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OMFS Letters of Recommendation

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by Squished Rat, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Squished Rat

    Squished Rat 5+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    I searched, but did not find this addressed previously in the forums.

    Different programs have different requirements for letters of recommendation. There are a few programs that require 4 letters of recommendation, some programs require a dean's letter, others do not.

    For those who have been on the other side of applications (residents), my question is is it considered taboo to send more than the required amount of letters of recommendation? If I have 4 letters of recommendation, should I send them all to a program that asks for 3? And should I bother including the dean's letter to programs that do not require it? I don't know the dean, and I imagine he won't be able to write much beyond restating what my grades and board scores are. I have 4 OMFS faculty who will write letters of recommendation for me and just wanted to know if it is considered ok to send all 4 +/- the dean's letter to the programs I am applying to.

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  3. Motown

    Motown Face the Music 5+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    This question will be answered for you somewhat by PASS. Your initial PASS application allows 1. A deans letter, 2. 3 slots for recommendations by OMFS Faculty. This is the information that all programs will receive regardless of their published requirements.

    You are correct in your estimation of the deans letter - it is essentially a recap of your academic performance while in dental school. They will go through your academic record and pull out the standard information GPA, Class Rank, Academic Awards etc... (you can help yourself out by providing the Academic Dean with a 'request for professional recommendation' packet providing a cover letter restating your goals as well as listing reminders of extracurricular activities you have done while in dental school eg. externships, honors programs etc).

    In terms of the letters of recommendation. If the faculty members mail in BOTH the standard (non-electronic) pass recommendation form AND a personalized recommendation letter on their own letterhead - PASS will forward these on to all of the schools. This is ideal because it eliminates the hassle of asking them again for a written letter.

    If you have an OMFS faculty member who is willing to send letters to all of the programs you are applying to (outside of the PASS) - by all means let them.

    My experience: I sent everything required by pass: Deans letter, 3 letters of Recommendation + 1 letter of recommendation from an OMFS faculty member outside of PASS. This fulfilled the requirements for all of the (20+) programs that I applied to. I don't think 4 letters of recommendation is too many. :luck:
  4. txdent2be2007

    txdent2be2007 Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2004
    Let me add that Motown's future boss, Dr. Zuniga at Parkland, told me himself that too many letters starts to look like you're reaching. Stick to what has been recommended above -- dean's letter plus letters from academic oral surgeons only. PD's don't care what OMS guys in private practice think about you (don't ask me why?).

    Personally, I felt I'd get better letters from my general dent faculty since I work with them more -- but I still asked for letters from the OMS chair, PD, and some faculty members because that's what is requested by the programs.

    It was kind of tough to tell the gen dent faculty that I didn't need letters from them when they knew I was applying to OMS, but they understood.
  5. shabu2

    shabu2 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2004
    Make sure you get one from your Perio attending as well, just in case you need a fifth letter as a back-up!!!

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