Letters of Recommendation

hopki099

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    I'm currently planning on applying for medical schools the first week of June. I have been asking for letters of recommendations lately, and need to give my writers some sort of deadline. I have not been through the whole AMCAS process before, so I'm wondering when I need my LoRs by. Do the letters have to be submitted along with my primary on, say, June 1? Or do they wait until I complete my secondaries in July or August?
     

    noshie

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      I'm currently planning on applying for medical schools the first week of June. I have been asking for letters of recommendations lately, and need to give my writers some sort of deadline. I have not been through the whole AMCAS process before, so I'm wondering when I need my LoRs by. Do the letters have to be submitted along with my primary on, say, June 1? Or do they wait until I complete my secondaries in July or August?

      First of all, are you doing a premed committee packet? Where are these writers sending their letters? Where you have them finally sent depends on which application service you are doing. For AMCAS they can just send it to the AMCAS address listed on their website. Also I think they have a form that goes along with it so it won't get lost. Make sure to ask your writers to put it on letterhead, signed and sent with their signature along the flap (usually they do this anyways). They need to be sent after you submit your application, so maybe ask them to send it in on June 3rd, no later, no sooner.

      However, the fact that you haven't really started getting your letters ready is really scary... Writers hate getting short notice on things like this. I personally usually give at least 1.5-2 months notice. I've heard many professors and doctors tell me how much they hate premeds rushing letters. My advice is if you need them in such a short time make sure to tell them "I'm sorry that this is such short notice but.." They will appreciate that I'm sure. Also, maybe give them a self addressed envelope with a stamp on it, that way they have no excuses for it getting lost.
       

      knightstale4

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        First of all, are you doing a premed committee packet? Where are these writers sending their letters? Where you have them finally sent depends on which application service you are doing. For AMCAS they can just send it to the AMCAS address listed on their website. Also I think they have a form that goes along with it so it won’t get lost. Make sure to ask your writers to put it on letterhead, signed and sent with their signature along the flap (usually they do this anyways). They need to be sent after you submit your application, so maybe ask them to send it in on June 3rd, no later, no sooner.

        However, the fact that you haven’t really started getting your letters ready is really scary... Writers hate getting short notice on things like this. I personally usually give at least 1.5-2 months notice. I’ve heard many professors and doctors tell me how much they hate premeds rushing letters. My advice is if you need them in such a short time make sure to tell them “I’m sorry that this is such short notice but..” They will appreciate that I’m sure. Also, maybe give them a self addressed envelope with a stamp on it, that way they have no excuses for it getting lost.

        I am confused. Why would OP need a self-addressed envelope? Shouldn't the letter be addressed to the person in charge of the committee letter. I have the same system at my school, and all my LORs were addressed to the secretary of the department conducting the interview. I would suggest the OP should find out what is the exact process at his/her school, and in agreement with Noshie, I think you need to give the writers at least a month. I think if the letters are done by June 15th or so, then the commitee can meet and conduct interview you by the following week, and your commitee letter should be done by early/mid-July. I think this still puts you in a very safe position in terms of sending in secondaries early.
         
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        hopki099

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        Mar 5, 2010
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        1. Pre-Medical
          I don't have a pre-med committee at my school, and most of the letter writers have written LoRs for me in the past already, so I don't think time will be an issue. They seemed more than happy to write one for me and I made it clear that I would need them by the first week in June.

          Since I do not have a pre-med committee letter, how does this change things on my AMCAS?
           

          noshie

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            I am confused. Why would OP need a self-addressed envelope? Shouldn't the letter be addressed to the person in charge of the committee letter. I have the same system at my school, and all my LORs were addressed to the secretary of the department conducting the interview. I would suggest the OP should find out what is the exact process at his/her school, and in agreement with Noshie, I think you need to give the writers at least a month. I think if the letters are done by June 15th or so, then the commitee can meet and conduct interview you by the following week, and your commitee letter should be done by early/mid-July. I think this still puts you in a very safe position in terms of sending in secondaries early.

            Usually the letters are sent directly to AMCAS (they collect them for most of the medical schools now), then AMCAS distributes them to the schools that you apply to. The OP doesn't have a committee, but if she did she could give them an addressed envelope that is addressed to the person in charge of that committee. It's kind of a nice gesture, but also it ensures that your letter will get to whomever it's going to.

            If you are sure they will not mind, then it's wonderful! You may get your letters in time. Not having a committee changes nothing on the AMCAS really, except you need to list each writer individually instead of just saying your letters are coming from a committee. However, it does change how the schools receive the letters. They won't get a well put together packet, just a stack of letters. Most med schools would prefer the committee letter, but if you don't have one then you don't have one. Not everyone has a pre med committee so they are probably used to it.
             

            noshie

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              But the letters don't actually NEED to be there with my primary, just before the schools send out their secondaries, right? So any time in June would be fine?

              Yes I do believe it NEEDS to be there with your primary. The application service sends it out to the schools as a complete application (Primary, transcripts/calculated GPA and LORs)... At least for AMCAS and TMDSAS they do. But no if youre doing the AACOMAS (those go to the schools individually, or they used to at least...)
               
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