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I have come across many programs which state 'two LoRs' or 'three LoRs'. Now outside of CA, ERAS allows us to allot 4 LoRs per program.

I wanted an opinion whether it is not advisable to allot more that 2 to the program that asks for 2, or can I just go ahead and allot 4 anyway. Obviously, the 4 LoRs highlight 4 different aspects of my medical school (1 in a core elective, 1 in advanced elective, 1 in research, 1 chairman's letter).

I also read in a program "we require a minimum of 2 letters. Candidate may submit additional letters without penalty.".....so the ones who dont say this, is there a PENALTY???? (no interview for you?)
 

WhoisJohnGalt

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I have come across many programs which state 'two LoRs' or 'three LoRs'. Now outside of CA, ERAS allows us to allot 4 LoRs per program.

I wanted an opinion whether it is not advisable to allot more that 2 to the program that asks for 2, or can I just go ahead and allot 4 anyway. Obviously, the 4 LoRs highlight 4 different aspects of my medical school (1 in a core elective, 1 in advanced elective, 1 in research, 1 chairman's letter).

I also read in a program "we require a minimum of 2 letters. Candidate may submit additional letters without penalty.".....so the ones who dont say this, is there a PENALTY???? (no interview for you?)
My guess would be that if they ask for two they only want to read 2 (unless they specifically say otherwise as in the program you quoted). So while I don't know that most programs would specifically not invite you because you allotted too many, I could definitely see them only reading the first two (which may not have been the two you would have chosen). And for the more competitive programs, I could see where they could see it as an exercise in following directions and write you off simply because they have so many candidates something that small could make the difference. So basically I wouldn't recommend it unless they specifically say it's ok to have more. But those are just my thoughts, I could be wrong.
 

aProgDirector

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Any program that would fault you for sending 4 LOR's, IMHO, is not worth going to.

I expect that only a very small minority would care.

I would never send more than 4 letters. I see this every year, and it drives me crazy.
 
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I agree.. I think 4 LoRs is really the max. Thats the ERAS rule anyway. THere are some programs like BWH which specifically mention you can send in additional letters (>4) if you want.

But like a aProgDirector said on another discussion regarding the personal statement, I feel whatever you want to show, you should be able to sum up in your 4 best LoRs. (I think you said nothing is worth going over 1 page in a personal statement :).

There are some good programs which ask for only 2 LoRs. Thats really not good enough IMHO because if its a competitive program, I'd like to put in my best.
 

RussianJoo

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do you guys think you'll be penalized for sending only the required number of LORs? if the program only askes for 2 LORs and you send in two but everyone else sends in 4 do you think it would really matter? sure the quality of the letters matters but if all were strong letters do you guys think an extra 2 LORs will really make a huge difference?
 

aProgDirector

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Probably not.

The solution to your dilemma is straightforward: Call the Prog Admin and ask him or her. Simply mention that you saw on their website (or wherever) that they require 2 LOR's, and you're confused if that's a minimum or the requested amount.
 

chitown82

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I agree.. I think 4 LoRs is really the max. Thats the ERAS rule anyway. THere are some programs like BWH which specifically mention you can send in additional letters (>4) if you want.

But like a aProgDirector said on another discussion regarding the personal statement, I feel whatever you want to show, you should be able to sum up in your 4 best LoRs. (I think you said nothing is worth going over 1 page in a personal statement :).

There are some good programs which ask for only 2 LoRs. Thats really not good enough IMHO because if its a competitive program, I'd like to put in my best.
Am I correct in saying ERAS allows you to send four letters of recommendations? If we want to send more, can it be done through ERAS?

When does everyone have their letters in by? We are allow to submit our applications on Sept 1 - should we aim to have all of our letters in by the time we submit? If we submit our application before the letters are in, will programs be able to access the letters once they are uploaded to ERAS?
 

RussianJoo

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Probably not.

The solution to your dilemma is straightforward: Call the Prog Admin and ask him or her. Simply mention that you saw on their website (or wherever) that they require 2 LOR's, and you're confused if that's a minimum or the requested amount.
thank you.
 

WhoisJohnGalt

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Am I correct in saying ERAS allows you to send four letters of recommendations? If we want to send more, can it be done through ERAS?

When does everyone have their letters in by? We are allow to submit our applications on Sept 1 - should we aim to have all of our letters in by the time we submit? If we submit our application before the letters are in, will programs be able to access the letters once they are uploaded to ERAS?
Here's my understanding:

You can send more than 4 letters of recommendation to ERAS, but you can only assign 4 letters to each program. So you can upload 10 LORs if you really want to, but each individual program can only get 4 of them. While getting your letters in by Sep 1 would certainly be ideal, the majority of students won't have all of them in that early and I don't think it's a huge deal if you don't. You just go ahead and submit your app and programs will still be able to access the LOR's as they're uploaded. HTH.
 

chitown82

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Here's my understanding:

You can send more than 4 letters of recommendation to ERAS, but you can only assign 4 letters to each program. So you can upload 10 LORs if you really want to, but each individual program can only get 4 of them. While getting your letters in by Sep 1 would certainly be ideal, the majority of students won't have all of them in that early and I don't think it's a huge deal if you don't. You just go ahead and submit your app and programs will still be able to access the LOR's as they're uploaded. HTH.
Great. Thanks for the info. :)
Does anyone know how one would go about sending in more than four letters? Would we have to mail a hard copy since ERAS only allows submission of four? I know it's not a good idea to send more than four, but I took a year off to do research and had two research mentors who are writing letters for me.
 

aProgDirector

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Great. Thanks for the info. :)
Does anyone know how one would go about sending in more than four letters? Would we have to mail a hard copy since ERAS only allows submission of four? I know it's not a good idea to send more than four, but I took a year off to do research and had two research mentors who are writing letters for me.
You can assign a letter to a program, they download it, then you "inactivate" the letter and assign another. One of the previous 4 letters will be labeled "inactive" but will still be viewable, and your fifth letter will be downloaded.

However, and I am going to put this in capital letters so you don't miss it:

THIS IS A VERY STUPID THING TO DO!

There is a limit on 4 letters for a specific reason. We only want 4 letters. 5 letters is not better than 4. No matter who writes them. No matter what's in them. It just tells me that you can't follow directions.

So: choose your best 4 letters and send them. Do not send 5 letters. It is a bad idea. It makes you look foolish. Need I say more?
 

chitown82

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You can assign a letter to a program, they download it, then you "inactivate" the letter and assign another. One of the previous 4 letters will be labeled "inactive" but will still be viewable, and your fifth letter will be downloaded.

However, and I am going to put this in capital letters so you don't miss it:

THIS IS A VERY STUPID THING TO DO!

There is a limit on 4 letters for a specific reason. We only want 4 letters. 5 letters is not better than 4. No matter who writes them. No matter what's in them. It just tells me that you can't follow directions.

So: choose your best 4 letters and send them. Do not send 5 letters. It is a bad idea. It makes you look foolish. Need I say more?
Thanks for the advice, aProgDirector. I certainly won't send in more than four letters :)

I guess I'll have to decide which research LOR to submit. One letter is from an Associate Professor (a PhD) who I worked under very closely and will write a very strong letter and the other is from the Chair of the Division (an MD) who is well known in his field but I worked with him less closely (he was supervising PI). He will write a strong letter (not as strong as the first person, I'd imagine). Any advice on what matters more - a very strong letter from a lesser known person or a strong letter from a well known person?

In sum, I'll have four LORs that I'll submit (plus the Dean's Letter)
-two from M3 IM clerkship (my attendings); is it better to get a letter from my SubI attending?
-one letter from my research year mentor/PI
-one IM chairmen letter
 

aProgDirector

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In sum, I'll have four LORs that I'll submit (plus the Dean's Letter)
-two from M3 IM clerkship (my attendings); is it better to get a letter from my SubI attending?
-one letter from my research year mentor/PI
-one IM chairmen letter
Yes, best option is:
1. M3 IM clerkship
2. M4 Sub I
3. Chair letter
4. research letter
 

FatPigeon

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Here's a question I'm struggling with. I've got 6 months of research on my application with two publications. I already have 3 CLINICAL letters all ready to go, but no research letter.

Would it be frowned upon to have significant research on your app without a letter to back it up? I'm applying to IM, by the way...

Thanks
 

WhoisJohnGalt

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Here's a question I'm struggling with. I've got 6 months of research on my application with two publications. I already have 3 CLINICAL letters all ready to go, but no research letter.

Would it be frowned upon to have significant research on your app without a letter to back it up? I'm applying to IM, by the way...

Thanks
Are you applying to research intensive programs? Do you expect research to be a major part of your residency? If so i'd say it's probably Important to get the research letter. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it. Love the siggy btw ;)
 
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Are you applying to research intensive programs? Do you expect research to be a major part of your residency? If so i'd say it's probably Important to get the research letter. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it. Love the siggy btw ;)
I agree with this poster. Also, I have come across some research intensive programs who have specifically mentioned "letters from clinical faculty".

Firstly, I dont think it will be "frowned upon".

Secondly, if you have 3 letters, your application is complete. Can you ask one of your research mentors for a letter, which can be your 4th letter? You will anyway get an interview, and this will only enhance your application when you actually interview there (presumably December/Jan, which gives you, your letter writer and ERAS ample time to ensure it reaches the programs).
 

gutonc

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Here's a question I'm struggling with. I've got 6 months of research on my application with two publications. I already have 3 CLINICAL letters all ready to go, but no research letter.

Would it be frowned upon to have significant research on your app without a letter to back it up? I'm applying to IM, by the way...
If you mentioned it in your PS, you better have a letter to back that up. If not, the letter is gravy. Nice if you have it but I imagine your app is still palatable without it.
 

FatPigeon

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Nice, thanks for the responses. In light of them, I think I'll send my 3 letters to all programs and get that research letter in a couple of weeks...then send it as an update to programs which don't mind reading 4 of them.

Another worry: Does anybody worry about the wording of the letter of rec slot-reserving on ERAS. I'm referring to the whole "Author/Title/Department" thing. For my IM Chair/department letter I simply put Author/"Department of Medicine." Since programs seem to really care about the "chair" or "department" letter, I'm really wishing now that I had worded it "Chair of Dept of Medicine" or something like that. Will they even be able to identify it as the department letter, the way that I've worded it? :confused:

One of the people in my student affairs office said that the wording is just meant for their (my school's) office to identify the letters, which supposedly go on to identify themselves per the author's writing. But then I've heard that schools can see what you've chosen to entitle each. Eh...clearly I'm starting to lose it a little bit..
 
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R

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Nice, thanks for the responses. In light of them, I think I'll send my 3 letters to all programs and get that research letter in a couple of weeks...then send it as an update to programs which don't mind reading 4 of them.

Another worry: Does anybody worry about the wording of the letter of rec slot-reserving on ERAS. I'm referring to the whole "Author/Title/Department" thing. For my IM Chair/department letter I simply put Author/"Department of Medicine." Since programs seem to really care about the "chair" or "department" letter, I'm really wishing now that I had worded it "Chair of Dept of Medicine" or something like that. Will they even be able to identify it as the department letter, the way that I've worded it? :confused:

One of the people in my student affairs office said that the wording is just meant for their (my school's) office to identify the letters, which supposedly go on to identify themselves per the author's writing. But then I've heard that schools can see what you've chosen to entitle each. Eh...clearly I'm starting to lose it a little bit..[/QUOTE]

Clearly you are ;)..But i know how you feel. Dont sweat over it. Firstly, you cant change anything now. Secondly, those who would screen you would invite you regardless of what the title is on your letter. So they will read it anyway. Those who reject you for such stupid things that the title wasnt correct, do you really want to go there ;)? All the best