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Letters of Rec: From whom? How many?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by burlypie, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. burlypie

    burlypie Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 2002
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    Resident [Any Field]
    It seems like different schools have different requests for letters of recommendation, regarding who writes them and how many they want. What did you-who-have-already-applied do?
    How did you get around one school wanting letters from two science profs "and up to three others" and another wanting no more than three, with other types of people writing them? (volunteer supervisors, etc) Did you just pick a group of people that would satisfy the requirements for the most schools, and if so, what kind of people were they?

    Thanks, it's time for the next round of us to start thinking of this...and the personal statement...and the MCAT...and midterms...
  2. Doctora Foxy

    7+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2002
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    Medical Student
    I am a double non-science major, so I needed one from each major and 2 from science professors. I also got 2 from doctors I volunteered with.

    Then my premed board at my undergrad (along with a $50 fee <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> ) compiled those letters into one, and clipped the other letters to the back. So med schools can look at whatever they want to.

    I had always thought this was customary, but now I'm not so sure. At an interview last week, the interviewer told me it was unusual that they were all there. I'm curious what other people did now. :confused:

    Here's another question for you guys: on you secondary applications, if you had gotten a premed committee to write your LOR, did you also fill out the names of all of your recommendors that the school should wait for? I didn't because they all came together sent by my school, but now I don't know if it was the right thing to do.

    Another questions for anyone who applied to USF : What type of character recommendation did you send?
  3. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty SDN Advisor Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2002
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    Attending Physician
    At my school they just do the safest thing they can do by way of recommendation letters by requiring everyone going before the pre-med committee to get a whole bunch.
    Here's the list:
    3 Science Professor Recommendations
    2 Non-Science Professor Recommendations
    1-2 Volunteer/Doctor Recommendations
    1-2 Personal/Work Recommendations

    One of the issues too is that all of the pre-med classes are pretty large and you never get to know your professor. So unless you have connections or apply late or start doing research early or something, you don't get much of a recommendation from these guys. At least you have it I guess.
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
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    Resident [Any Field]
    My school does not have a pre-med committee and I had graduated in 1996 (although I work there so I am still in contact with many of my professors). I asked a group of professors and people I had worked with (one professor each in chemistry, biology, physics, my current supervisor at a non-medical related job, the head of the volunteer organization I worked with for several years) to write letters. Then as each secondary asked for letters, I matched up letters as best I could never sending in more than one extra letter -- usually the volunteer supervisor letter. One school to which I applied (Jefferson) asked specifically for a humanities professor letter and a volunteer supervisor letter, I substituted my bosses letter for the humanities letter and they did not have a problem with that -- I got an interview there.

    Good luck...

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