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LOR question! any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

arm2662

New Member
May 17, 2020
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  1. Pre-Veterinary
Hello! I am applying to vet schools for the second time this cycle and I could really use some advice on choosing my LOR's!
Last cycle I had 3 LOR's, two from vets I've shadowed a lot and known literally my entire life, and one from the president of the wildlife sanctuary I volunteer at. The two vets wrote me very strong letters the first time.
This past January I started my first job at a vet hospital as a technician. There are two vets at the hospital (i'll call them Dr. A and Dr. B). From January up until mid March, I mostly worked with Dr. A. However, we had some professional struggles working with one another due to my lack of experience (as this was my first job in a hospital and I was already a vet tech). When COVID shut down schools mid March, I had more free time so I opened my availability and started working more with Dr. B.. I've worked well with Dr. B for the past 2 months but that isn't a super long time to get to close with someone and I'm not sure if she knows my strengths like the two vets who've known me for years.
I'm not sure how important it is to get a LOR from a vet that you've worked with in a job as opposed to veterinarians you've shadowed, so if anyone has any insight to this I'd really appreciate it!! The professional LOR will be from the president of the sanctuary again because she's known me for a while now and know's my work ethic well, so if I didn't go with Dr. B then I'd still have 1 person I've worked with. I still want to do 2 vets and one professional LOR again, but I'm not sure which 2 vets to pick. Again, any advice here is appreciated. Thank you! :)
 

finnickthedog

Michigan State c/o 2021
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I'm not sure how important it is to get a LOR from a vet that you've worked with in a job as opposed to veterinarians you've shadowed,

Just pick the whoever you think will write the stronger LOR. That's far more important than whether you worked vs shadowed.
 
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CoffeeQuestionMark

WSU c/o 2023
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Dec 18, 2017
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Some schools require LORs to be from a veterinarian, an employer, and someone from academics
In this case these vets would all fulfill the veterinarian requirement, but the ones you shadow do not fulfill the employer requirement
So I would make sure you are following the rules of the schools you are applying to - vet and employer do not need to overlap, but they can.
 
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Minnerbelle

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Just pick the whoever you think will write the stronger LOR. That's far more important than whether you worked vs shadowed.

Obviously the more recent the better, and the closer to full time capacity you’ve worked with someone, the better. But if you’re going to get lukewarm Rec letters, it’s not worth it.

Since you have some backups, maybe ask Dr A and Dr B point blank how they feel about you as a vet school candidate and if they can write you a STRONG letter.

I’ve written a super strong letter for someone I hadn’t worked with for too long. Sometimes it doesn’t take years for someone to be impressed if you were awesome. And I’ve had some techs/assistants that I didn’t always get along with or think highly of initially, but had them grow on me over time. I’ve had a couple of young assistants who were terrified of me because they were inexperienced and I have super high standards, but I thought the world of them for their integrity, work ethic, and potential. I corrected them and were on top of training them not because I didn’t like them, but because I knew they could do better and advance. On the other hand, I’ve had employees that I had a lot of fun with (loved them as people and they knew it!) but I would never recommend for vet school. Like love this kid, but not the brightest crayon in the box - I will give tons of praises for the things she *can* do, but she will never be my go to girl. So it might be worth asking.
 
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arm2662

New Member
May 17, 2020
3
0
1
  1. Pre-Veterinary
Some schools require LORs to be from a veterinarian, an employer, and someone from academics
In this case these vets would all fulfill the veterinarian requirement, but the ones you shadow do not fulfill the employer requirement
So I would make sure you are following the rules of the schools you are applying to - vet and employer do not need to overlap, but they can.

good point! I'll check on that. thank you!
 

EB73674

Ohio State c/o 2025
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Apr 4, 2017
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Really? thanks for the heads up! why is that though, if my job is a technician but i'm not licensed?
There are a number of states where you cannot call yourself a technician without being licensed, and even where you can (or you're casually referred to as a "tech"), your ability to handle/order/administer certain drugs or give any sort of advice is more limited without a license. I'm in a state where my tasks are virtually the same, but in the next state over I wouldn't be allowed to administer anything myself. It's a tricky situation - best to list yourself as a veterinary assistant and list your duties out specifically.
 
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Minnerbelle

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Really? thanks for the heads up! why is that though, if my job is a technician but i'm not licensed?

Legality aside, a lot of people consider it disrespectful to those who have gone through the schooling and licensing and annual CE requirements to become technicians for noncredentialed lay staff to call themselves technicians. Essentially you’re a kid off the street who was hired to learn technical skills on the job. Just because your employer posted a job ad for a “technician” position, it doesn’t necessarily make you so. As someone applying to veterinary school, it’s probably best not to call yourself a technician. You never know who is going to be reading your application.

Before we get into another pissing Match about how some noncredentialed people are better than licensed techs and how they can do anything that a licensed tech can, blahbidy blah blah blah... this isn’t about that. It’s a matter of being the most politically correct on your application as not to trigger the wrong person and hurt your chances. No one is going to think less of you if you call yourself a veterinary assistant (which you are if you are not licensed), but you may very well if you call yourself a technician. Also, no one will ever think more highly of you if you call yourself a technician (other than maybe yourself if it’s a matter of pride), so you really have nothing to gain.
 
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becomingdoctornia

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Jan 21, 2020
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I would use the letter from the vets you shadowed. It's important to have a strong letter. It's less important whether you were working or shadowing. That being said, I would go with the doctor that knows you best as a person and a candidate. Regardless, or how long you knew them or how long ago you worked with them. When I applied, I had a letter from a doctor I worked under as an assistant. I had one from my teacher in high school and I had one from my advisor in college. Good luck! If you need anything, please dont hesitate to reach out!
 
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