JoshUNCW

Comp Sci Geek
Nov 1, 2009
614
2
0
Wilmington, NC
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys,
I was having a discussion with my girlfriend the other day because we were both debating taking a year off before applying to med schools (or applying this year and attempting to defer). But we didn't understand how the LORs work for people who take a year or two off after college. AMCAS will only hold your LOR for one application year then it gets rid of them.

Since you need letters of recommendation from professors as a requirement for most schools, what do people do when they apply a few years after college? If they try to contact their old professors chances are the professor might not even remember them. So what do people do if they work for a year or two before applying to medical schools?
 
Mar 1, 2010
329
0
0
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys,
I was having a discussion with my girlfriend the other day because we were both debating taking a year off before applying to med schools (or applying this year and attempting to defer). But we didn't understand how the LORs work for people who take a year or two off after college. AMCAS will only hold your LOR for one application year then it gets rid of them.

Since you need letters of recommendation from professors as a requirement for most schools, what do people do when they apply a few years after college? If they try to contact their old professors chances are the professor might not even remember them. So what do people do if they work for a year or two before applying to medical schools?
I stored mine. I asked for the LoRs before I left college. Some schools have programs for exactly that. They kept them in a filing cabinet for me until it was time to apply!
 
Nov 4, 2009
44
0
0
Status
Have your profs send them to interfolio, and store them there and resend them to amcas the following year.

Also, as a side note. Do not take a year off unless you have too. Me and three of my friends did it... I was the only one to get in. All of us have 30+ MCATs and over 3.7 Gpas. We all applied to 15+ schools as well. I dont know what the deal was, but I feel bad for them and am thanking my lucky stars.
 

iheartmcats

5+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2009
48
1
91
Iowa City, IA
Status
Pre-Medical
Have your profs send them to interfolio, and store them there and resend them to amcas the following year.

Also, as a side note. Do not take a year off unless you have too. Me and three of my friends did it... I was the only one to get in. All of us have 30+ MCATs and over 3.7 Gpas. We all applied to 15+ schools as well. I dont know what the deal was, but I feel bad for them and am thanking my lucky stars.
plenty of people do a gap year and do just fine. your friend's apps must have lacked.
 
Dec 30, 2009
556
0
0
Status
Non-Student
plenty of people do a gap year and do just fine. your friend's apps must have lacked.

I agree. Did you all do the same activities? Write the same personal statement? Have the same letter writers? Apply to the same schools? Their apps may have been good, but yours might've been stronger. There's too many factors involved to say that the gap year was what killed their application.
 
Jun 8, 2009
229
0
0
Status
Medical Student
plenty of people do a gap year and do just fine. your friend's apps must have lacked.
I would have to agree. That sucks for your friends and I wish them a better application cycle next time, however I took not one but two years off (one before I applied and another while applying) and did quite well. And I'm not an over-the-moon-fantastic applicant so I can tell you that taking time off is not going to kill an person's app. If anything, taking time off should have allowed them to improve their app and become stronger applicants. While taking time off, I took a few extra classes, shadowed some more, worked in research. Perhaps the only negative I could see would be if they took a year off but really did absolutely nothing productive with that year.

And OP, Interfolio is totally the way to go!
 
Jan 4, 2010
257
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys,
I was having a discussion with my girlfriend the other day because we were both debating taking a year off before applying to med schools (or applying this year and attempting to defer). But we didn't understand how the LORs work for people who take a year or two off after college. AMCAS will only hold your LOR for one application year then it gets rid of them.

Since you need letters of recommendation from professors as a requirement for most schools, what do people do when they apply a few years after college? If they try to contact their old professors chances are the professor might not even remember them. So what do people do if they work for a year or two before applying to medical schools?
Well I emailed my professors asking them for a meeting to discuss them writing me letters and luckily, I was able to find 2 science professors willing to write me a letter.
 
Dec 30, 2009
191
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Well I emailed my professors asking them for a meeting to discuss them writing me letters and luckily, I was able to find 2 science professors willing to write me a letter.
That is the way the go. Listen, I am in a worse situation then all of you guys on here. I am having major personal health problems the last few years with my back and now my foot. I was suppose to go to grad school but had to cancel last year do to having a spinal fusion. I'm still having trouble but I've kept in touch with all three professors that gave me excellent LORs on a regular basis (2-3 times a year by email) letting them know the situation and that I still have a intention of going back and applying to med school in a few years once I get all my health problems straighten out with my neurosurgeon.

The best thing you can do is get in touch with them and keep them apprise of anything information or changes in your health, studies, what have you. That way when you do go back to visit them in person and talk about giving you a strong letter of recommendation, by keeping them apprise, they most likely will have kept their old letters for you and they'll remember you better. Always keep in touch.

That is going to be my saving grace, unless I go back for more undergrad courses or grad school classes, where I obviously would get new recommendation letters in classes I did very well in.

Let my personal medical story be an awaken of the unexpected things that can happen in life that can be life altering unless you have control over the situation.