LOR from PA with MD cosign

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

laptopcelsius

Full Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2023
Messages
15
Reaction score
16
I have a PA who I have worked closely with and have a great relationship with who has agreed to write me a LOR for this upcoming cycle, and one of the physicians (MD) that I work with has agreed to cosign the letter. However, I believe that the doctor would also write me a LOR if I asked, but I know that it would be less personal than if the PA wrote it. Is it better to have a strong letter from the PA with a physician cosign or to have a less informed letter from the physician? For context, I do already have a LOR from an MD from an internship I did in the past, but I am unsure of how personal/strong this letter is because they do give one to all of the interns.

Follow up question: Should I list the PA or the doctor as the letter writer if I choose to do the PA letter? I feel bad giving credit to the physician when the PA is the one who will be writing it, but I know that the MD will carry more weight with adcoms.

Not sure if this is helpful additional information, but I do also have LORs from two science profs and my research PI

Members don't see this ad.
 
Frankly, for MD school (T20), I have not found letters from physicians to be helpful. I can count on one hand the number of PA letters I've seen in 25 years, and still have fingers left over. YMMV
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
I will presume the PA works for the doctor, so one should include the doctor's contact information if they are co-signing. You probably have room to include both names, but I don't know if the application platform allows.

What you risk is an appearance that you are hedging on becoming a physician, and being a PA could be a backup. It depends on what insights about you as a physician and not a PA are included. Otherwise, you could be putting in the same letter for a CASPA (PAEA) application. It's otherwise impossible to tell you how strong the letter will be.

I also agree that rarely are physician letters helpful in a medical school application. It's different from dentists' letters where many clearly write outstanding support letters. "I want to eventually train this person to take over my practice when I retire in 10 years" endorsements are non-existent for physician letters.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Hey, I ran into a very similar situation. I worked in a clinic with many PAs and just one doc, so I knew some of the PAs a lot better than I did the doc. One of the PAs i was closest to offered to write me a letter. I never ended up getting the doc to co-sign and just sent the letter from the PA lol. Hard to tell what impact it may have had to only have their signature on there, but I think it would have definitely been better to include the cosignature. As for who to list, I would still put the PA since it would be their name first at the bottom. Just my 2 cents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Top