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Name Change and Rec Letters

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Lifeblood_20

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Good evening SDN, and Happy (a bit early) New Year. May your 2018 be filled with success and prosperity.

I'm currently a sophomore, 2-3 years away from applying to med schools. I'm buying Interfolio thinking it would be helpful to get LORs in ASAP. There's this professor from last semester that I feel strongly about asking. However, I'm planning to have my name changed in the spring. Not sure how long that would take but it would be most likely take till the end of next semester (May). I plan on getting a new first name and putting my current first name as my middle name. My current first name is very unique so there wouldn't be trouble identifying me if the professor used that in the letter. Would Adcoms be ok with the letter referring to me by my middle name?

Alternatively I can ask her after the change but I'm afraid the letter wouldn't be as strong since she teaches large classes and she wouldn't have as strong an impression of me.

Thanks for reading!
 

getdown

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As long as you change the name far enough that when you're applying it's not causing any confusion then it should be ok. Just don't do it near or during the application process.
 

chaim123

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Just curious - why are you getting interfolio and asking for letters now? I kept in general contact with my professors, and asked them to write me a letter about 6 months before my Pre-health committee required them. You could ask the professor now, but wouldn't the letter be stronger in a couple of years? In my case, most of my professors asked about what had happened since their class, and used that information to write a letter for me. Just something to think about. Earlier isn't always better.
 
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DrDude2004

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It's been a long time for me but if I recall correctly on application you have to disclose previously used names, so I think you would be okay.
 

Lifeblood_20

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Just curious - why are you getting interfolio and asking for letters now? I kept in general contact with my professors, and asked them to write me a letter about 6 months before my Pre-health committee required them. You could ask the professor now, but wouldn't the letter be stronger in a couple of years? In my case, most of my professors asked about what had happened since their class, and used that information to write a letter for me. Just something to think about. Earlier isn't always better.
Hm, that is a good point.
How did you keep contact with your professors -- like were you seeing them in person and/or emailing them updates every few weeks? I'm not particularly the type of person that enjoys contacting someone now and then with the goal in mind that I'll eventually get a letter from them... Like I always feel that's a bit much and maybe even superficial. This particular professor isn't very good at teaching and to be honest I did not appreciate her personality, but I'm sure she liked me from our (a bit limited) interactions and because I improved drastically in the class. She has the reputation of writing awesome letters, so I thought it would be nice to have her talk about my resilience demonstrated in her class and such.
I'm only a sophomore so I still got time to develop relationships with professors so I'm not particularly concerned if this letter isn't the best one I could get as of now.
 

chaim123

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Hm, that is a good point.
How did you keep contact with your professors -- like were you seeing them in person and/or emailing them updates every few weeks? I'm not particularly the type of person that enjoys contacting someone now and then with the goal in mind that I'll eventually get a letter from them... Like I always feel that's a bit much and maybe even superficial. This particular professor isn't very good at teaching and to be honest I did not appreciate her personality, but I'm sure she liked me from our (a bit limited) interactions and because I improved drastically in the class. She has the reputation of writing awesome letters, so I thought it would be nice to have her talk about my resilience demonstrated in her class and such.
I'm only a sophomore so I still got time to develop relationships with professors so I'm not particularly concerned if this letter isn't the best one I could get as of now.

Interesting points. I go to a rather small university, so I'm always seeing my professors around and just being generally friendly. I think if you wanted a letter from this individual, you could write an email that basically says you'd love to get a letter from them for medical school when a time comes, and if they say yes just reach back out when the time is right. There's no need to force a relationship, but if you can allow them to use however you will grow over the next few years to your advantage, then you want to do that.
 

Lifeblood_20

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Interesting points. I go to a rather small university, so I'm always seeing my professors around and just being generally friendly. I think if you wanted a letter from this individual, you could write an email that basically says you'd love to get a letter from them for medical school when a time comes, and if they say yes just reach back out when the time is right. There's no need to force a relationship, but if you can allow them to use however you will grow over the next few years to your advantage, then you want to do that.
Ah ok. My school is huge and we don't see professors without making an effort to do so. Classes are big (even upper level classes have like 300 students) so it's really hard to get to know professors (were always in those gigantic lecture halls). I do see your point.
 
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