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letters of recc!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by radiohead_fan, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. i am applying next year and i was wondering when and through what application do you turn in letters of recc? do they come with the amcas application? do you mention them in the amcas application? or do they go with secondaries? specifically detailed advice would be GREAT. thanks
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The secondary applications you receive from the schools will specifically ask for the letters of recommendation. If your undergraduate institution has a pre-medical committee, you can usually use a letter from that committee. If not, the secondary application will tell you the number and type of recommendations needed.
  4. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    anchorage, ak
    Some schools have a pre-medical committee that collects a bunch of letters and then writes a composite letter. A lot of medical schools require you to send the committee letter if your school does this. If not, they will tell you how many letters they want and from which disciplines (for instance -- one each from a professor who's taught you chem, bio and humanities, or 2 science and 1 non-science). Some undergraduate schools that do not do the committee thing have a letter collection service, which is very convenient. Your recommenders just submit once to the collection service, and then every time you need letters, the service will send them out for you. I don't think AMCAS has any forms for soliciting LOR's (you should do this in person, if at all possible, anyway), but as I recall they do have a form for requesting official transcripts which is handy. (Transcripts are submitted to AMCAS along with your primary application). Good luck. :)
  5. DZT

    DZT Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Do letter of rec really matter, b/c everyone generally gets good recs?
  6. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    Letters are crucial. If everyone has good letters (which isn't the case), if yours has something bad, or even neutral, it could be a reason to reject/waitlist. Remember, these committees have a lot of qualified applicants. They look for things to put you in one pile over the other. When you're asking for a letter, ask "will you write me a STELLAR letter of recommendation for medical school." I had one former prof turn me down. Said he could write a good one, but not stellar. He said he could focus on my stellar qualities if I needed a letter. I thanked him and looked elsewhere. Leave NOTHING to chance! (ps- I got other letters and got in.)

    One more note - my husband (also got in) said both interviewers had not read the AMCAS app (due to this year's fiasco) but BOTH sat down and immediately read the letters (NOT the personal statement) prior to interviewing him.
  7. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Everything matters to some extent. When the admissions committees need to weed out 90 percent or more of the applicants to make admissions decisions, they use each piece of the application puzzle (MCATs, all GPA's, letters of rec, personal statements, extra-curricular activities, interview, etc.).

    Often times it is not that you are trying to impress the committee (because on paper lots of applicants look nearly identical) but rather you are ensuring that the committee won't find some reason to reject you. This reason could come from something as simple as a recommendation letter with the wrong tone. If the admissions committee member reads a rec letter and just gets any sort of negative reaction (and for a recommendation letter even just indifference could be negative) they may just decide to throw it in the reject pile. Why should they bother contemplating the exact meaning of your recommenders oddly-worded letter when there are 300 more applications on his/her desk to get through?

    It is probably wise to have excellent letters...
  8. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    q about specifics about rec letters...

    could 2 sci be bio and physics; or does it have to be a bio and a chem? i'm planning to get a physics (since i did better in it than orgo) letter. did anyone apply to a school that specifically says 'bio and chem'?
  9. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The only school to which I applied that asked for specified science letters (one each from physics, biology, and chemistry) was Jefferson. The others asked just for science letters (or didn't specify any particular type). Jefferson asked for four letters was to be from a humanities professor.

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