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Pre-med advisor doesn't know ***, what should I do about LOR

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by cbrons, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar* 10+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    The pre-med advisor here on campus is also the advisor for a bunch of other pre-professional programs. I've been to here twice in my career. Both times I was given bad information, especially about me having to be a bio major to have any hope of getting into med school. Well anyways I don't want to see her. I know the pre-reqs for the schools I want to get into (they're all state schools) and I'm just going to see my Psychology advisor who is extremely helpful and even has some good knowledge about med school application process. Anyways, I've read a few of the similar posts but I want to stay current since the last relevant one about this topic as in 2003.

    the current MSAR says most schools "require" a letter from a pre-health advisor or committee. Well my per-health advisor is myself. I don't trust any of the pre-health people here to plan my future for me, especially after all the horror stories about kids blindly doing what they say and finding out at the last minute they aren't eligible to apply or are otherwise unspecial (see dime-a-dozen) candidates.

    I want to get LORs from:

    1. The MD I shadow
    2. The DO I shadow
    3. The psych professor I do research with
    4. The pharmacist and pharmacy manager I work for (I'm a pharmacy technician... which brings me to another question I'll ask in a few)
    5. The president of my university who I've worked with through some student government things
    6. ???? help? suggestions?

    Are these not acceptable people?
    Do you have any suggestions on other people I seek out?
    You can only have 2 letters of recommendation sent to each school, correct?
    Just to clarify, the letters have to be sent by the person writing the LOR (or something like interfolio) to each individual school that you apply to... correct? ...

    I ask this because the MD I shadow went to a school I'm going to apply to and the DO I shadow went to the only DO school in the state that I'm also going to apply to. I want to send the MDs letter to his alma mater, and the DOs to his...
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  3. beachblonde

    beachblonde 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    To cover the bases, I'd say you should have two science faculty and one non-science faculty letters, plus whatever other letters you have collected.

    Generally, you can send anywhere from 5-8 letters to schools, with the minimum being 2-3. You sound like you're a bit short of the required letters, but also probably have some other helpful ones.

    Oh, and my pre-med adviser didn't know jack so I bailed on getting a letter from her. I was never once asked about it during my interviews.

    Just have the letter writers send the letters to Interfolio (I'm assuming you use it, since you mentioned it) and then send them off at your discretion when you submit your secondaries.
  4. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar* 10+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    Thanks for the response... I'll make sure to try and get in on some of clubs my professors work in (science) so I they can know me enough to give an LOR
  5. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar* 10+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    any other pieces of advice? I know for a fact that i wont have an LOR from a "pre-med" advisor or a "pre-health/pre-professional" advisor nor a pre-anything committee.
  6. killinsound

    killinsound Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    i believe if you actually have a pre-med committee it is practically necessary to get it from the committee?

    my school didn't have one, and i did have a pre-med advisor, but all my LORs came from professors and what not, and it worked out fine
  7. neuro1617

    neuro1617 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    For most schools that require one from your pre-professional committee if you have one, you have to write them a letter explaining why you chose not to use that service and why they'll be getting individual letters. Some schools though say they prefer the committee but you don't have to use it, in which case you won't need to explain why you didn't use it.
  8. SarsMO

    SarsMO 2+ Year Member

    May 28, 2008
    I was told by my advisor, who was great, that if your school has a pre-med committee and you don't use it, it will reflect poorly on you...that being said, from the OP's posts I don't think there is a committee for him/her to use.

    Secondly, my advice is to have letters from professors who have had you in class! Most schools like to see 2 science faculty and 1 non-science faculty write LORs (like beachblonde said). From the list you provided, there was no one that actually taught you in class...this might raise a few eyebrows. Lastly, do NOT ask the president of the university unless he/she TRULY knows you well. It won't impress anyone to get a vague, generalized letter from someone high up.
  9. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    The Falls
    Great summary! :thumbup: Perfect advice.
  10. Character

    Character 5+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    i had that problem. use interfolio
  11. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar* 10+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    thank you for the advice, I'm going to make sure I have letters from at least 2 or 3 of my science professors as well as one from a non-science professor. Thanks a lot for all your advice...

    - Chris B
  12. w8ting2exhale

    w8ting2exhale what a journey... 5+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2008
    you're welcome. we're here to help each other out in this process.
  13. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar* 10+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    The advisers at the school I visited this morning told me that they aren't too concerned about a letter from a committee or the pre-professional adviser so long as I get an LOR from 2 science professors and 1 non-science professor. I think I need to start asking now so my non-science prof who really liked me doesn't forget me... If I'm applying next June should I prepare an interfolio account now?
  14. CTtarheel

    CTtarheel Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    you should give them the MINIMUM number of letters they require PLUS maybe ONE more ONLY if that letter says something that is not in the other two.

    So from your long list, you might want to think about who you've spent the most time with and who knows you the best. Who has the most (good stuff) to say about what kind of PERSON you are, the things your professors don't know about you. Who the letter comes from can matter, but not if it's a generic letter from someone you don't know well. My money would be on the letter from your boss, but University president is tempting if you were student body president or something and really spent a lot of time with him/her.

    Letters from people you've shadowed are unlikely to have anything of substance in them besides "so and so showed up on time, was respectful, and didn't offend my patients". What else can they say about you when your job was just to sit there and watch them?

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