SixStringPsych

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If a school requires a physician LOR (DO or MD), would a letter from an MD who taught me in an undergrad course (non-BCPM) be acceptable? I'm just not sure in what capacity you had to know/work with the physician, if its just for a holistic review of how good of a fit I would be for the medical profession or how I was in a clinical setting, etc.

Not sure if anyone else has come across this, I think it's probably rare that MDs teach undergrad courses.

My letter writer can definitely attest to my potential in the medical field btw, he was more than just a teacher, also sort of a mentor.
 

cabinbuilder

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I think it should be more of a shadowing capacity. How you interact with patients, interest, etc.
 
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SixStringPsych

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I think it should be more of a shadowing capacity. How you interact with patients, interest, etc.
Well, I'm trying to get a letter from the MD I'm currently shadowing so maybe that will work out. I don't think anyone can give me a straight answer on this anyway unless they've been in the same situation.
 

BuddyTheElf

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Asking for a LOR from an MD/DO, they probably are meaning one who has seen your clinical skills/someone you've shadowed. However, one adcom told me it was because an MD/DO knows what traits are needed to get through medical school & become a competent physician... not really anything to do with you shadowing, just that they've gone through this and will know if you can make it. Either way, if the school doesn't specifically say that it needs to be from someone you've shadowed (just says a letter from an MD or DO) then I'd say your professor is perfectly fine to write the LOR.
 

NeuroLAX

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If a school requires a physician LOR (DO or MD), would a letter from an MD who taught me in an undergrad course (non-BCPM) be acceptable? I'm just not sure in what capacity you had to know/work with the physician, if its just for a holistic review of how good of a fit I would be for the medical profession or how I was in a clinical setting, etc.

Not sure if anyone else has come across this, I think it's probably rare that MDs teach undergrad courses.

My letter writer can definitely attest to my potential in the medical field btw, he was more than just a teacher, also sort of a mentor.
I doubt this letter will do very much for you outside of academics/general medical interest. It would carry a lot more weight if you shadowed him so he can attest to your clinical professionalism and clinical interests.

Definitely get the MD letter you're shadowing now. If you can, I recommend getting a DO letter from someone who does OMT in their clinic.
 

Lysilegluleu

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My physician letter came from an Ob/gyn who I never shadowed. The catch? I routinely work around her on her patients and we talk quite a bit. So she knows me professionally (in a clinical setting), intellectually, and personally. I think the clinical setting is an important facet of the physician letter, but admittedly, I am rationalizing.

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MedPR

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Well, I'm trying to get a letter from the MD I'm currently shadowing so maybe that will work out. I don't think anyone can give me a straight answer on this anyway unless they've been in the same situation.
It's a shadowing letter.

Edit: its a non-academic letter.

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NeuroLAX

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It's a shadowing letter.

Edit: its a non-academic letter.

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More of a testament to clinical experience letter. Definitely non-academic.
 

MedPR

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More of a testament to clinical experience letter. Definitely non-academic.
Mine said I had good instincts (among other things). Probably referring to my exceedingly fantastic skills at staying out of the way in the OR.

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SixStringPsych

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Mine said I had good instincts (among other things). Probably referring to my exceedingly fantastic skills at staying out of the way in the OR.

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Lol yea this is the exact reason why I don't see a difference between an LOR from a physician you shadowed and a physician who taught you in class.

Both taught you in some respect, and my MD professor definitely knows of my passion for medicine and ability to succeed more than the physician I'm shadowing sporadically...I'd think either can speak to an applicant's potential to succeed in medicine having gone through it. Just my 2 cents but we'll see what ad comms think lol
 

MedPR

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Lol yea this is the exact reason why I don't see a difference between an LOR from a physician you shadowed and a physician who taught you in class.

Both taught you in some respect, and my MD professor definitely knows of my passion for medicine and ability to succeed more than the physician I'm shadowing sporadically...I'd think either can speak to an applicant's potential to succeed in medicine having gone through it. Just my 2 cents but we'll see what ad comms think lol
They're not the same at all.

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NeuroLAX

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Lol yea this is the exact reason why I don't see a difference between an LOR from a physician you shadowed and a physician who taught you in class.

Both taught you in some respect, and my MD professor definitely knows of my passion for medicine and ability to succeed more than the physician I'm shadowing sporadically...I'd think either can speak to an applicant's potential to succeed in medicine having gone through it. Just my 2 cents but we'll see what ad comms think lol
Someone incredibly smart can have absolutely no rapport with patients and an inability to communicate effectively with others. How many problems could you foresee with this type of person?
 
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SixStringPsych

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Someone incredibly smart can have absolutely no rapport with patients and an inability to communicate effectively with others. How many problems could you foresee with this type of person?
Shadowing won't show the physician how well the pre med student can interact with patients. You're usually not allowed to do any communicating at all when you shadow. I could show a physician how well I can communicate with others in a classroom way better.

All I'm saying is they should be specific and say they want a letter from a physician who has supervised you in a clinical setting, if that's indeed what they want. Obviously no one here (except Goro) can tell me what would really be acceptable, but it's fun to speculate.
 
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SixStringPsych

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Also how much does not having a DO letter hurt if you have pretty above average stats for DO schools? Thanks for the input guys, just trying to get some advice on DO since I plan on applying to both DO and MD this coming cycle
 

MedPR

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Shadowing won't show the physician how well the pre med student can interact with patients. You're usually not allowed to do any communicating at all when you shadow. I could show a physician how well I can communicate with others in a classroom way better.

All I'm saying is they should be specific and say they want a letter from a physician who has supervised you in a clinical setting, if that's indeed what they want. Obviously no one here (except Goro) can tell me what would really be acceptable, but it's fun to speculate.
If only Goro's opinion matters to you, why don't you just pm him?



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Lysilegluleu

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Also how much does not having a DO letter hurt if you have pretty above average stats for DO schools? Thanks for the input guys, just trying to get some advice on DO since I plan on applying to both DO and MD this coming cycle
You can get by. You have to be able to back up why you want to go that route though. It worked out well for me. With that said, however, there are some schools that require it and some that simply would like to see one but don't necessarily require it.

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Woland

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Shadowing won't show the physician how well the pre med student can interact with patients. You're usually not allowed to do any communicating at all when you shadow. I could show a physician how well I can communicate with others in a classroom way better.
You need to find a different shadowing opportunity. When I shadowed, I was able to directly interact with every patient my physician saw (obviously under his direct supervision).

All I'm saying is they should be specific and say they want a letter from a physician who has supervised you in a clinical setting, if that's indeed what they want. Obviously no one here (except Goro) can tell me what would really be acceptable, but it's fun to speculate.
Then why the **** are you asking us if you do not want to hear our opinion. PM Goro or LizzyM. Also it is a wise idea to listen to what physician (CabinBuilder) and med students tell you, because chances are they know more and have been on interview panels.

Plus, it appears that consenus points to you needing a shadowing experience. Coming even from inexperienced premeds, the same advice has been given a statistically significant number of times.
 
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SixStringPsych

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You need to find a different shadowing opportunity. When I shadowed, I was able to directly interact with every patient my physician saw (obviously under his direct supervision).



Then why the **** are you asking us if you do not want to hear our opinion. PM Goro or LizzyM. Also it is a wise idea to listen to what physician (CabinBuilder) and med students tell you, because chances are they know more and have been on interview panels.

Plus, it appears that consenus points to you needing a shadowing experience. Coming even from inexperienced premeds, the same advice has been given a statistically significant number of times.
You guys are right, I'm gonna PM Goro now, thanks! LizzyM would probably not be able to advise me on this as much since she works at an MD school.
 

cabinbuilder

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You guys are right, I'm gonna PM Goro now, thanks! LizzyM would probably not be able to advise me on this as much since she works at an MD school.
WHAT???? a phyician LOR is the same whether MD or DO school. Need to get your facts straight, your head on straight, and listen to advice from those of us who have gone the distance and made the journey. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for future failure and disappointment.
 

BuddyTheElf

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Also how much does not having a DO letter hurt if you have pretty above average stats for DO schools? Thanks for the input guys, just trying to get some advice on DO since I plan on applying to both DO and MD this coming cycle
Just be aware that some schools REQUIRE a letter from a DO. Do your research before applying so you don't have to scrounge up another letter from someone mid-cycle. Good luck.
 

ocellicyst

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I wonder how common it is to have pt interaction when you are shadowing? I shadowed a few physicians and they didn't let me do much in the way of clinical stuff. I was also afraid. I doubt a lot of common premed students get really solid lor. Probably most of us get a few sentences or a paragraph.

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SixStringPsych

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I wonder how common it is to have pt interaction when you are shadowing? I shadowed a few physicians and they didn't let me do much in the way of clinical stuff. I was also afraid. I doubt a lot of common premed students get really solid lor. Probably most of us get a few sentences or a paragraph.

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Yeah, I really don't think it's that common
 

Lysilegluleu

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WHAT???? a phyician LOR is the same whether MD or DO school. Need to get your facts straight, your head on straight, and listen to advice from those of us who have gone the distance and made the journey. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for future failure and disappointment.
Regarding my prior post, and assuming the post of yours that I quoted was in some way aimed at mine: unless those osteopathic schools that "require" letters from osteopathic physicians routinely make exceptions, then it does matter what type of physician writes at least one of the letters for an applicant to such a school. Granted, multiple physician letters can come from both allo and osteo physicians assuming the requirement is met. For the record, I've read a few of your posts and I respect you quite a bit, but is it not enough to have done my research to answer this simple question? Must I be an attending to understand simple school specific requirements?

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SixStringPsych

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WHAT???? a phyician LOR is the same whether MD or DO school. Need to get your facts straight, your head on straight, and listen to advice from those of us who have gone the distance and made the journey. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for future failure and disappointment.
I've never seen an MD school's admissions requirements say they require or even recommend a physician LOR, that's why I said that. Please correct me if I'm wrong, obviously a physician LOR looks great no matter what, I'm just saying I've never seen it explicitly stated by an MD school.
 

GUH

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For my DO application I used an MD letter from a doc who I worked for in a basic sciences research lab. I had no actual patient contact with the MD and that was the only physician letter I submitted. Everything turned out well and it was never once brought up during the interviews. My GPA was not remarkable for DO schools; MCAT was above average.
 

hallowmann

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I've never seen an MD school's admissions requirements say they require or even recommend a physician LOR, that's why I said that. Please correct me if I'm wrong, obviously a physician LOR looks great no matter what, I'm just saying I've never seen it explicitly stated by an MD school.
MD schools don't explicitly say it, but most successful applicants have one. Most schools expect some amount of shadowing or research, and usually that means getting a letter of recommendation from that doc. I also know at least 2 M.D. schools that require letters of recommendation from all research PIs.

As far as DO schools go, a handful flat out require DO letters, about half of all DO schools recommend/strongly recommend DO letters, but accept MD letters, and the rest usually loosely say "physician letter".

In addition, MANY DO schools (I would say most) explicitly say either on their websites or in the secondaries that the letter from a physician should be from an individual that you know on a non-academic level. That being the case its much safer for you to get a DO shadowing letter, if not that then an MD shadowing letter. If you cannot get either and can't shadow someone else in time, then I guess you can settle for the MD professor letter, but it wouldn't be ideal for you. In this case its not about what you can or cannot do, but rather what would give your app the best shot.
 

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MD schools don't explicitly say it, but most successful applicants have one. Most schools expect some amount of shadowing or research, and usually that means getting a letter of recommendation from that doc. I also know at least 2 M.D. schools that require letters of recommendation from all research PIs.

As far as DO schools go, a handful flat out require DO letters, about half of all DO schools recommend/strongly recommend DO letters, but accept MD letters, and the rest usually loosely say "physician letter".

In addition, MANY DO schools (I would say most) explicitly say either on their websites or in the secondaries that the letter from a physician should be from an individual that you know on a non-academic level. That being the case its much safer for you to get a DO shadowing letter, if not that then an MD shadowing letter. If you cannot get either and can't shadow someone else in time, then I guess you can settle for the MD professor letter, but it wouldn't be ideal for you. In this case its not about what you can or cannot do, but rather what would give your app the best shot.
Not really sure where you got that from. Yes, MD schools expect that you have shadowed. No, they do not expect (or even care, imo) you have a LOR from a MD/DO.