5+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2009
Medical Student
Hi everyone, I just had a question about LORs...

So far I have 1 rec on file from a history prof and 1 science rec from my PI in research. I'm about to ask another science prof for a rec to get my 2nd science rec. For my second humanities rec, I have somewhat of a dilemma. I have a leadership position in a program for Duke undergrads volunteering at Duke Med Center (I'm in charge of all the undergrad volunteers on the general surgery floor) so I'd like to ask the person in charge of the program to write a recommendation letter for me. However, I've also been shadowing a doctor at Duke Med consistently last semester as well as this semester (clinic hours and surgeries). He's offered to write a LOR for me when the discussion of med schools came up one day.

My question is, is it bad to have too many LORs, (i.e. 5?) Or should I just ask one of the two people, either the person in charge of the volunteer program or the doctor?

Or is there a way to have all 5 on file and then pick which ones I want to send to schools?

What do you guys think?


5+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2010
Medical Student
Get all the solid LORs that you can. Some schools have a maximum # you can send, but you can also pick and choose which to send to what institutions when you apply. Also keep in mind that some schools will not accept a research-oriented LOR as a science LOR. A science letter usually needs to be from someone who taught you in a class.


Bad Medicine
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2009
Medical Student
5 is fine for most schools.

I'm almost certain you can have more than one letter on file and then choose which to send where. I haven't applied yet so hopefully someone who has dealt with letters of rec can tell you more :)