Virtual Rotations and LORs - Question

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Sep 19, 2013
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Hey everyone!

Apologies if this question was answered previously, I was unable to find it!
European FMG here, 2017 graduate. After a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt at applying in the second half of October last year, I am currently planning my application for this year. The LORs I currently have were written 2 years ago and refer to my electives from the summer of 2017. Therefore, my plan was to do two externships this year in order to get new LORs (and then be able to show I was both doing well as a student and now with a mix of LORs). However, most of the externship opportunities have been moved online. Travel from the EU is also severely restricted.
Do you think LORs from virtual externships (eg, taking patient histories and discussing cases over Zoom) would hold much value? Would it be preferable to do everything humanly possible (likely meaning going for 2 weeks to a third country) to travel for one of the very few in-person externships, mostly in private practices? Or would that be seen as irresponsible?
I believe the rest of my application is fine - good scores, published a few papers over the past year (nothing fancy - reviews, case reports, letters), some European work experience.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!