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LOR dilemma, please advise!!

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aspiring20

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i thought i was dead on track for the 2 science LOR required...but some complications have arise.

first situation: i took a science class with professor A and did exceptionally well. it was a small class and we got to know each other well throughout the course. at the end of finals (last december, so only 3-4 months ago), we met privately and she enthusiastically agreed to write me a LOR. she then told me to stay in touch and send her all the relevant info like transcripts and whatnot. so i emailed professor A this monday regarding a possible catching-up meeting in order to discuss the details surrounding the LOR. she still hasn't responded to my email yet. when i was her student last semester, she almost always responds to emails within 24-48 hours...but it has been 4 days now!

second situation: my last semester at my alma mater (spring 2012), i took a really engageing science course with professor B. i did very well, and we kept in touch via email after graduation, and he still remembers me very well. this monday, i sent him an email asking for a LOR, and still no response.

i can easily go to campus and visit professor A, but my alma mater is on the other side of the country, making visiting professor B very difficult.

other than these two professors, i really dont have any one else to write me a strong LOR.

and no LOR means no med school, which means no mercedes s-class in the future. and this makes me sad :( any advice?
 

AliciaAccepted

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First, take a deep breath!

It's only Thursday. Your professors are probably in the middle of their quarter or semester. They may be super busy. Don't take it personally if they take a little while to respond. Give them a week and if you don't hear from them, you can email each prof again. Letters of recommendation take a lot of time to write. When I was director of the UC Davis School of Medicine Postbacclaureate Program, I usually spent anywhere from two to three hours per letter. When we get those letter requests, we have to start planning when we're going to fit the time in to write another letter.

It is always better to request letters of rec in person, when possible. For Prof A, I recommend going to her/his office hours, especially if you don't hear back from the second email you send requesting an appointment. Make sure that you have all your materials ready to send to them:

1. Updated resume/CV
2. Polished draft of your personal statement
3. If appropriate, list of bullet points outlining critical information about the grade you earned or a project you completed with them, etc.
4. AMCAS or Interfolio bar code page for letter writers
5. If needed, a stamped and addressed envelope to AMCAS or Interfolio

It's only March and the letters of recommendation are not due until you receive your secondary application deadlines. You're going to be fine. Give them some time! Focus on organizing your materials to have them ready to go. Good luck!
 
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aspiring20

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thanks for your helpful response alicia!

i have another quick question. i am planning on submitting my AACOMAS and possible AMCAS early june. will my app be marked "complete" when letters haven't been received?

is it typical that LORs are often submitted quite a bit later than the primary app?

thanks again!
 

WalSlave

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i have another quick question. i am planning on submitting my AACOMAS and possible AMCAS early june. will my app be marked "complete" when letters haven't been received?

Fortunately, your primary app has nothing to do with your letters. That will all be school-specific and will be handled along with your secondaries.

Also, I agree with Alicia, take a deep breath and realize that professors are very very busy, especially right in the middle of the semester like this. The last professor I asked for a letter took over a week to respond, but he was very happy to write one and his letter is probably my strongest one. If they don't answer in about 2 weeks, I'd send a VERY gentle reminder of your question. Also make sure you always subtly offer a professor a way out. It's way better to have a professor feel comfortable telling you no than to unknowingly receive a weak letter (keep in mind you probably won't ever get to read it). Although I highly doubt this is your case.

Best of luck.
 
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aspiring20

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i am not worried about professor A since she has already agreed to write me a LOR in december and that her school is minutes away from my home.

but i do really hope that professor B will agree to write me one. we'll see how it goes.
 

aspiring20

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also, will your AACOMAS primary be marked "complete" without the LORs? or do you have to submit your LORs and your primary before you get a secondary?

my knowledge is that you first submit your primary along with all transcripts. once the transcripts are verified, your primary is marked complete and the schools can then send you secondaries. once your secondaries and LORs are in, you then get considered for interviews.

is this sequence correct?
 
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Sean Lee

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also, will your AACOMAS primary be marked "complete" without the LORs? or do you have to submit your LORs and your primary before you get a secondary?

my knowledge is that you first submit your primary along with all transcripts. once the transcripts are verified, your primary is marked complete and the schools can then send you secondaries. once your secondaries and LORs are in, you then get considered for interviews.

is this sequence correct?

I'll be applying this cycle, so I would like to know this as well.

And OP, one of my professors took almost 3 weeks to get back to me regarding the letter request, so I wouldn't worry at all!
 

aspiring20

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so i met with prof A at the end of last term and requested a LOR in person. she enthusiastically agreed to write one and told me to stay in touch.

still no response to my email sent five days ago.

should i just send her my completed LOR package (resume, transcripts, instructions, etc?) and visit her in person? i live very nearby and her class schedule is on the school's website. i can just go in before or after class and talk about it in person.

usually, professor won't change his/her mind after enthusiastically agreeing to write a letter, right?
 

Sean Lee

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so i met with prof A at the end of last term and requested a LOR in person. she enthusiastically agreed to write one and told me to stay in touch.

still no response to my email sent five days ago.

should i just send her my completed LOR package (resume, transcripts, instructions, etc?) and visit her in person? i live very nearby and her class schedule is on the school's website. i can just go in before or after class and talk about it in person.

usually, professor won't change his/her mind after enthusiastically agreeing to write a letter, right?

Hey Aspiring.

I know that you are applying this cycle (so am I!), and I know that everyone has a lot of hoops to jump through and stress to deal with. But I really think you should relax a bit (you sound quite a bit desperate in some of your recent posts that I've read). I don't know much about this whole process, but didn't you get a 35 on the MCAT with a perfect VR score? That's an incredible accomplishment, and I really don't think you are going to have much issues getting accepted somewhere.

As for your question, I would definitely visit professor A. Since she has already agreed to write you a letter, then you can expect her to fulfill that promise. She's probably very busy with her classes, or she could be having a lot of obligations outside of teaching. Just drop by her office when you get the chance and kindly remind her of the LOR.

You'll be fine!
 
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aspiring20

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Hey Aspiring.

I know that you are applying this cycle (so am I!), and I know that everyone has a lot of hoops to jump through and stress to deal with. But I really think you should relax a bit (you sound quite a bit desperate in some of your recent posts that I've read). I don't know much about this whole process, but didn't you get a 35 on the MCAT with a perfect VR score? That's an incredible accomplishment, and I really don't think you are going to have much issues getting accepted somewhere.

As for your question, I would definitely visit professor A. Since she has already agreed to write you a letter, then you can expect her to fulfill that promise. She's probably very busy with her classes, or she could be having a lot of obligations outside of teaching. Just drop by her office when you get the chance and kindly remind her of the LOR.

You'll be fine!

thanks for your words of encouragement. the thing is...i really dont have anyone else to write me a science LOR other than these two professors. if i dont get a letter from them, i am not going to med school regardless of that 35. that's what's worrying the jesus out of me
 
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