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What information do I need to provide to someone writing a LOR?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by xmsr3, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. xmsr3

    5+ Year Member

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    While surfing the website for one of the schools I will be applying to, USUHS, I read that they want at least 1 LOR from a non-science professor.

    I know just the guy and am planning to ask him this Thursday, but I am a bit worried.

    Non-science professors , (economics in this case) don't usually write med school LOR so I need to give him a lot of information.

    I have a sheet with general instructions from the office of reccomendation on my campus, so that is a good start.

    I am also giving him a copy of my personaol statement, which outlines my motivation beutifully.

    Finally I am including a document with relevent personal information.

    I was hoping to get some feedback on what should be in it.

    Here is what I have:

    Major
    GPA
    Classes Taken
    Extra Curricular/Clinical Experience, (all I have is ER volunteering and shadowing so I combined the categories)
    Motivation: to maximize my potential in accordance to my deeply held life philosphy (maximizing human well being and minimzing suffering), combining my love of science, technology and academic prowess.
    Future Plans: include schools I will be applying to, (general) and outlining my desire for a career as an internist in the US Navy medical corp.

    I will also be including a pre addressed envelope that can be mailed to the office that holds all my LORs.

    I will be usuing the same basic packet, to ask for LOR elsewhere.

    So far I have:

    1. Physiology with lab professor, I was the top student in her class and I had a long personal meeting with her to discuss my motivation, she seems very enthusiastic about seeing me go to med school.

    2. O-chem lab professor, I was the top student in my lab section and my TA wrote a glowing rec on my behalf. I also met with her and will send the personal statement and relevent info to her.

    Both of these professors have experience writing LORs for med schools.

    Then I have:

    3. Econ history/ethics and philosophy professor, (mentioned in the personal statement as someone who really changed my life and gave me a deeper, richer appreciation for helping people)

    Then I need some more advice:

    Obviously I need a LOR from my ER volunteering, (I have been told by 2 nurses there that I am the best volunteer they have and am liked by the entire staff) but I don't know how to go about getting it.

    I am sure there is an official channel for this sort of thing but I fear my volunteer coordinator would write it and I haven't seen her in person since I started at the ER.

    I was hoping to get one of the nurses to write me a LOR, since they have personally worked with me and know my dedication to the cause of helping ease the suffering of the sick.

    I was also hoping to get a LOR from one of the ER docs I shaddow but then there is the issue of time.

    First, I really don't know any of the doctors personally, (Their schedules rotate so I shaddow a new one each week, though obviously they repeat after a while).

    So I was thinking maybe I could write a LOR and have several nurses and doctors sign it, but I don't know how this would be viewed by an admission's board.

    Does anyone know what is the best method for LORs from a hospital?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
    #1 xmsr3, Dec 9, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
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  3. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    Here's the information I gave to my LOR writers (science and non-science).

    - Resume
    - Personal Statement
    - Transcript/Grade Report (to verify that I got an A in their class)
    - Email explaining who I was and that I was applying to med school

    I think what you have so far is pretty much right on track, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    As far as volunteer work, I got my LOR from the coordinator even though I came in on Saturdays when he wasn't there. But he told me that the nurses had given him good feedback about me, so he was still able to write a good LOR for me. I suggest you talk to your coordinator about this as well.

    And as for your last question, I submitted 6 LORs this cycle (3 science, 2 from work supervisors, and 1 volunteer). Of those 6, I wrote drafts for 3 of them and sent them to the individual writer who made his corrections, then mailed off the final letter. Many of them are busy so this makes things much easier. Also, no one is going to put as much effort into an LOR than you are, so that helps your cause. Just make sure you write it in a way that is entirely positive but not overwhelmingly so; ultimately, it has to be believable. Hope this helps, good luck!
     
  4. rabidpanda13

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    Is it acceptable to get a LOR from a lab TA or do they need to come from the professors?
     
  5. aebvd97

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    In most cases, it needs to come from a professor, not a TA. I've heard some schools make exceptions though.

    OP, I think your list is solid. But, I might add that I don't think you should be too worried about your econ LOR writer. Just because he hasn't wrote many LORs for med school doesn't mean he can't do a good job. I had an english prof do the same for me. He showed me the letter and it was an amazing letter that spoke to my character, personality, motivation, etc...and I think your professor should be able to do that in general if you know him as well as you should.
     
  6. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    I would avoid getting it from the lab TA. They're usually not viewed as credibly as the professor, so it might be a red flag as to why the professor wouldn't write you the LOR instead of the TA.
     
  7. Mobius1985

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    Consider including a photo, so the teacher will remember who you are for more than 15 minutes after you leave.

    If a lab TA writes you a letter, generally their supervising professor will be willing to sign it also, if the TA asks them.
     
  8. theacks1

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    +1

    Also, most schools recognize that in many larger classes, most of the student interaction is with a TA and would rather have a well written, insightful letter from a TA, than a form letter from a professor. However, if the TA gives a form letter, or many of your letters are from TAs, then you have a problem.
     

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