Golfing_Doc

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Initially, as a post-bacc student I didn't think I'd have enough strong letters. Now, after 3 semesters, I will have 5 academic letters and one from a doc I've shadowed for 1 yr.

my questions:
1) how many can I send?
2) I don't have a non-science academic letter. what to do? haven't taken a humanities class in 6 years!
3) if I can't send them all, how can i pick when I don't get to see the letters?

Thanks!
 

jayman

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Golfing_Doc said:
Initially, as a post-bacc student I didn't think I'd have enough strong letters. Now, after 3 semesters, I will have 5 academic letters and one from a doc I've shadowed for 1 yr.

my questions:
1) how many can I send?
2) I don't have a non-science academic letter. what to do? haven't taken a humanities class in 6 years!
3) if I can't send them all, how can i pick when I don't get to see the letters?

Thanks!

Five would be the max. Three "science", two "others". And that's the high end. You at least want to have one "other" letter - i.e. related to volunteer work, etc. The idea is that these letters are character references in a way about what kind of person you are. Med schools like to read these from people coming from a variety of fields. You don't need your English prof to write you a rec, but get someone who's outside the realm of scientific academia. And when you ask these people to write you a letter, ask them specifically "Can you write me a strong letter for med school admissions?" They usually get the idea after you say this and will either say yes or no. Almost no one wants to waste their time writing a mediocre letter of rec for someone. As for choosing, after you have your one "other" letter, pick the ones from the folks whom you know and trust best. Also, if there's any name-recognition to any of your letter writers, you may edge them in if there's a close call to make. Just make sure you trust/respect anyone you ask to write a letter for you. You can easily get burned if you don't handle it with some thought. In the end, be candid with your letter writers and just ask if they can wholeheartedly support you.
 
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