Sleight

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Dec 2, 2008
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Anchorage, Alaska
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So my undergrad school has said that I should probably have 5 LOR's two from science profs, 1 from a non-science prof, and 2 from physicians I have worked with etc. My problem is that everyone that I want to ask for letters of recommendation from (professors wise) is from a science class. I studied abroad and took Spanish classes from professors over there that I got a long with really well but the problem is that they don't speak English...I have had Spanish teachers in the US that speak English but they are Grad Students...Could I just do 3 science class Professors?...Or should I try really hard Spring semester to get close to a Psychology professor...:confused:

Also, random other note...what is a reasonable amount of time to give someone to write a letter? Does anyone know the process that will be happening as far as AMCAS and LOR's in the 2009 application cycle because I heard it was going to be very different...
 

NTF

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So my undergrad school has said that I should probably have 5 LOR's two from science profs, 1 from a non-science prof, and 2 from physicians I have worked with etc. My problem is that everyone that I want to ask for letters of recommendation from (professors wise) is from a science class. I studied abroad and took Spanish classes from professors over there that I got a long with really well but the problem is that they don't speak English...I have had Spanish teachers in the US that speak English but they are Grad Students...Could I just do 3 science class Professors?...Or should I try really hard Spring semester to get close to a Psychology professor...:confused:

Also, random other note...what is a reasonable amount of time to give someone to write a letter? Does anyone know the process that will be happening as far as AMCAS and LOR's in the 2009 application cycle because I heard it was going to be very different...
I think standard protocol is to give letter writers no less than two weeks and preferably at least a months notice. But here's a piece of advice. Always tell them that the deadline is a month before the actual deadline. So if you need the letter by April, tell them your need them by March. Trust me on this one. Many a application cycle has been made orders of magnitude more stressful by the foot-dragging letter writer.
 

Sleight

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Dec 2, 2008
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Anchorage, Alaska
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Medical Student
I have told them it is due by May 1st 2009. I am planning on giving them the paper work for it (my resume, my personal statement (rough draft), and instructions) before I head home for Christmas break so they should have PLENTY of time...I have had to learn the hard way about letters not coming in on time and it almost disqualified me from volunteering (I had to beg :laugh:). Thanks for the advice!
 
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FlowLimited

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May 16, 2007
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Most medical schools will require a non-science letter, so do everything you can to get one.
 

Sleight

10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
574
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Anchorage, Alaska
Status
Medical Student
Does it matter when the professor taught you? I have a professor who taught me Freshman year but he is by far the professor who has known my academic discipline the best (I got a 60% on my first test, came to office hours every week, and ended up with an A)...I talked to him today and he said he would be delighted to write me a LOR but he asked me if it mattered that he taught me two years ago...any info on this?

Secondly,
Is it good to have extra LOR's? My pre-health advisor said 2 sci profs, 1 non-sci prof, and 2 physicians. My physical therapist knows be better than anyone and I have volunteered with him...should I get a LOR from him? Also, I have more than 2 sci profs that could write me great letters...is it just going overboard?

Thirdly, (sorry!)
Math is considered non-sci correct? My professor said that he thought it might be considered sci and I really hope it isn't since he is the one that will be writing my non-sci letter!

THANKS
 

FlowLimited

10+ Year Member
May 16, 2007
2,432
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Status
Attending Physician
Does it matter when the professor taught you? I have a professor who taught me Freshman year but he is by far the professor who has known my academic discipline the best (I got a 60% on my first test, came to office hours every week, and ended up with an A)...I talked to him today and he said he would be delighted to write me a LOR but he asked me if it mattered that he taught me two years ago...any info on this?

Secondly,
Is it good to have extra LOR's? My pre-health advisor said 2 sci profs, 1 non-sci prof, and 2 physicians. My physical therapist knows be better than anyone and I have volunteered with him...should I get a LOR from him? Also, I have more than 2 sci profs that could write me great letters...is it just going overboard?
The non-science professor you found will be fine.

No committee is going to wade through a dozen LORs, so don't send extras. If you end up getting waitlisted, you can always send another one if you feel the urge. So for now, stick with the five you've got, and for the science professors, ask the two who you think can write the best letters.
 

linguini

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Thirdly, (sorry!)
Math is considered non-sci correct? My professor said that he thought it might be considered sci and I really hope it isn't since he is the one that will be writing my non-sci letter!
Math is probably considered science by most schools, unfortunately. The "science" GPA in your application is made up of bio, chem, physics, AND math.
 

Sleight

10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
574
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Anchorage, Alaska
Status
Medical Student
Math is probably considered science by most schools, unfortunately. The "science" GPA in your application is made up of bio, chem, physics, AND math.
Dang it! That isn't what I wanted to hear! Oh well I guess I will just have to get to know one of my Psychology professors or something from next semester...
 

linguini

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Dang it! That isn't what I wanted to hear! Oh well I guess I will just have to get to know one of my Psychology professors or something from next semester...
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! But I don't necessarily think you have to get a LOR from a professor who has taught you. My non-science LOR was from a priest (which is funny because I'm absolutely not catholic) who was the faculty advisor for one of the clubs I was involved in. I don't think it has hindered me in anyway in terms of getting interviews and no one has brought it up as not fulfilling the non-science LOR requirement.
 

Sleight

10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
574
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Anchorage, Alaska
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Medical Student
Really? A priest? That's pretty interesting...is there any pages that you have found that talk about the regulations of what is a sci LOR and what is non-sci because saqrfaraj says it is non-sci...also...If I got a LOR from my physical therapist would it be considered sci or non-sci? He is an extremely close friend (almost like my brother) but has also seen me at my worst and coming back from that...I dont know...
 

tabletop

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Sep 3, 2008
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Really? A priest? That's pretty interesting...is there any pages that you have found that talk about the regulations of what is a sci LOR and what is non-sci because saqrfaraj says it is non-sci...also...If I got a LOR from my physical therapist would it be considered sci or non-sci? He is an extremely close friend (almost like my brother) but has also seen me at my worst and coming back from that...I dont know...

"Science" letters typically fall under BCPM (and any derivatives, such as engineering, biochem, etc)

Don't worry about. just get to know one of your profs next quarter at least a little bit. If your other letters are as good as you say they are, med schools won't kill you for having one flat letter.
 
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