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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ttt92, May 18, 2014.

  1. ttt92

    ttt92 2+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Hi guys,

    So my pre-health committee requires 3 letters, at max 4. 2 are from professors and the last 1-2 can be anyone else. I already have 3 strong letters (from what I can gauge from my relationships with those people). 2 are from professors, one is from a volunteer supervisor.

    I'm nervous about my fourth one. I'm trying to get one from my thesis advisor/lab PI, but she hasn't gotten back to me in over a week when I asked her by email. She's usually pretty good about it. The reason I'm worried is because we had some issues during the last week of working on my thesis. She threw me a curveball, and basically didn't think my thesis presentation was solid enough. I was sure that I'd get a great letter from her, as she knows of my work ethic. I don't know why she is being so fickle now, and I'm nervous that even if I do get a letter from her, that it may not be good.

    I'm going to email her again tomorrow. But in the case that this letter doesn't come through or I get the vibe that it'll be a negative letter, what do you think I should do? Should I ask another professor (there's only three weeks until when my school wants me to hand in the letters)? Is it really bad to NOT have a letter from someone whose lab I worked in for over 3 years or is it better to have a potentially mediocre letter from her? :( I'm so worried.

    Thanks, all!
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  3. jm192

    jm192 7+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    Never Neverland
    Ask in person. That's always good.

    She maybe put it off meaning to get back and forgot.
    If she feels she can't write a good letter, she'll tell you.

    As far as the thesis--her job is to make sure you KNOW the material. It reflects poorly on her if you don't. She's supposed to challenge you. I wouldn't let that get me down too much.
  4. kyamh

    kyamh 2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2013
    I have always believed and been told by committee members that if you have done any sort of serious research - and a thesis is pretty serious - then a letter from a PI is basically not optional.

    Edit: totally agree with asking in person. Even poking your head into their office to say hi and check in about the letter is great, it doesn't have to be a big meeting. Also, do you have a lab manager who may be in better communication with the PI? A senior tech, a post-doc? These people, especially a manager, may have good luck getting the PI to do whatever needs to be done. I've uploaded plenty of LORs that my PI was too busy to organize after he finished writing them.
    Shazam243 likes this.
  5. Shazam243

    Shazam243 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Do you have a LOR from a nonscience professor?

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