LOR from a current medical student?

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TheNextMD

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Hey folks,

I was hoping you could help me out with my situation here.

For the past year I've been working on a good clinical project for a med student who is getting his MPH, and he's gotten to know me pretty well and has become a sort of advisor or mentor at times. He's a 3rd year med student and also a physicians assistant. He attends my top-choice school.

Do you think a letter from him would be helpful or appropriate?

Thanks a bunch for any input!
 

chad5871

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Does this med student have a PI or professor he's working in conjunction with? It would be better to have the student write the letter in your behalf and have it signed by the PI or prof.
 

Carlin

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I would say that it's okay since he isn't just a medical student that you know-- he's a research advisor. If you can spin the relationship to be advisor-advisee and not med student-premed, I think it could be a useful letter. Make sure this is one of your optional letters though; you'll definitely still want them from your professors.
 

TheNextMD

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Does this med student have a PI or professor he's working in conjunction with? It would be better to have the student write the letter in your behalf and have it signed by the PI or prof.

This may work, but I already planned on getting a strong letter from the PI as well, which would be good because he's director of the trauma surg unit here. Would having him sign-off on the med student's letter seem like "double-dipping" so to speak?
 

TheNextMD

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I would say that it's okay since he isn't just a medical student that you know-- he's a research advisor. If you can spin the relationship to be advisor-advisee and not med student-premed, I think it could be a useful letter. Make sure this is one of your optional letters though; you'll definitely still want them from your professors.

Yea, I think I could pretty much put him as a research supervisor or w/e, because he hired me and I reported directly to him.
 

chad5871

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This may work, but I already planned on getting a strong letter from the PI as well, which would be good because he's director of the trauma surg unit here. Would having him sign-off on the med student's letter seem like "double-dipping" so to speak?

Yes. If you're getting a letter from the PI and he's from the same institution and involved in the same project, I don't see how the med student's letter could add anything else and it could probably be avoided altogether. What are your other LORs?
 

TheNextMD

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Other LORs not including the PI or the student would be from microbio lab professor and 1 from a gen chem professor I had class with and worked for as a peer mentor.
 

chad5871

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You will probably need a humanities one too. Just a heads up.

Yep, get one from a humanities professor. I would also recommend getting one from an MD/DO you've shadowed with if you can. I have 5 LORs and hopefully I'll be covered: 2 science profs (1 bio, 1 chem), 1 humanities prof, 1 research (PI), 1 MD.

Are you getting a committee letter?
 

TheNextMD

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Damn, I don't have a humanities one. I guess I could email my Italian prof from Winter quarter. I destroyed the class, but that was the last time I really saw him. Problem is I transferred here and haven't taken much in the way of humanities, what schools require a humanities letter?

As far as a shadowing letter, that would be from the PI as well- he's a surgeon.

So:

-1 research/shadowing MD
-1 micro lab prof
-1 chem prof/peer mentoring
-1 "additional" med student maybe
-need to find a humanities...
 

TheNextMD

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No committe here. I could try my advisor though, he's like a music PhD. Lol would this cover humanites?
 

chad5871

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No committe here. I could try my advisor though, he's like a music PhD. Lol would this cover humanites?

Well technically I think it's supposed to be from a professor who's taught you in a course, although I might be getting confused with what my specific pre-health committee requires... Anyone else want to chime in?
 

littlealex

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I feel like this letter would be pretty worthless the way TA letters are often considered to be worthless w/o a professor signing off on it.
 

mules05

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I wouldn't get a letter of recommendation from this med student, as it won't add anything to your file at most places. However, I WOULD ask him to write you a letter of support and have him send it directly to the school he attends. A letter from one of their own students that says you're someone this student enjoys working with will reflect positively on your application and if nothing else should get you an interview if your grades meet the minimum cutoff.
 

Law2Doc

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I wouldn't get a letter of recommendation from this med student, as it won't add anything to your file at most places. However, I WOULD ask him to write you a letter of support and have him send it directly to the school he attends. A letter from one of their own students that says you're someone this student enjoys working with will reflect positively on your application and if nothing else should get you an interview if your grades meet the minimum cutoff.

No way. This kind of letter won't be of much value, unless the dude is a student member of the adcom or regularly helps out admissions (so they know and respect him). For all you know this is exactly the kind of med student the school would just as soon not have more of. If he is struggling and somewhat of a trouble maker for the administration, a letter from him could kill your app. And you will see once you get into med school that your vote as a med student doesn't really count for much with the administration. It will just look like you couldn't get enough recs from legit people. I wouldn't bother with it.
 

Jolie South

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Damn, I don't have a humanities one. I guess I could email my Italian prof from Winter quarter. I destroyed the class, but that was the last time I really saw him. Problem is I transferred here and haven't taken much in the way of humanities, what schools require a humanities letter?

As far as a shadowing letter, that would be from the PI as well- he's a surgeon.

So:

-1 research/shadowing MD
-1 micro lab prof
-1 chem prof/peer mentoring
-1 "additional" med student maybe
-need to find a humanities...

Forget the med student letter. If he has any points he really wants the PI to include, they could get together to discuss it.

you should get a non-science letter. surely, you have taken at least a course at your school that's not a science.

if you can get that 4th letter, you should be good to go.
 

majik1213

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not to bring down the OP original question, which is completely valid (I have no answer), but wouldn't things be cooler if they accepted fellow undergrad letters? haha
 

Jolie South

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not to bring down the OP original question, which is completely valid (I have no answer), but wouldn't things be cooler if they accepted fellow undergrad letters? haha

yea, that would make things easy, but they're probably not very useful.

when i applied to peace corps, they accepted those. it definitely took a load off.
 

kenmc3

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Admissions offices tend to respect opinions of their own medical students. The dean of my schools admissions is willing to take endorsement/reference letters from us if we have an applicant we feel strongly about. So I wouldn’t advise making this one of your LORs which is sent around to all schools, unless you can get a letter from the PI. However I would have the medical student you work with ask his admissions office how they handle this issues, then he may be able to write a letter supporting your application.
 
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