Letters of recommendation as an older non-trad?

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Hi all,
Lots of great answers on this community already but haven't seen a recent post on this so here goes. Super nontrad looking to apply soon (I graduated undergrad in 2012, have PhD, currently work as a tenure-track faculty member in STEM). I'm looking at letter of rec requirements and see medical schools want letters from at least one, sometimes two, science faculty. Well, I'm so far out of undergrad that one of the science profs I worked the most with has since passed away, the other top choice is retired. Otherwise the closest I could get is someone from my PhD, which at this point was also a hot second ago. Is this a requirement that schools could waive? I'd have no problem getting 7 or even 10 letters of rec from mentors, employers, MDs, collaborators, or other important folks. That science prof requirement will be tough though. Definitely wouldn't be able to get a premed committee or advisor letter. Anyone get in to an MD program with a different set of letters?
Edited to add: I took all the prereqs as an undergraduate. Not pursuing re-taking them at the moment and instead focusing on schools where they don't expire.

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A couple of presumptions:

1) you are not working at a Univerity with a medical school, right? If you are, connect with their admissions office for advice, even with a regular application.

2) you have shadowed physicians? Community service? All other references are in order?
 
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Contact a few schools that you are really interested in and run this idea by them:
You get your current department chair or division chief,
Your dissertation advisor (who should remember you as long as they live)
A physician with whom you have worked, or at the very least, shadowed (I generally think letters from docs are not helpful but this circumstance is different)

See if schools would accept that as an alternative given that you graduated undergrad so long ago and the faculty you interacted with back then don't know you now.
 
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I can't speak for all schools, but as a non-trad (albeit not as far removed from undergrad) I had success this cycle having most professor LORs waived, and I used professional/physician letters in lieu of them.

I did have 1 professor letter from a professor who just happened to respond to my cold emails, and I used this at schools where the professor's letter was a hard, non-negotiable. I did not feel that this letter was very strong given our dated relationship, so I only submitted it when I had to. Most schools seemed accommodating of my situation, and since you are even further removed with a terminal degree I'm sure you will have luck if you communicate early.

Alternatively, there is the option to take a cc course or equivalent to get a letter, but I know this isn't ideal with a career in place. Best of luck fellow non-trad :)
 
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Similar path, PhD + 10 years in industry before applying. My letters are:
  • PhD advisor (BCPM)
  • charity president where I'm a director
  • paramedic supervisor for my EMT
  • volunteer supervisor for search and rescue
  • hospital postdoc PI (MD/PhD)
  • department chair where I was adjunct (BCPM)
  • I can find some more recent profs from my DIY postbacc
They're ranked in order of strength and usage. First two, I sat down for hours with each to discuss edits; they wrote every word.

I also had my closest coauthor (not my advisor) pass away a few years ago.
 
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A couple of presumptions:

1) you are not working at a Univerity with a medical school, right? If you are, connect with their admissions office for advice, even with a regular application.

2) you have shadowed physicians? Community service? All other references are in order?
Thanks! 1. No med school here. I have extensively shadowed, lots of other fantastic references all in order. 15,000+ hours of community service, not worried there.
 
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Similar path, PhD + 10 years in industry before applying. My letters are:
  • PhD advisor (BCPM)
  • charity president where I'm a director
  • paramedic supervisor for my EMT
  • volunteer supervisor for search and rescue
  • hospital postdoc PI (MD/PhD)
  • department chair where I was adjunct (BCPM)
  • I can find some more recent profs from my DIY postbacc
They're ranked in order of strength and usage. First two, I sat down for hours with each to discuss edits; they wrote every word.

I also had my closest coauthor (not my advisor) pass away a few years ago.
Are we the same person? :) I have most of those, very strong letter from PhD advisor and postdoc, very strong letter from EMS division chief, very strong letter from search and rescue CEO (I'm the division chief for SAR), all sorts of letters from colleagues/former bosses/dept heads. Thank you for the help!
 
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I can't speak for all schools, but as a non-trad (albeit not as far removed from undergrad) I had success this cycle having most professor LORs waived, and I used professional/physician letters in lieu of them.

I did have 1 professor letter from a professor who just happened to respond to my cold emails, and I used this at schools where the professor's letter was a hard, non-negotiable. I did not feel that this letter was very strong given our dated relationship, so I only submitted it when I had to. Most schools seemed accommodating of my situation, and since you are even further removed with a terminal degree I'm sure you will have luck if you communicate early.

Alternatively, there is the option to take a cc course or equivalent to get a letter, but I know this isn't ideal with a career in place. Best of luck fellow non-trad :)
Thank you! Super appreciate this insight. I think I could maybe get a prof from grad school I took (and aced) a couple biochem courses with? Have a super strong letter from a peds trauma surgeon I've been shadowing, also from some FM and OBGYN folks I've had the privilege to shadow. Hoping my career plus a strong MCAT score make up for some of this.
 
Similar path, PhD + 10 years in industry before applying. My letters are:
  • PhD advisor (BCPM)
  • charity president where I'm a director
  • paramedic supervisor for my EMT
  • volunteer supervisor for search and rescue
  • hospital postdoc PI (MD/PhD)
  • department chair where I was adjunct (BCPM)
  • I can find some more recent profs from my DIY postbacc
They're ranked in order of strength and usage. First two, I sat down for hours with each to discuss edits; they wrote every word.

I also had my closest coauthor (not my advisor) pass away a few years ago.
Wow. I’m also a nontrad around your age and have…none of these things. You’re the kind of applicant I’d be competing with. Maybe medical school is too much of a reach for me.
 
Wow. I’m also a nontrad around your age and have…none of these things. You’re the kind of applicant I’d be competing with. Maybe medical school is too much of a reach for me.
I don't think that's a fair takeaway. I'm one person, and there's over 40000 seats out there. Don't talk yourself out before you've even tried.
 
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