Penn secondary-at LEAST 3 letters from research mentors?

physicsMD

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OK,
I feel bad for all you undergrads because I'm a grad student and even I will have trouble with this. I have a research mentor from undergrad, and one as a grad student, thats 2. I suppose I could ask an assistant professor who works in my lab to write one, but thats another letter to wait on. Is this somewhat flexible? Or does there HAVE to be 3?
 

Neuronix

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That's not just Penn, there's several secondaries I've seen so far that required three LORs for the MSTP committee.

I've been in two labs, the first had two PIs I worked with, so that took care of itself. I don't know what you're supposed to do otherwise. I think your only other option would be to get LORs from post-docs or LORs from science professors and send them in.
 
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jot

whoa i didn't know abou taht - i'm lucky to have 3, thats practically like mandating 3 different research experiences at least.
 
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shamus1

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When you have questions like this, you really should contact the MD/PhD office to get the answer. At Penn, Maggie Krall is very helpful and you can be sure that she will give you the right answer.
MD/PhD programs put their best foot forward when dealing with applicants, so they are not going to blow you off if you ask reasonable question. If they act as though you are being a pain for asking a question, or seem to be disorganized(and some programs have this reputation), you should be aware that this is probably the way students in that program are treated. The best programs have responsive, involved, service-oriented administrators. The importance of the program director is often overestimated (most are very busy with research, teaching, clinics and other administrative responsibilities); the women(usually) who run the program will have a great impact on your quality of life as a student.
 

Bikini Princess

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makes me glad that I have exactly three research mentors writing LOR's for me. I had a question though: If a prof/research mentor is writng an LOR for the med committee, do they need to write an additional, separate letter for teh MD/PHD committee too?
 
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jot

i think all my recommenders explitly stated my interest in md/phd programs, even my physician rec! i hope the md committees don't feel too slighted.:)
 

DarkChild

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lol - me too... oh well

Originally posted by jot
i think all my recommenders explitly stated my interest in md/phd programs, even my physician rec! i hope the md committees don't feel too slighted.:)
 

Neuronix

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At my school the pre-med committee had specific request letters that they wanted used for their MD evaluation. In them they didn't really want to hear much about research qualities. So I got all my mentors to also write me MSTP letters.

So imagine how I feel now that I have to go get them to fill out cover forms and attach copies of the letters to send out to those schools who want them. Everyone in my lab says I should...
 
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jot

hah - cover letters be damned - i couldn't do that even if i wanted to - my PI has been in sweden for the past 2 months, and won't be back till sept -- good thing i got his letter a long time ago (he left without telling me, or his summerstudent (left her in the hands of a grad student, kinda sucks for her)!
-jot
 
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