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Letters of Reference for the US Match

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Pollicis, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Pollicis

    Pollicis Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2005

    I'm looking to apply for the 2008 match. My question is how useful / useless are letters of reference from Canada when applying for programs in the States? Lets say pretty high level letters from program directors at large Canadian universities like Toronto or McGill.

    Thanks for your help.
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  3. eastcoastyall

    eastcoastyall Wisdom Onslaught 5+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    Just an educated guess, but I would say that they are not going to be helpful at all. I would imagine that you would maximize your chances of matching in the states with letters from people in the states.
  4. sponch

    sponch Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Palo Alto, CA
    McGill is very well known and senior attendings there are just as influential as ones from the US. I would however, recommend doing some aways and getting letters from US programs as well just to round out your application. These days, away rotations are becoming more and more of something you've got to do even if you're US medical student.
  5. Pollicis

    Pollicis Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    Hi thanks for your replies. My plan is to do 1 elective in Canada and 1 in the USA. Thus, I will likely get 1, or very optimistically 2 letters from each country. I hear the magic number is 3 letters from the USA if you want to apply there, but my situation is more like 1 letter from USA, 1 from Canada, and one from my school abroad (I'm an IMG).

    Thoughts? Help :confused:
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    I agree with sponch....Canadian schools are LCME approved and both Toronto and McGill are well regarded, with many US faculty also having trained at one or the other. The typical advice to only supply LORs from US faculty really doesn't apply to Canadian schools as the standards are the same as in the US and it would be expected that a LOR from here would be familiar with the requirements. Although if you are doing a US elective, at least one letter from a US surgeon would be desirable.

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