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Letters of Recommendation

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by MDSlacker, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. MDSlacker

    MDSlacker 2+ Year Member

    May 3, 2013
    Just wanted to get some opinions on my situation. I currently have 1 letter of recommendation from a Dermatologist and have had trouble getting another two letters from dermatologists due to limited time spent with attendings and one attending who I have not been able to get a hold of to get my letter back (he is out of the country for 2 months now). I am currently doing an away rotation and hoping to get an additional letter from this rotation but that will not be until the end of October almost.

    So, should I submit my applications with one letter from a dermatologist and then 2 other letters from a couple of my clerkship directors (both very strong letters), submit with just one dermatologist letter and 1 clerkship director letter now and then add the second dermatologist letter afterwards, submit with 1 dermatologist letter and 2 clerkship director letters and then add the second dermatologist letter later when it is available, or do something entirely different.

    The issue I am debating is a second dermatologist letter versus waiting longer to have my application be complete. I know there is probably no correct answer for this situation but just wanted to get some opinions. If you need any additional information please ask.
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  3. Dral

    Dral Physician PhD 7+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    It's been a few years, so refresh my memory...are you totally limited on the numbe of letters you can upload?

    If so, I would say upload what you have now and submit as soon as you can. Then, when you can add the other letter, upload it and inform the program coordinators that you have a new letter (they should maybe get a notification that your app has changed if you applied to the program, but people can miss things).

    You're going to be cutting it close, but it is what it is.

    You need to stay on top of deadlines. For instance, the deadline for Tufts was October 1st. Most, but not all seem to be October 31st. It's more important to have your app in by that time.

    If you do a search for letter requirements, most places don't say the letters need to be from Dermatologists. Some do require two dermatologist letters (Wake Forest for example). Of course, it's always better if they are, but not necessary in all cases. Just realize that you are not in an optimal situation and this could end up hurting you a bit. I hope it doesn't. I'm of course not trying to be cruel, but you just have to be aware that you are competing with people who had two stellar academic deramatologist letters submited Sept 15th. Just try as hard as you can to get the second letter in as soon as possible.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  4. MDSlacker

    MDSlacker 2+ Year Member

    May 3, 2013
    Thanks for the advice. There is a limit to how many letters you can submit (the limit is 4).

    I have been staying on top of the deadlines pretty well and already submitted one dermatology letter and two non-dermatology letters to all of the programs who have deadlines of Oct. 1. I think I will take your advice and submit those same letters to all of the other programs and then if/when I am able to get another Dermatology letter I will submit that to all of the programs and email the residency program directors. Definitely not in an ideal situation right now but I have not been able to get in contact with my one letter writer and don't think I have the luxury to keep waiting for him to get back to me and it also makes it difficult because I do not have a home derm program.

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