another professor in another department? USUHS says the maximum they allow is 8 and minimum is 4. Should I use all 8? I do have a prehealth comittee at my school so their letter plus, the 2 professors makes 3.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I checked on the MSAR website "If your undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or graduate institution has a pre-medical committee that produces a letter of recommendation, then that letter, in addition to a letter from someone that has viewed you in a patient care setting, is sufficient to meet the requirement. Otherwise, please submit two letters from professors in the natural sciences, one from a professor in a different field, and one letter from a writer that has worked with you in a clinical setting." thats what it said. I have two natural science professors I am asking for letters from, one of whom I have taken two semesters with of a small graduate level course, the other I had for organic chemistry 1 and 2 as well as I have TA for her. Should I be looking for another professor in another department? USUHS says the maximum they allow is 8 and minimum is 4. Should I use all 8? I do have a prehealth comittee at my school so their letter plus, the 2 professors makes 3.

You definitely don't need 8 letters. No one I know had more than 4. Just make sure the ones you have are strong, and make sure the clinical letter is actually a letter from someone who has seen you in a clinical setting. If you want to use one of the military physicians you have as well, that is totally fine and won't hurt you. If you have a committee letter, you don't need the other academic ones. The minimum of 4 is really only if you don't have a committee letter. But you can submit them if you want. You won't be penalized for sending more.
 

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