Jan 3, 2016
Medical Student
I am applying to the match this year. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble deciding on who to ask for my third letter of rec. The two attendings I worked with in medicine gave me very high reviews but were only Clinical Instructors of Medicine, not even Professors. My faculty advisor, a surgeon, advised against using any of the surgery attendings I worked with because they are very old, work at the VA or ancillary hospitals recently bought by my institution and are not accustomed to writing letters. For my ophthalmology letters, I have two letters of recommendations from some of the most high-ranking ophthalmologists in the department who have told me that the letters will be "very strong."

Will having a great, personal letter from very junior faculty be looked upon unfavorably in the match process? I.e. will I get screened out for having a letter form a junior faculty member or will my letter writer's rank raise any red flags among Program Directors? (will they wonder why I couldn't find someone better or question the value of everything that I said in the letter?)
Last edited:


10+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2008
Attending Physician

Programs want letters from people who know the applicant. Certainly it's a bonus if that letter comes from the president of AAO, ASCRS, etc, but having a junior attending write a letter will not hurt you.


yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
Resident [Any Field]
This aren't even letters within ophthalmology ... Likely nobody will know these people even if they have more seniority. It's not gonna matter.

As long as your Ophtho letters are good...

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