LORs in Path

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Ludy, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member

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    Hey guys, how many letters are you all getting from path faculty? A friend applying in radiology told me that you should have 3 letters from the area that you're going into and one extra, usually from medicine. Do you really need 3 pathology letters? I think I can get 2, but I doubt I could get more than that -- I just don't have the elective time! Also, would a letter from a neurology attending be okay as a third letter, or would it be better to have one from a medicine attending? Thanks!!
     
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  3. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Ludy:

    I have 3 pathologist LORs only. None from another field. I think that as long as you have 2 good letters from pathologists, your third just should speak highly of your general ability. I don't even think that programs want or expect 4 letters (I actually e-mailed a bunch and all required 3.)

    Mindy
     
  4. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member

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    Thanks, Mindy. How many programs are you applying to? I heard some horror stories about a few of the top programs during my path elective last month... one of our residents had just transferred from one of the best programs in the country, which he hated. He said it's really tough to find out the truth about hours and didactics at interviews; his advice was to look for the residents they AREN'T introducing you to (you know, the ones with the stone-faced appearance ;) ) and ask them what the real deal is.

    If anyone else has advice on the number of path LORs I should go for, that'd be great!!
     
  5. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Hey Ludy!

    I just pressed the button... Applied to 14 schools, mostly new england.

    I've heard the same about the "top" programs...not sure if its the programs or the perception that pathology is a benign residency and anything over 40 hour work weeks is unacceptable.

    Honestly, I am feeling a little faint...

    Mindy

    (And yes, to everyone else who thinks I'm crazy in the coconut for having my appy out the first day it could go out, I probably am.)
     
  6. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer

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    Hehe, 40 hours a week.

    I certainly don't know of any path residency where you will work only 40 hours a week. On certain clinical rotations I work between 45-50, but on surg path i work around 60-70. This is probably pretty standard.

    As for LOR, I had two path one peds recommendation no one mentioned it I doubt anyone would care if you had no path recommendation. LOR are always taken with a grain of salt by interviewers if they are glowing then that is expected if they are only lukewarm then uuhh ohh "red flag". So best to pick people you know will write you glowing letters even if they are not pathologists.

    And, like Ludy said try to talk to all the residents if you can get to them. And, as for diadactics make them show you a copy of the current year didactic lectures. My program has at least 8 hours of lectures/conferences a week. We are not the norm from what I hear.

    Good luck.
     
  7. blueintheface

    blueintheface Member

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    Mindy, congrats on finishing your applications! I'm still working on my personal statement, which I am finding is almost impossible to write until I figure out whether I want to do AP/CP, AP only or AP/research. GP, do you have any insight into the flexibility of switching from one track to another midstream? I suppose if I am really undecided I should just go for AP/CP to be on the safe side, but I would also like to be able to do more than a few months of research during residency.

    As for LORs, I have 2 from pathologists and 1 from a research mentor. I don't think having more than 2 LORs from pathologists is really necessary since they will all more or less be from the same perspective. In fact, it would probably help to have a letter outside of pathology, like surgery or medicine just to show that you are able to function and communicate with other clinicians.

    As for the work hours thing, I don't mind working long hours as long as they are contributing to my education. I would not want to be at a program where I stayed late everday correcting transcriptions and waiting for slides to come out.
     
  8. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member

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    Thanks Blue! G'luck to you... it does feel good to get it out!

    GP: That's about how long I worked in surg... *never* 40 hour work weeks. I didn't do much CP, though.

    Ludy: will respond to you soon! ;)

    Mindy
     
  9. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer

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    blueintheface

    It is not to hard to change from AP/CP to just AP or just CP. But, like you said I would urge you to do both while you can. The CP part is not that demanding.
     

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