Should I use my PI LOR as a science or research LOR?

dirtcobain

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Jan 24, 2019
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I've taken 2 classes with my PI, but I started doing research with her before taking her classes. We have a great relationship and she already said that she'd write a really good LOR before me asking. I was wondering if I should use her LOR as a science professor or a research LOR? Considering it's a strong one, I'd want to use it as a letter that's valued more.

I know that the general requirement is 2 science + 1 non-science + 1-2 research/volunteer/other. So, if she writes a research LOR, then I'd need 2 other science ones right? And if she writes a science one, I wouldn't have a research one? Or would her LOR count as both science+research if she talks about both? Sorry, I realize these questions sound kinda dumb, but I was just a little confused on how rigid or flexible the LOR requirements are.
 
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Probably science, but I don't think you need to tell her that. She'll include the research information in the LOR in there as well if you spent enough time with her.
 
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gonnif

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I've taken 2 classes with my PI, but I started doing research with her before taking her classes. We have a great relationship and she already said that she'd write a really good LOR before me asking. I was wondering if I should use her LOR as a science professor or a research LOR? Considering it's a strong one, I'd want to use it as a letter that's valued more.

I know that the general requirement is 2 science + 1 non-science + 1-2 research/volunteer/other. So, if she writes a research LOR, then I'd need 2 other science ones right? And if she writes a science one, I wouldn't have a research one? Or would her LOR count as both science+research if she talks about both? Sorry, I realize these questions sound kinda dumb, but I was just a little confused on how rigid or flexible the LOR requirements are.
You do not, repeat, do not need a separate research letter as this professor will fulfill a science letter and will include your research skills

The general requirement is typically just 2 science and 1 non science. Few schools require either a research , volunteer, or shadow/clinical letter, A few schools have a max of 3 letters. you need to use MSAR and each med school's admission website for the specific requirements of letters (from which evaluator, whether it must be faculty, an instructor you took a course with) and the minimum and maximum number of letters. Unless you have such an extensive background where more letters are appropriate, fewer but higher quality letters from writers who know you, who fit the specific letter requirement, have the experience to evaluate you, and most importantly, can show the length and depth of an academic or professional relationship that has evidence to support their opinions.

This last point, lack of evidence to support an opinion is mainly why simple shadowing letters have little impact on adcoms. They are full of praise from usually a short passive activity that provides little evidence to support that praise.

Please note these are for individual letters. If you are using a committee letter, you follow whatever you UG premed committee requires
 
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dirtcobain

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Jan 24, 2019
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Probably science, but I don't think you need to tell her that. She'll include the research information in the LOR in there as well if you spent enough time with her.
You do not, repeat, do not need a separate research letter as this professor will fulfill a science letter and will include your research skills

The general requirement is typically just 2 science and 1 non science. Few schools require either a research , volunteer, or shadow/clinical letter, A few schools have a max of 3 letters. you need to use MSAR and each med school's admission website for the specific requirements of letters (from which evaluator, whether it must be faculty, an instructor you took a course with) and the minimum and maximum number of letters. Unless you have such an extensive background where more letters are appropriate, fewer but higher quality letters from writers who know you, who fit the specific letter requirement, have the experience to evaluate you, and most importantly, can show the length and depth of an academic or professional relationship that has evidence to support their opinions.

This last point, lack of evidence to support an opinion is mainly why simple shadowing letters have little impact on adcoms. They are full of praise from usually a short passive activity that provides little evidence to support that praise.

Please note these are for individual letters. If you are using a committee letter, you follow whatever you UG premed committee requires

Awesome, thanks for clearing that up! I do have to send individual letters since I don't have a committee, so I'll definitely check out the MSAR letter requirements more in depth.
 

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