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Letters of Recommendation from DO's and MD's?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Dr JPH, Mar 25, 2000.

  1. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    I was wondering just how much a letter of recommendation from a DO or an MD would help in my medical school application. I am hoping to shadow a DO this summer and gain his confidence before asking for a letter. I also have a shadowing opportunity set up with an MD.
    What should the letter say?
    Would these letters look better than letters from my professors?
    Also, would a letter of recommendation from an MD help if I am applying to Osteopathic School?


    Josh Hazelton
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    "D.O. Wannabe"
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  3. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2000
    I had letters from a few MD's and one DO (I didn't know a lot of DO's before medical school.) I think the important thing is that you have the letter from a DO. All the letters in the world from MD's certainly shouldn't hurt anything, but a letter from a DO is essential IMO. As far as what it should say, many schools will send "recommendation forms" which the letter writer can choose to use or ignore. These forms will at least outline some of the things that the school finds important, so your recommenders may use it as a guide. I found that a good letter from a doc who knows you pretty much covers the bases for any school. Find out where the doc went to medical school..maybe they are almuni. Make sure they know where you are applying..maybe they know somebody. I'm one of those people who believes that who you know matters at least as much as what you know. Enjoy shadowing the docs!

    [This message has been edited by UHS03 (edited 03-25-2000).]
  4. dreamTeam

    dreamTeam Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2000
    San Diego
    A strong letter of evaluation from a DO or MD is always a very powerful addition to your application file. A DO letter will let the admissions committee know that you have made an effort to learn more about the Osteopathic profession. Look for a DO that is actively involved in the osteopathic community... These physicians understand that it can sometimes be difficult for an applicant to find a DO to write a letter of recommendation and will help you out. Also, a strong name goes a long way. In any case, it is my opinion that a formal letter is better than a school's standard form. This is also easier for the letter writer (one letter instead of several). The letter should include an evaluation of your intellectual qualities such as honesty, curiosity, critical reasoning skills and ability to communicate effectively. The letter should also include personal qualities such as leadership, compassion and commitment. It is a good idea to have the letter writer give examples for each of these qualities. If the letter writer knows you well, have them give some background information such as family and community involvement and discuss steps you have taken to test your career goals. Make sure the letter is typed on letterhead and dated (very important). Also, start working on finding your evaluators early. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting weeks for a letter while your application sits incomplete. I hope this helps... Good luck. [​IMG]

    ADRIANSHOE Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    josh, when i interviewed, one of the interviewers introduced me as A FRIEND OF DR. D____ remember her.....I have to think it helps if a well known alumnus writes your letter....if all the interviewers KNOW the person then they also are better prepared to believe or disbelief their make sure you dont get a letter from an alumnus that dislikes the university or is outspoken against their administration...that would obviously backfire...the key to instant success is fifteen years of research.
  6. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    I must have had an odd experience, b/c i just used my undergrad's standardized recommendation form sent by my premed advisor. No DO recs or even MD recs for me. In fact, during my interview, no one even bothered to ask me why I wanted to be an osteopathic physician. No one asked about my thoughts on DO philosophy. No one asked if I had any DO experience at all.

    So what did they ask me? Things like what is your weakness? How are u? Why medicine? And then they asked some hypothetical "doctor" situations that kept me on my toes.

    Sorta strange that no one bothered with DO related questions huh?

    DO Boy
    TCOM 04

    ADRIANSHOE Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    Wierd....enough can't be said about the
    vagaries of the selection process...perhaps we SHOULD all move to india afterall.
    you probably just looked SMASHING that day...they thought "why bother with the usual questions, this ones a keeper!" [​IMG]
  8. I find it hard to believe you can't find one at all. I am in an area where there are not a lot of DO's. I was not sure at all if I could find one. I took some initiative and cold-called a couple, so to speak.

    With 1, I spent a morning with him in clinic. result: great rec.

    With the other, an hour and a half meeting. result:great rec.

    I know they are great because I have copies of them. they wrote the letter. I formatted it on official paper, printed, and put in envelopes. they saw the final copy and all they had to was sign.

    I sent them both to all the schools I applied to and I feel it helped TREMENDOUSLY - particularly when u interview at a school of the recommender.
  9. dlbruch

    dlbruch Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 1999
    Ditto to what RAM said- I spend about 2 hrs. with a DO whose name I got from an alumni list provided by my first choice school (which is local to me). He let me observe a manipulation, bought me lunch, and wrote a very positive letter. He was extremely positive and encouraging and I am sure his letter did help, not to mention that I used the manipulation example in my personal statement and interview. Any time with a DO (MD doesn't count here) demonstrates interest in oseopathic medicine in a practical and tangible way. If all you know is MD, the logic goes, why not choose MD school?
  10. Doctortobee

    Doctortobee Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 1999
    I have shadowed a DO who is Chief of Staff and the director of the residency program for a teaching hospital affiliated with an osteopathic school...I've shadowed him on 4 occasions, observed him in the OR, and hope to continue throughout the summer. Being his patient also can't hurt. I *hope* he will give me a great recommendation!
  11. "Also, would a letter of recommendation from an MD help if I am applying to Osteopathic School?"

    I sent in three letters of recommendation to all the DO schools I applied to (2 DO and 1 MD). While the DO letters are more important, I felt the MD letter helped significantly as well. I wouldn't send one in unless it is very solid.

    In my case, the MD was (is) my medical director (I am a paramedic). He administered my oral boards, takes radio reports and reports from me at the hospital and has generally had many opportunities to observe my patient care capabilities. I have awoken him in the middle of the night to deal with a couple of difficult cases over the years as well as run some hellacious traumas with him - so we have an excellent rapport with one another.

  12. Epi35

    Epi35 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2000
    I gained acceptance to 2 DO programs and did not have a D.O. letter. Guess I was lucky. In retrospect, I think that a D.O. letter shows real interest in the profession and that I should have gotten one just for completeness' sake. Good luck to all.
  13. scully

    scully Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 1999
    Big D
    Congratulations! Which schools, if I may ask?

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