Apr 8, 2010
New Hampshire
Hi all-

Quick question about LORs...

When do you ask for them? My mom was a guidance counselor and just told me to get them as I go. I have a bio professor who agreed to write one for me, but I won't be applying to med school for another year and a half or so.

Do schools still require the LORs to be sent by the writer, and sealed and all of that? Do I have to ask him for 25 copies of the letter? Or will schools accept his photocopied letters that I send out?



5+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2009
Medical Student

though they charge, it's well worth it!

1. Set up an account with interfolio
2. Have ur professor write you a letter of recommendation and have him or her send it to interfolio (using the instructions listed on interfolio). As long as ur account is active, Interfolio stores your LORs.
3. When it's time to send your LORs, you just need to log-in to interfolio and choose which letter and where you want to send it to. Almost all med schools accept intefolio letters as if it were sent by the writer.

This way, you don't have to ask ur professor to make 25 copies. Plus you don't have to worry about if the professor forgot to send the letters in or not...

but I have to caution u a couple things..
1. some school specifies how recent the letters have to be (ie some won't accept them if they were signed more than 2 years ago)
2. you might have some new experiences/activites that you will add to ur Resume within this year... they will not be included in ur LORs if they were to be written now
3. I know AMCAS has their own letter service... and I dont really know if AMCAS letter service will recognize Interfolio
4. Make sure to let ur writer know that u are applying to medical school, so they can gear the LOR to that...

Anyways, these are my 2 cents...
btw.. just as a disclaimer: I don't have financial tie with Interfolio... just giving u my honest past experience with them
that's all...good luck!!!


10+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2009
Medical Student
I went through the same dilemma when I was in undergrad... I think the way to go is to ask for them as you go. You will probably get a better letter from you professor if you ask while he/she still remembers you vividly, instead of years down the road when his/her memory of you is a little blurry. Someone once suggested to me that I can later contact that professor and ask for him or her to update the letter (including the date and new activities), which will be easier if they have already written the letter.

But I agree with the above poster, Interfolio is definitely the way to go! It's extremely easy, and as far as I know, all the DO schools will accept letters from Interfolio.

Good luck! :thumbup:
Mar 2, 2010
New York, New York
Medical Student
Well, I did everything as an undergraduate through a pre-med committee, so all of my LORs went from the professor straight to the committee who uploaded them to Interfolio/Virtual Evals or whatever letter service the school preferred. It made it much easier for me, I think!

That being said, I asked my professors really early, and made sure they were people who would remember me. Either I took multiple classes with them, did research under them, or just in general formed a bond/friendly relationship with them while taking their classes.

And as for when to ask them, I think it was around March of last year (I applied for the 2010 cycle), but you could obviously get away with later than that. I was just operating under Committee deadlines.