May 9, 2009
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Pre-Medical
Who would be best to get letters of recommendations from? And how important are these letters in the application process?

I am planning on getting a letter from my High School Soccer coach, who I have worked with the past 2 summers teaching special education kids how to play soccer. I plan to get another one from my superviser at my Engineering internship, where we don't do anything medical but I am involved in teaching incoming freshmen about science and engineering. My last letter is going to come from probably my volunteer supervisor at the hospital I have volunteered at for the last 2 years at a couple positions.
 

reflex

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10+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2005
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Who would be best to get letters of recommendations from? And how important are these letters in the application process?

I am planning on getting a letter from my High School Soccer coach, who I have worked with the past 2 summers teaching special education kids how to play soccer. I plan to get another one from my superviser at my Engineering internship, where we don't do anything medical but I am involved in teaching incoming freshmen about science and engineering. My last letter is going to come from probably my volunteer supervisor at the hospital I have volunteered at for the last 2 years at a couple positions.
Remember that you'll need academic reference letters. Rule of thumb: 2 science LOR and 1 non-science LOR are needed.
 

VooDooo327

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Jan 26, 2009
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General consensus I believe is that you get 2 from science courses and one from a non-science course (Professors). If I remember correctly some schools require a LOR from a professor. That should be your main objective first. All other letters would be icing.
 
Oct 24, 2009
159
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Status
Pre-Medical
Who would be best to get letters of recommendations from? And how important are these letters in the application process?

I am planning on getting a letter from my High School Soccer coach, who I have worked with the past 2 summers teaching special education kids how to play soccer. I plan to get another one from my superviser at my Engineering internship, where we don't do anything medical but I am involved in teaching incoming freshmen about science and engineering. My last letter is going to come from probably my volunteer supervisor at the hospital I have volunteered at for the last 2 years at a couple positions.
Check the website of each school you apply to, but most require at least 2 science and 1 non-science letter. You can usually submit more than 3 letters, especially if its in the form of a premed committee letter (counts as 1 even though it has the individual letters attached). The three letters you mentioned above would qualify as the non-science. I would evaluate the three recommenders you mentioned above to see: (1) Do they know about your potential to succeed in medical school?; (2) Do they shed light on an aspect of you and/or your application that is of importance to you and to the medical school?; (3) Are they important in their own field of work and demonstrate they are a "valuable/impressive" source of info on you?; (5) How well do they know you and in what context?; (4) How much do they like you and want you to succeed? (to determine the level of positivity for their letter)

My LORs really made a difference in my application because I chose recommenders that all shed light on various aspects of my life story and future career goals. All the recommenders were highly educated (MD, PhD, MPH, etc.) and were leaders in their own fields and spoke about my ability to be a leader one day too. They all knew me veryyy well (professionally and/or personally) and would do anything to see me succeed (incredible mentors in every way possible), so I knew the letters were very detailed, passionate, and positive. I ended up with 3 science letters and 3 non-science.
 

OhioDoc

7+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2009
433
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Ohio
Status
Medical Student
Who would be best to get letters of recommendations from? And how important are these letters in the application process?

I am planning on getting a letter from my High School Soccer coach, who I have worked with the past 2 summers teaching special education kids how to play soccer. I plan to get another one from my superviser at my Engineering internship, where we don't do anything medical but I am involved in teaching incoming freshmen about science and engineering. My last letter is going to come from probably my volunteer supervisor at the hospital I have volunteered at for the last 2 years at a couple positions.
In obtaining letters of recommendation you also want to gauge how well the letter writer knows you both personally and professionally. As you might imagine, the best letters are typically written by individuals that are most familiar with you. In fact, most LORs begin with "I have known XXXX for X years as a result of XXXX".

LORs are quite important in the medical school application process. Anything but excellent letters will hurt you. For this reason, it's important to make sure your writers are comfortable writing you a very strong LOR - you don't want any surprises here.

As others have also mentioned, you're going to need 2 letters from science professors that have taught you and/or whom you've performed research with and 1 letter from a non-sci prof.