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What to Provide LOR Writers

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TIGIBedHead, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. TIGIBedHead

    TIGIBedHead Fever to Tell
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    So I have successfully scheduled a meeting with my first recommender. I told her that I will be applying to medical school and would like to discuss my application with her to see if she would be comfortable writing for me. She said she would be glad to write an LOR. Now, aside from a list of my activities, which she has already seen, what else should I bring along to help her out? What should I talk about, in addition to my motivations for becoming a doctor? Thanks everyone.
     
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  3. reylting

    reylting Elle
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    When I met with my recommenders I brought along my transcripts, a copy of my personal statement, academic resume( list of honors, scholarships etc), work resume (job history since high school), list of volunteer experiences, abstracts from my research, and a list of my hobbies. I tried to give that person a complete picture of who I am. During the meeting we talked about my motivation for certain activities and any difficulties I had experienced associated with any activity. It is in your best interest to paint a complete picture for anyone recommending you to medical school, as your LOR are very influential. The more personal the recommendation the better!
     
  4. DrKitty

    DrKitty Senior Member
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    Bring everything you can bring. The more you bring, the better recommendation she will write. By "better" I mean more detailed, as it will seem like she knows you more personally, and the letter will be more meaningful. A copy of your personal statement is essential. Also bring your CV/resume and transcripts.
     
  5. Twitch

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    When you ask for the letter, I'd make sure you specifically use these terms: "Would you write me a positive LOR?"

    The emphasis on positive (above) is there for a reason. If there is any hesitation on their part when you ask them this question, thank them for their time and walk away.
     
  6. DrKitty

    DrKitty Senior Member
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    I agree with Y_Marker. Make sure they can write you a POSITIVE or STRONG letter by asking them if they will. An unenthusiastic or neutral letter can be worse than no letter at all.
     
  7. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    for a letter from my humanities professor I even gave him an idea of how to frame the letter. This is a quote from my e-mail to him:

    You could speak about my perseverance as a first-semester freshman student taking on your challenging course and honors paper, initially struggling and falling down and then subsequently succeeding.

    But I definitely recommend giving the person who will be writing the letter as much info as possible so that they have a full idea of who you are, outside of them knowing you as a student in their class.
     
  8. TIGIBedHead

    TIGIBedHead Fever to Tell
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    Thanks for your tips. I haven't yet written my PS, but would it be ok to write out reasons for going into medicine? This professor specifically asked for a PS, and I will send it to her when it's available as well.
     
  9. osli

    osli Senior Member
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    It doesn't hurt to take a few cues from some of the schools who have standardized recommendation/evaluation forms. For instance, I've let some writers who were doing non-standardized recommendation letters that most schools want to know in what capacity he/she knows me, for how long, and a brief statement/summary about their job/position/etc.

    I also let them know schools are interested in their evaluation/opinion of my innate intelligence, academic capabilities, originality and creativity, dedication/committment/perserverance/work ethic, personality, interaction with others, leadership skills, motivation/drive to continue learning, ability to handle stress or difficult challenges, and if applicable their evaluation of my motivation for medicine and opinion of how I'd fare as a doctor, whether they would want me as their personal/family physician, etc.

    I've found that by giving them a good starting point for what schools might be interested in, it jogs their memory for any relevant situations or stories that they can write about (assuming, of course, that they actually do know you personally, which I've found makes for a better letter - I guess there's a discussion to be had about whether a letter from a "name" that doesn't know you is worth more than a genuine, detailed, personal, and highly complementary letter from someone who knows and admires you).
     

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