Tigerkeeper

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I am applying for the 2014 match internal medicine and I am currently trying to get doctors to upload letters of recommendation for me.


Throughout my rotations 7 doctors have agreed to write letters for me. I have e-mail all of them asking them to submit letters to the ERAS.

3 of the 7 have replied and said that they would upload letters. However, according to the letter portal they have yet to upload the letters.

The remaining 4 doctors have yet to reply my e-mails. These 4 doctors I have already e-mailed twice.

Two questions:
1) How long should I wait before following up on the three doctors who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for me?

2) What is the best way to follow up on the remaining four doctors who have yet to reply my e-mails?
 

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I am applying for the 2014 match internal medicine and I am currently trying to get doctors to upload letters of recommendation for me.


Throughout my rotations 7 doctors have agreed to write letters for me. I have e-mail all of them asking them to submit letters to the ERAS.

3 of the 7 have replied and said that they would upload letters. However, according to the letter portal they have yet to upload the letters.

The remaining 4 doctors have yet to reply my e-mails. These 4 doctors I have already e-mailed twice.

Two questions:
1) How long should I wait before following up on the three doctors who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for me?

At least a month.

2) What is the best way to follow up on the remaining four doctors who have yet to reply my e-mails?

Perhaps your emails went to their Spam file. You could Go by their office, drop off your PS, CV and a cover letter which has the number to upload/FAX your letter to. If they still don't respond, consider it a lost cause.
 
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naseeha

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I'll ask my question here instead of making a new thread. Should we confirm a doctor will write us a LOR before finalizing?
 

NotAProgDirector

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It doesn't matter. You can finalize as many letters as you want. If you finalize a letter, and then the writer refuses to write a letter, or agrees but never writes it, then the slot remains empty. No one (but you) ever knows about it.

That said, I'd recommend asking for the letter first, then finalizing it once accepted (which takes all of 2 minutes), and sending the cover letter / upload instructions with a thank you email.
 

naseeha

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It doesn't matter. You can finalize as many letters as you want. If you finalize a letter, and then the writer refuses to write a letter, or agrees but never writes it, then the slot remains empty. No one (but you) ever knows about it.

That said, I'd recommend asking for the letter first, then finalizing it once accepted (which takes all of 2 minutes), and sending the cover letter / upload instructions with a thank you email.

Thanks, will do.
 

benicar

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I have an interesting situation regarding one of my letters of recommendation for ERAS and was wondering if anyone had any insight or advice.

A former faculty member agreed to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf who was the clerkship director for my chosen specialty of interest for more than 5 years. However, she left the institution a few months back and is currently between institutions and hence does not have letterhead. I have known this faculty member for 3 years and they know me very well, including, my clinical abilities, background and career goals. I have a number of very strong potential writers but believe this person would be one of my most effective advocates.

Should I include this letter and how is this viewed? And in short, is a 1-2 sentence explanation of the writers previous role enough to allay any concerns regarding the lack of letterhead.
 
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Winged Scapula

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I have an interesting situation regarding one of my letters of recommendation for ERAS and was wondering if anyone had any insight or advice.

A former faculty member agreed to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf who was the clerkship director for my chosen specialty of interest for more than 5 years. However, she left the institution a few months back and is currently between institutions and hence does not have letterhead. I have known this faculty member for 3 years and they know me very well, including, my clinical abilities, background and career goals. I have a number of very strong potential writers but believe this person would be one of my most effective advocates.

Should I include this letter and how is this viewed? And in short, is a 1-2 sentence explanation of the writers previous role enough to allay any concerns regarding the lack of letterhead.

Perhaps you've heard of this little thing called private practice?

There are plenty of letter writers who are institution-less. A standard letter of recommendation will include a sentence which describes the manner in which the writer is familiar with you. I would expect your LOR to mention the role which they formerly held which allowed them to evaluate you.

A letter from someone who knows you well would typically carry more weight regardless of the lack of institution based letterhead.
 
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hello all
I have a question, I waived my right to view my LoRs, and I finalized the letters, but that is wrong I did not understand what to waive is, so I finalized my LoRs again same Dr but as unwaived then I uploaded my LoRs. Is this wrong ? will it work ?? what shall I do ??
 

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hello all
I have a question, I waived my right to view my LoRs, and I finalized the letters, but that is wrong I did not understand what to waive is, so I finalized my LoRs again same Dr but as unwaived then I uploaded my LoRs. Is this wrong ? will it work ?? what shall I do ??

I'm not really sure what you're asking here, but if you are asking if you should waive your right or not, you absolutely should. We were told that a letter where you did not waive your right to view is completely worthless. Residency programs will give no weight to such a letter (exception is MSPE, but you do not input this into ERAS anyway).

If you have already seen the letter and are just asking if it will uploaded correctly now that you have finalized the author twice, it will. You just print the LOR coversheet/instructions associated with the correct link (in this case the one where you waived your rights) and give that one to your letter writer. It has a code for that particular author/letter so it will be uploaded correctly. You really should waive your right though.
 

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Hello, I also have a LOR question which I hope I might ask here rather than creating a new thread....

I currently have 3 letters of recommendation on file on ERAS. Currently I'm doing an away elective, and I hope to ask one of my attendings to write a letter for me (though I haven't asked the attending yet). So by the time I get someone to write me a letter and actually have that person write me something, I expect it to be another 5-8 weeks. So I'm going to be sending out my applications on Sept 15th with the current 3 letters on file. If I want to add the 4th letter later, do I need to hold a slot on ERAS by inputting/finalizing the 4th LOR writer's name PRIOR to sending out all my apps on Sept 15th? Or can I just send out my applications via ERAS on Sept 15th without finalizing the name of the letter writer, and just add that person's letter to all my applications by October (even though the applications were already sent beforehand)? Hope my question makes sense. Thanks!
 
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If I'm not mistaken, ERAS changed things this year where you can't select a LOR for a program if it hasn't been finalized and uploaded. Previously you could select the finalized letter and it would be included whenever the letter was uploaded.

I'm not sure how it'll work this year.
 
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NotAProgDirector

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Hello, I also have a LOR question which I hope I might ask here rather than creating a new thread....

I currently have 3 letters of recommendation on file on ERAS. Currently I'm doing an away elective, and I hope to ask one of my attendings to write a letter for me (though I haven't asked the attending yet). So by the time I get someone to write me a letter and actually have that person write me something, I expect it to be another 5-8 weeks. So I'm going to be sending out my applications on Sept 15th with the current 3 letters on file. If I want to add the 4th letter later, do I need to hold a slot on ERAS by inputting/finalizing the 4th LOR writer's name PRIOR to sending out all my apps on Sept 15th? Or can I just send out my applications via ERAS on Sept 15th without finalizing the name of the letter writer, and just add that person's letter to all my applications by October (even though the applications were already sent beforehand)? Hope my question makes sense. Thanks!
You can send the application Sept 15th, and add the letter later. You'll only send 3 LOR's with your app on the 15th. Then, when the new letter is uploaded, you add it to your applications. It will be delivered the next time the program accesses the post office.
 
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Most IM programs ask for 3 LORs, but ERAS gives you the option of uploading 4 for each program. Is it considered annoying/not recommended to upload 4 when programs ask for 3?
 

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Most IM programs ask for 3 LORs, but ERAS gives you the option of uploading 4 for each program. Is it considered annoying/not recommended to upload 4 when programs ask for 3?

Most programs say they require 3 LORs, a very few say "no more than 3 LORs". If they don't specifically say they only want 3, 4 is fine.
 

rkaz

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If I'm not mistaken, ERAS changed things this year where you can't select a LOR for a program if it hasn't been finalized and uploaded. Previously you could select the finalized letter and it would be included whenever the letter was uploaded.

I'm not sure how it'll work this year.

You can send the application Sept 15th, and add the letter later. You'll only send 3 LOR's with your app on the 15th. Then, when the new letter is uploaded, you add it to your applications. It will be delivered the next time the program accesses the post office.

Thank you both very much for your response. I think Ronin hit on my concern, though. As what I really am trying to get at is if we have to specify on ERAS *WHO* the 4th letter writer will be (by finalizing the name of the person in advance of the letter).

I am in understanding that I can add the 4th letter after Sept 15th (when I send out my application). What I'm unclear about is whether I have to still finalize the 4th person's name on ERAS before Sept 15th (to hold a slot for the letter to be added later in October). I am still not 100% sure who I will ask (as I have a few people in mind from my current away elective), and I hope to ask that person within the next few weeks after my ERAS is already sent out. Hence the dilemma, as I want to ensure that I can add the letter later EVEN IF I didn't finalize the person's name on ERAS before sending out my applications on the 15th.

Thank so much everyone for your time to reply!
 
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Thank you both very much for your response. I think Ronin hit on my concern, though. As what I really am trying to get at is if we have to specify on ERAS *WHO* the 4th letter writer will be (by finalizing the name of the person in advance of the letter).

I am in understanding that I can add the 4th letter after Sept 15th (when I send out my application). What I'm unclear about is whether I have to still finalize the 4th person's name on ERAS before Sept 15th (to hold a slot for the letter to be added later in October). I am still not 100% sure who I will ask (as I have a few people in mind from my current away elective), and I hope to ask that person within the next few weeks after my ERAS is already sent out. Hence the dilemma, as I want to ensure that I can add the letter later EVEN IF I didn't finalize the person's name on ERAS before sending out my applications on the 15th.

Thank so much everyone for your time to reply!

What's the point of sending out your app before your letters are uploaded? I don't think your app will get processed or read by programs until it's absolutely complete...
 

NotAProgDirector

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Thank you both very much for your response. I think Ronin hit on my concern, though. As what I really am trying to get at is if we have to specify on ERAS *WHO* the 4th letter writer will be (by finalizing the name of the person in advance of the letter).

I am in understanding that I can add the 4th letter after Sept 15th (when I send out my application). What I'm unclear about is whether I have to still finalize the 4th person's name on ERAS before Sept 15th (to hold a slot for the letter to be added later in October). I am still not 100% sure who I will ask (as I have a few people in mind from my current away elective), and I hope to ask that person within the next few weeks after my ERAS is already sent out. Hence the dilemma, as I want to ensure that I can add the letter later EVEN IF I didn't finalize the person's name on ERAS before sending out my applications on the 15th.

Thank so much everyone for your time to reply!

You should be able to continue to create new LOR slots, finalize them, generate a cover letter, give that cover letter to an LOR writer, have them upload an LOR, and then attach it to any application that has <4 letters after Sept 15th. Obviously each step in that pathway takes some time, so you don't want to delay too long. But plenty of students do a SubI in October and get a letter, and obviously don't know whom their letter writer will be. Not a problem.

What's the point of sending out your app before your letters are uploaded? I don't think your app will get processed or read by programs until it's absolutely complete...

Not exactly. Some programs may look at your application with less than 3 letters. Most programs will review your application with 3 letters, and then you can always add a 4th letter later.
 

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You should be able to continue to create new LOR slots, finalize them, generate a cover letter, give that cover letter to an LOR writer, have them upload an LOR, and then attach it to any application that has <4 letters after Sept 15th. Obviously each step in that pathway takes some time, so you don't want to delay too long. But plenty of students do a SubI in October and get a letter, and obviously don't know whom their letter writer will be. Not a problem.

Great, thank you so much for your time in clarifying! :thumbup:
 

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You can send the application Sept 15th, and add the letter later. You'll only send 3 LOR's with your app on the 15th. Then, when the new letter is uploaded, you add it to your applications. It will be delivered the next time the program accesses the post office.

I do not believe this is accutate anymore. ERAS changed so that you must have your letters uploaded and assigned to programs before you apply. You cannot add uploaded letters to a program after you apply nor can you assign letters that have not been uploaded.

https://www.aamc.org/download/258342/data/lor_process.pdf

Go to the fourth slide.
 

KTD

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I do not believe this is accutate anymore. ERAS changed so that you must have your letters uploaded and assigned to programs before you apply. You cannot add uploaded letters to a program after you apply nor can you assign letters that have not been uploaded.

https://www.aamc.org/download/258342/data/lor_process.pdf

Go to the fourth slide.

I am pretty sure you can assign letters after the application is submitted, you just cannot UNassign letters. That slide even says that letters will be locked when assigning a letter to a program previously applied to--implying that you can assign letters after submitting the app.
 
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I do not believe this is accutate anymore. ERAS changed so that you must have your letters uploaded and assigned to programs before you apply. You cannot add uploaded letters to a program after you apply nor can you assign letters that have not been uploaded.

https://www.aamc.org/download/258342/data/lor_process.pdf

Go to the fourth slide.

Show me on the 4th slide where you are getting the underlined - I don't see it - please quote from the pdf.

I think the ERAS pdf is poorly written and confusing, but I don't get out of it what you have written.

Has anybody written or called ERAS to confirm this?
 

KTD

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Show me on the 4th slide where you are getting the underlined - I don't see it - please quote from the pdf.

I think the ERAS pdf is poorly written and confusing, but I don't get out of it what you have written.

Has anybody written or called ERAS to confirm this?

2nd bullet, first sentence.

Edit: oops sorry. Realized you weren't talking to me. I agree, the slide doesn't say that you can't add letters, only that you can't delete them after you submit. Also, I agree, the instructions are not super clear.
 
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2nd bullet, first sentence.

Edit: oops sorry. Realized you weren't talking to me. I agree, the slide doesn't say that you can't add letters, only that you can't delete them after you submit. Also, I agree, the instructions are not super clear.

Agreed, we are on the same page.

I also understand the pdf to say that you can't assign letters to programs until those letters are authorized and uploaded and in the ERAS mailbox. So in recalling AMCAS some 4 years ago, it was possible to set up letter slots and to assign those letters to med schools even if the letters had not been uploaded yet; once uploaded, they were made available to schools to download. It appears that until recently this was also possible in ERAS, but they have changed the procedure for some reason, and their wording of this change seems to be causing a lot of confusion.
 
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