recs: 2 per prof or 1 combo?

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Junior Member
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Jun 28, 2002
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hey guys, i'm sure this has been addressed in the past, but i didn't see it when i scannned through the prevoius threads, sorry for any redundancy:

Should I ask the professors with whom i've conducted research to write two seperate letters - one addressing my medical potential and one addressing my mdphd/research potential? Is there any disadvantage to having them write one combined letter and having it sent to both the md and mdphd adcoms?



Dark Lord of the Sith
Moderator Emeritus
Jun 5, 2001
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When I was applying, I just asked for one letter from each professor (faculty are busy!) and made sure they knew I was applying MD/PhD. Both MD and MD/PhD programs really look for many of the same qualities and the content would be similar either way. Each professor should comment on your potential and qualification for such programs based on how they know you. For example, your PI may include more information on what you worked on in the lab, qualities you displayed in the context of doing science (i.e. determination, perseverance, dedication, etc), and hence your potential as a physician-scientist. Other professors may be able to comment about you in different contexts. I think this is what makes having a variety of perspectives in your letters very useful to admissions committees.

So bottom line is: make sure your letter-writers understand your goals and that you are applying for the combined program.

Hope this helps. :D