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Letters of Rec, How many?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TheAbbot7, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. TheAbbot7

    TheAbbot7 Member
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    So do any school caps your amounts of letters of rec and should they all be from people with MD's or PHD's? How many does everyone think is a good amount and how how important do you think they even are to most med schools. I always wonder if certain schools dont just take a quick glimpse ok the person isn't a nut. Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Wildstang

    Wildstang Member
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    i have 4.
    one orgo prof
    one bio prof
    one physics prof
    and one econ prof (my major)
     
  4. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I'd get an LOR from a volunteering experience you've had if you've had one that's appropriate. All academic LORs can be a bit boring. There's only so much a professor can say about you as a student, unless you helped them with research or babysat their kid or something.
     
  5. GoodDoctor

    GoodDoctor Senior Member
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    All schools have different requirements. Some want 2 or 3 academic, sometimes with at least one from a non-science. Some programs want research LOR. Many require say, 2, but allow you to send up to 5 or 6. So, it can't hurt to get extras to cover your bases. My state school requires these 6, which end up covering all possibilities at other schools:

    3 Academic
    - 2 Science
    - 1 Non-science

    3 EC
    - 1 Community/Volunteer Service
    - 1 Clinical/Shadowing
    - 1 Research
     
  6. tennisguy896

    tennisguy896 Senior Member
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    Many schools only require a committee letter, and then you can send them whatever you want beyond that. Having x science recommenders and y non-science recommenders usually only comes into play if you have to send individual letters in place of a committee letter.
     
  7. leahmaria

    leahmaria Senior Member
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    I have eight included in a packet all sent together with a committee recommendation.

    I hear on SDN that thats a lot, but it was what my pre-med advisor recommended
     
  8. Quix

    Quix Herr Professor
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    I have nine:

    1 each from Biology/Physiology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics.
    1 from Biopsychology (I had her for two classes (Biopsych and Research Methods), and I later TA'ed her Biopsych class).
    1 from a clinician I worked with and who ran the code that got me interested in medicine (my first time restarting a heart! :) ).
    1 each from my dissertation committee members (a theologian, a philosopher, and a psychiatrist (with whom I had also worked clinically)).

    My pre-health committee wanted at least five, and suggested hitting the core sciences.

    EDIT:

    All of these went to my pre-health committee first, but will be sent along with the comprehensive pre-health letter.
     
  9. okapiSF

    okapiSF Junior Member
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    This info comes from a friend who is a faculty member on an admission committee. He recc'd no more than 5 letters. Even if you are great - you have to decide which 5 letters are the best. Having too many letters can make you seem indecisive or nervous. If you are coming from undergrad and have not had a significant outside of school life - you should be able to limit yoursaelf to 5 letters.

    If you have been out of school and working a year or more you really should include a letter from someone at work/supervisor. This is especially true if you work at a medical or biology field. So, total 5 letters and one is from work.

    If you write in your essay about a shadow expereince or volunteer experience that was very influential in your decision to go to school - have a letter from there. If your essay is about a mentor, have a letter from that mentor.

    Imagine that you highlight an experience in an essay or worked for years and then there is no letter from that expererience. The committee might wonder why you don't have a letter from there.

    I worked for 8 years after college. I had a letter from my undergrad thesis advisor, two physicians I work with, my supervisor (a physician), and a letter from a 2-year volunteer experience in social services. I requested more than 5 as I was worried someone might drop the ball. Then I told my undergrad letter service which 5 to send out to schools. Having an "extra" is a reasonable safety measure.
     
  10. jstuds_66

    jstuds_66 Free cat to a good home
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    1 O Chem Prof
    1 Bio Prof
    1 My boss at a nursing home
    1 MD from a physician I shadowed
    1 from my mission president (I was a missionary in Brazil for 2 years)
    1 Premed committee
     
  11. versailles

    versailles Junior Member
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    What about people who volunteered at a hospital's ER? I did this for quite a few years, but I didn't get a letter of rec. from anyone there because there were so many kids there that I don't think the organizer of the program would have been able to write me a good, personal letter.

    BUT, if I have several very good personally-oriented letters from academic professors, a guy from the place where I did my community service, and the PI from my lab, should this be enough?

    Is it a bad thing that I don't have a letter from my clinical experience?
     

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