Letters of Recommendation

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Low-Key User
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2004
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This thread seeks advice on letters of recommendation for both med school and MS programs (my plan: MS 2004-2006 and MD 2006-2010).

Traditionally, applicants from my undergraduate university employ the services of a pre-med office for a committee letter. Even though I have followed up with my pre-med office, I have begun to feel that it may be working against me. Part of the procedure for obtaining a pre-med committee letter is having an interview with the associate dean, and the interview did not bode well. She basically emphasized over and over how weak of an applicant I am (3.0 overall GPA, 2.9 science GPA, 27R MCAT). So, I've been contemplating whether or not I should forfeit the pre-med committee letter, considering that it will be composed by this dean and will most likely be a negative one. The good thing about the office is that it takes care of all the organizational details and transmissions of letters. I don't have to worry about keeping up with individual professors, and because transmission is digitally/electronically sent from my school, I also don't have to worry about letters getting lost via snail-mail. Ugh...PRO's vs. CON's?!?!?!

Do schools question/grow suspicious of an applicant who does not use his/her pre-med office?

Is there any way to use the services of a pre-med office without involving the dean's writing a letter?

What other methods exist to fulfill the letters of recommendation requirement? What is the most efficient and effective way?

Unfortunately, I live on the opposite coast of where I used to attend school (I graduated in May 2003 with a BS), so recruiting professors for letters is rather difficult unless it's not too impersonal or disrespectful to do so over e-mail. Is it? Besides...I went through the 2004 med school admissions cycle with rejections across the board, and one aspect that I want to avoid during re-application is the hassles of individual letters of recommendation. It compelled CONSTANT nagging and reminders for each professor to meet deadlines, some of which ended up being neglected anyway!

I appreciate all advice on this subject. Thanks!


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2002
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Having sent individual letter in the past, I understand the hassle. That's why this year, I'm going to use my grad school's recommendation file service. The recommender only sends 1 (copy) letter to the service, which is then copied and distributed as a packet with other LORs to the schools of your choice.

If your school doesn't do this, I think there is a company called interfolio (I think) that will provide the same service for a fee.

Good luck!