Updating LORs, Re-using LORs, getting new LORs... non-trad, reapplicant

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Full Member
Sep 17, 2018
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From my interfolio
Letter writerLetter TypeDate of letter
Science Prof #1academic2016
Science Prof #1academic2016
MD letter 1professional 2018
MD letter 2professional 2018
MD letter 3shadowing 2018
non-trad, applying with 2 science + MD letters (no committee)
I am reapplying DO only, if it matters.

1) If I must, can I reuse these letters for schools I completed applications at last cycle? Are there explicit rules against recycling a LOR? School specific...?

2) I think I need to ask the 2016 academic letter-writers to re-submit their items. Apart from updating the actual date of the letter, should I ask them to change anything else in the letter? I graduated over 2 years ago, just some context. I should probably arrange to stop by their office hours, or 'catch-up' somehow. I should have started this process way sooner, I just held onto hope for too long.

3) I don't have a third, non-science professor LOR item. This third letter requirement blocked me from completing at a lot of schools last cycle.
Should I invest my time into tracking down some professor from 3+ years ago to write me a generic LOR..... and/or ..... calling all applicable schools to see if I can negotiate to replace the third-letter requirement with something else, like a (non-physician) manager, or something along those lines? .

4) Should I ask for "date" updates for my MD letters? Doing this is relatively trivial for me to do, but they are dated 2018, which is not too old for the upcoming cylce.

5) Do you think I need any more letter writers (apart from the potential letter mentioned in question 3)?


Thanks, I appreciate the time anyone takes to answer one or all of my questions. The LOR process is so stressful, especially since it is so out of our control. From what I gather on SDN, the letters don't mean much anyway, since most peoples' letters are going to be positively biased (e.g. a bad letter can hurt you, a good letter does nothing, a 'connection' letter gets you somewhere[sometimes]). However, I'm not sure if this paradigm follows for reapplicants, since I expect adcoms will be actively sniffing out changes/differences between the two apps in front of them.

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