SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Recommendations Question.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by imtiaz, Nov 5, 2000.

  1. Hey Everyone,

    I have a question about recommendations. Do they have to be from a professor whose class you've been in? My situation is as follows: I volunteered with/shadowed a professor of clinical anesthesia who is affiliated with my undergraduate school. Needless to say, I haven't been formally evaluated by this person (ie. I didn't take any classes where he was the professor). Can he still write me a recommendation? OR do I have to send a recommendation from someone whose class I've been in? Has anyone run into any problems like this? I need some advice! The other recommendation is coming from someone whose class I've been in, so that one isn't the problem.

  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Hope88

    Hope88 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Rochester, NY
    It depends on the requirements of the school that you're applying to. If they want 2 academic references, it is assumed that they mean someone that has had the opportunity to evaluate you through assignments, exams, etc. (At least, I think so). However, if they don't specify whom your references ought to be from, anyone with whom you've worked/volunteered ought to be fact, the more diversity, the better!
  4. Vi Carious

    Vi Carious Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2000
    You need academic professors (someone you took a class(s) from. A volunteer/shadow type person doesn't really do you much good.
  5. 777

    777 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2000
    Does anyone know how many letters of rec med schools ask for-normally?
  6. KMorris3

    KMorris3 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2000
    I don't know what some of these people are talking about. You do not have to have letters from professors whose classes you've taken--at least not at schools to which I applied.

    Most of the schools I applied to require two letters from professors in science disciplines (e.g. biology, chemistry) and one letter from a professor in a humanities-type discipline (e.g. sociology, philosophy, art). It doesn't matter if you've taken a class from them or not, as long as you've had significant interaction with them. In addition, most schools state that you can submit additional letters from individuals with whom you've had significant life experience.

    Now, I don't know if the person described qualifies for the one of the required letters, as I don't exactly know how he/she is "affiliated" with the University you attend. However, you can always submit the letter from him/her in addition to your required letters.

  7. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    EVERY school that I applied to (19 of them) required one of two things:

    1. A composit letter from a premed committee


    2. Two letters from science profs that YOU HAD FOR A CLASS, and one non-science prof that you also had for a class.

    Having said that, my school recommened that you tried to chose profs that you'd had for more than one class, because it would be more impressive. I went to a small school, so repeat profs were soemwhat common. I actually had a prof refuse to write a rec for me because I only had one class with him! Maybe he just didn't like me... Oh well, I'm over it!
  8. Thanks for all your replies. I have all my letters, I'm just trying to send the most impressive ones. The professor I'm talking about is a professor of clinical anesthesia at the university hospital. He has a university listing and the whole 9 yards. The letter is written on University College of Medicine letterhead, I mean, what more do you want? I think that this letter is probably the best one I have out of all of them, and some schools only accept 2 letters (like Howard). This is why I asked, I'm kind of up in the air about the whole thing. The letter they sent me (Howard) didn't mandate that the letters be from someone whose class you were in. I don't know what to do though. Should I just send the two science professor letters or send one of the science professor letters with the more impressive MD letter? It's definitely not worth it to me to risk adcoms being angry about the whole thing, but I want to know from people who are/were in my situation and what they did.

  9. Doc Oc

    Doc Oc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Call the school and ask them your questions about their letter requirements. It is the only way to be sure what each individual school actually requires. I had a question about a letter for one school I applied to, and I called and asked them to explain what they meant to me, and they were very nice about it. It sounds like this is a very good letter, and you definitely sound like you are eager to send it, so don't gamble your future on what we THINK the answer might be, call the school and get it straight from the horse's mouth!!
  10. Doc, that's where the problem arises. I'm applying to some 20+ schools. It's simply not very efficient to call all these schools and find out what the deal is with this letter. Although if that's what it comes down to, that's what I'll have to do, but I wanted to post the question up here so that if anyone went through the same thing they could give me some advice. By the way, Howard's letter specifically says "Please DO NOT call the admisisons office, we are sorry but due to the volume of applicants.." yadda yadda yadda. I just don't wanna piss anyone off. I'll probably just end up sending it. Blah.

  11. Doc Oc

    Doc Oc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Maybe send an email? I emailed quite a few schools with questions, and they all got back to me, although some took longer than I would have liked. 20+ schools is alot, wow! I guess you got really good at filling out secondary apps over the summer, huh!! Another idea, maybe list the schools you applied to with your question on this site. I bet if people who applied to the schools that you did see it, they may be more apt to comment on it. Anyway, I feel for ya, and I hope you get in! Good luck with the rest of the process!
  12. I just got a letter today from Jefferson, they want FOUR letters, each from a specific discipline. [​IMG] Chem/Physics/Bio/Humanities. That's INSANE. All my letters are from Chemistry professors. What should I do?

Share This Page