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Need Letters in Med School?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by discus, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. discus

    discus Senior Member
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    Hey, do you med students ever need ref letters from profs in med school (years 1 and 2), or do the letters which you need for residency only come from attendings during years 3 and 4? :)
     
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  3. EM Junkie

    EM Junkie SDN Donor
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    The VAST majority of letters come from your MS3 and MS4 years. The only reason I can think of to request a letter from a basic science prof. would be if you did EXTENSIVE research with them in the field you are going into. Even then, without an MD behind their name you are taking a risk.
     
  4. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    If you are applying for residency through ERAS, most programs will only allow four letters. Unless you have done a major research project with a nationally known pre-clinical professor, you do not want to waste one of your letters. Your best letters will be from your clinical faculty and elective preceptors provided you do your fourth-year electives soon enough.

    njbmd :)
     
  5. Pianoboe01

    Pianoboe01 Member
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    When you do get to 3rd/4th year, do you have to ask for them to write you a letter, or is it just automatically done at the end of each rotation as part of your evaluation? Do they send them into ERAS, or do they give them to you (so you can see what they write)?
     
  6. Hurricane

    Hurricane Senior Member
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    You have to ask them. There is a cover sheet on the eras website with intstructions for the letter writer, and there is a box for you to check to waive the right to read it, which most people check. Then they send the letter directly to your dean's office (the address will be on the cover sheet) and the dean's office staff scans it into ERAS.

    When you do ask them, be sure to give them the cover sheet with the dean's office address filled in, your CV, and a draft of your personal statement if you have it.

    And if you have done significant research and plan to continue doing research in residency, then include a letter from your mentor, regardless of whether they have a PhD or MD after their name - that doesn't matter. :rolleyes: The rest should be from clinical preceptors from 3rd and 4th year.
     
  7. sscooterguy

    sscooterguy Senior Member
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    Letters from MS1/2 won't hurt. Get them if you get to know your prof well, especially if they have a big name and for some reason they like to teach med 1/2 classes. This will help if you end up going into the field they teach, and at the very least will help you start to network even if you aren't going into their field. According to a survey I read of medical residency directors, only Pathology ranked MS1/2 letters as important. If you are going into Path for sure it will probably help out, but I wouldn't sweat it if you are going into path and can't get any letters, its pretty non competative.

    sscooterguy
     

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