TypeSH07

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I was just wondering if it matters who you get rec letters from? For example, do letters written by distinguished doctors who are leaders in their respective fields hold greater weight than someone not well known?
 

yellowpersuazio

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I think it is far better for you to get a LOR from someone who knows you personally rather than a distinguished professional. The point of the letter is not about who you know, but about who you are as a person. Someone whom you work closely with can write a good amount about your good/bad qualities, your work ethic, why you would become a great doctor, etc. whereas someone who doesn't know you can't really write much about anything.
 

rugtrousers

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yellowpersuazio said:
I think it is far better for you to get a LOR from someone who knows you personally rather than a distinguished professional. The point of the letter is not about who you know, but about who you are as a person. Someone whom you work closely with can write a good amount about your good/bad qualities, your work ethic, why you would become a great doctor, etc. whereas someone who doesn't know you can't really write much about anything.
I agree, coming from the perspective of someone who went to school with 25,000 other undergrads, where it's hard to get to know faculty well. That said, you should try to get to know some senior faculty so that they can write you strong letters. To do that, I took some upper division classes and summer classes with smaller numbers of students and went to a lot of office hours (but for pete's sake, have something to talk about when you go to office hours).
 
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in4mant

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rugtrousers said:
I agree, coming from the perspective of someone who went to school with 25,000 other undergrads, where it's hard to get to know faculty well. That said, you should try to get to know some senior faculty so that they can write you strong letters. To do that, I took some upper division classes and summer classes with smaller numbers of students and went to a lot of office hours (but for pete's sake, have something to talk about when you go to office hours).
some people have told me that i need a recommendation from somebody outside of school like physicians or volunteer supervisors... is that true
 

Overeducated

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in4mant said:
some people have told me that i need a recommendation from somebody outside of school like physicians or volunteer supervisors... is that true
You don't "need" it but it wouldn't hurt to have one if you know it'll be a good letter
 

drlalchick

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I work in the admissions office at my undergrad college, and though it's a little different from med school, admissions is admissions. Basically, when we look at students, the letters that end up mattering are the ones that come from people who know the student really well. We don't note down who wrote the letter, we note down (on these handy-dandy work cards) what the recommender said. When I interviewed at Harvard, my first interviewer told me my rec letters were great, and they weren't from anyone special. Hope that helps!
 
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