Medical Selecting Letter Writers as a Non-Trad

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Member Question
Volunteer Staff
Mar 22, 2021
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I'm a non-traditional student facing a dilemma in choosing my letter writers. I can obtain letters from managers and mentors from work including at a medical lab, but I am not sure how to get letters from science professors.

I could ask a couple of professors from classes where I received A's. However, I rarely attended class or interacted with them significantly, meaning they might not have much to say beyond confirming my grade. Furthermore, I do not know these professors well and cannot trust that they will write strong letters.

What are your recommendations?

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The rules are the rules for a reason. This isn't just a reference for a regular job, they need to know who you are AS A STUDENT because that's what you will be in medical school. Accordingly, you need to reach out to some of your science professors and get them to write you a letter. Send them your personal statement, your CV, and offer to meet with them either in person or via Zoom so they can hear a little bit more about you personally.
Just contact your professors. They are used to it.

I went to a large university. My smallest science class had probably 60 some people in it and the largest probably had about 1200 or so in it. The professors wouldn't know whether I was ever there let alone who I was or what kind of student I was. But people get letters from them. You can make it happen.
I'm not worried about being able to secure a letter. I'm sure I'll be able to get a generic one. I'm concerned about how it might dilute the rest of my letters.

This is a valid concern, however most will meet with you and review your CV, personal statement, and speak with you before.
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