LOR questions

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7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2007
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**To the person who knows me in real life, can you avoid commenting on this thread? I think I've already asked you most of this in person, so I want to see if anybody on SDN has anything to add.**

Since we are only advised to submit 5-6 LORs, I'm trying to choose the individuals that could write letters that would kill 2 birds with one stone.

1) My research PI counts as a "science" letter if he also taught me in an upper division biology class, right?

2) Can I use the course director from the core undergraduate biology lab as a "science" letter even though the class itself was a very introductory biology lab and the lectures and sections were led by TAs and not the actual course director? I only ask because I later became a TA, Head TA, and Administrative Coordinator for this Bio Lab class, and I also know this individual in the context of being a peer academic adviser for her freshmen advisees. She could still probably write about me as a student, but would then go on to write about me as a TA and coordinator. I would use her as an "other" , but if she can be my "science" one, I don't have to use up a slot on my physics prof (doesn't know me that well, probably a good, but generic letter)

3) My writing professor was going to be my non-science letter, but I actually wrote my paper about medicine, so this letter won't really say anything about my diverse interest in the arts, history, literature, etc, it'll just be more about my dedication to medicine. Although I did get to know this professor reasonably well, the class was 2 years ago. I want to replace this LOR with one from the supervisor from the Vice Provost's office whom I worked with to create and run the undergraduate physician shadowing program. She would write a glowing recommendation, and I will use her as an "other" either way, but she asked if I could use her as a "non-science", even though she's not a professor and I never took a class form her. It just seems like a waste to submit the LOR from the writing prof, because it would add nothing. She's just TECHNICALLY somebody who I took a non-science class from.

I hate that this process has to be so strategic :( Why can't I just submit recommendations from the people who would most like to recommend me for medical school?!

Sorry, I probably sound like a raving lunatic right now...

Thanks in advance for the feedback.