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letters of rec. three is enough?

Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by Dr McSteamy, May 15, 2008.

  1. Dr McSteamy

    Dr McSteamy sh*tting in your backyard 2+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    do 99% of the programs only require 3 letters?

    that's all i have. am i safe?
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Yes and yes.
  4. Top Gun

    Top Gun 7+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Sure, I matched with only 3 letters of rec.
  5. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Depends on your specialty. At one of my 2 GS interviews the PD pointed out that I had only submitted 3 letters (number 4 hadn't been uploaded yet). For plastics I recommend having 4 letters, all from plastic surgeons. Then again, the Match seriously stressed me out, so I tell all students to do everything in their power to beef up their app (regardless of specialty). So while programs only require 3 letters, I'd say to get 4 if you can.
  6. iamcatwoman

    iamcatwoman 2+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    For IMGs i would definately recommend 4, especially as the Dean's Letter/MSPE from an IMG is usually pretty useless.
  7. wince


    Aug 5, 2009
    this is confusing to me...if programs want 3 letters of rec and i give them 3, this is considered a negative? i thought sending more letters than asked for was looked down upon.
  8. Frugal Traveler

    Frugal Traveler MS4

    Sep 10, 2009
    United States
    The optimal way to answer this question is to check the program websites for the programs you applied to. Most programs explicitly state their requirements.

    Usually, three letters is sufficient.
  9. ChocolateKiss

    ChocolateKiss Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    I was told by someone who reviews applications at my school that it is better to pick your best 3 letters because this will give you a better "average" LOR score. Unless you think all 4 are equally good, he suggested going with 3. He also said that the more letters you have, the more likely people are to skim them rather than read them through.

    That said, if each letter contributes new and important information rather than just another person saying how awesome you are (or if each is from someone very important with a lot of influence in your chosen field, AND each says great things), it's probably a good idea to send 4.

    This was the advice I was given, and it made sense to me, so I only sent 3 letters to any given program (even though I have 6). Maybe others have different ideas.

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