Question about letters of recommendation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DoctorWannaBe, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. DoctorWannaBe

    DoctorWannaBe Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2002
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Do most schools have a preference about who letters of recommendation should come from? I am worried about that because I don't have any professors I can ask for letters. How should I best go about getting to know a professor when all my classes have 200 or more students?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    4
    requirements vary for each school. a general rule of thumb is to have 2 science LORs and 1 non-science LOR(as some schools require a non-science prof and most schools ask for at least 3 LORs). but some schools may not require a non-science LOR at all. i sent 5 LORs to my schools. some from science profs, 1 from my PI, one from my folklore prof, and 1 from a volunteer coordinator.

    as far as asking for LORs...its always best to make sure the prof knows you(even if it is in a class of 200). best way to do that is to go to office hours frequently. or you can ask your research PI or volunteer coordinators since they will know you better. being from ucla i know how the large lectures go...but its not impossible to get to know your profs...you just have to make more of an effort(ie office hours!!!!).
     
  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think schools greatly prefer recs from professors rather than teaching assistants, etc. But they also want letters from those who know you. Are you a freshman/sophomore? Usually the class sizes get smaller in junior and senior year and it will become easier to get to know a professor. You might also try going to office hours/help sessions to let them see you more. If there is a professor whose work you are interested in, you could do some work for them over the summer or during the school yea. Oh and there are outside recs that you can get as well.
     
  5. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,128
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Note that a lot of schools want letters from professors that have taught you in a course. So, if you're counting a letter from a PI, make sure you've taken a course with him/her or have another letter from a prof to cover your ars.

    Check out this link: List recommendation requirements for each school
     
  6. gogiants

    gogiants Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    1
    i also went to a very large school where it was difficult to get to know any of your professors well. it definately puts us at a disadvantage for getting raving letters of recommendation but that just means you have to put a little more planning into how you go about getting them. i'll tell you what worked for me. one of the professors i took in a class and then did research in his lab for credit. another letter i got from a professor when i studied abroad because the classes were only like 8 people each. another letter i got from a professor who i was a t.a. for. and the last letter i got when i was in a lab/lecture course that was actually less than 20 people (there are at least a few of these in every school). it definately took a little extra effort on my part to get these letters but i was certainly worth it. good luck with yours.
     
  7. MedQuest

    MedQuest Da Truth
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also have a question about LOR. Should i ask my parole officer for one. I know he would write me a great one. In it he could take about how discipline i am now and all the community service that i have done that other people are not willing to do. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  8. DoctorWannaBe

    DoctorWannaBe Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2002
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Unfortunately I am a senior and will be applying this summer. I am also a non-science major which means that the only science classes I have taken are the required prerequisites for med school. I still have to take 2nd semester O-chem and 2nd semester Physics, so I guess I better do everything I can to get to know those profs. Thanks for your advice.
     
  9. dr. deez

    dr. deez Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    schools are usually interested in letters from professors that can rank you within the class you took with him/her (ie: top 10% in a 200 person class). Adcoms are also interested in knowing a bit more about you as a person, your motivations and unique skills... Thus letters should be written by people that know you well. You can get to know professors by : 1. asking questions in class, 2. going to office hours etc... 'hope this helps!!! GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  10. ECW News

    ECW News New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you have shadowed doctors for some field experience etc. and they are willing to write you a LOR, is that a good idea or will schools look right through those cause they are more interested in what profs and advisors have to say?
    Beej
     
  11. dr. deez

    dr. deez Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    some schools strictly ask you for letters from 3 science profs (or 1 non science/2 science)... so i would at least have those three... as for the clinical letter... this is a good idea only if the md will speak wonders of you (if it is a lukewarm letter then it wont hurt or help). 'hope this helps!!!!! GOOD LUCK!! :)
     

Share This Page