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Which Letters of Rec?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by kirtip, 05.17.14.

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  1. kirtip

    kirtip

    Joined:
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    Pre-Medical
    Hey everyone. I am looking for some opinions on which letters of recommendation I should send to schools. Here are my options for letters and my feelings about each of them.

    Academic letters

    Professor of an Anatomy course through the medical school

    Professor of a small Biology of Fungi course

    Well known professor of a History of Blues course

    Other letters

    Research PI - 2 years of research, has a very good track record of writing great letters to get students into medical school. I will definitely be using this letter.

    Volunteer Supervisor - I volunteered at the pediatric ICU for 1 semester and at the Emergency Department for 2 semesters. This would be the supervisor of the pediatric ICU. My younger sister spent extensive time in the pediatric ICU, so this supervisor knows me fairly well and would probably write a good letter. However, I only worked with her for 1 semester and this semester was 2 years ago.

    Volunteer Supervisor - I have been volunteering as a certified EMT at a medical clinic for the uninsured for about 5 months. The writer of this letter likely would not know me as personally. My time probably totals around 50 hours.

    Work Supervisor - This letter would be written by the person who knows me the best out of all the letters. I have worked under her for 4 years as a front of house theater employee. 2 years ago, she promoted me to manager and since then I have worked with around 7-8 employees underneath me. Because she knows me so well, promoted me, and can attest to a lot about my work ethic etc, I believe she would write a great letter. However, my work has nothing to do with medicine other than the occasional first aid.


    I will likely be sending all 3 of my academic letters to med schools as most require them. However, I am not certain about the rest. As of now, I am leaning towards using letters from my work supervisor and research PI. Does anyone have any thoughts?
     
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  3. siffster

    siffster 2+ Year Member

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    There is an excel file somewhere on these forum that lists the LOR requirements for most schools. I think it's from 2012. You should go over it and see what each school requires. I'd go with 3 academic + research + work like you said. It wouldn't hurt to contact your volunteer supervisor from the ICU and see if she could help you out, but i think your 5 letter of recs would cover all bases for MD. If you could get your hands on a letter from a DO, you would cover all DO schools as well.

    Edit: You can find the excel file at the bottom of the first post here : http://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...mmendation-questions-thread-2013-2014.989580/
     
  4. Flashfan

    Flashfan 5+ Year Member

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    Do you also have a committee letter? Perhaps a couple of your volunteer letter writes comments can be read by the committee and their comments incorporated into the main letter.
     
  5. kirtip

    kirtip

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    My school does not do pre-med committee letters.
     
  6. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    If you are doing individual letters you can load up to 10 I believe via interfolio/AMCAS and then assign them individually per school.
     
  7. kirtip

    kirtip

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    So you would recommend getting all of the letters and then sending certain ones to specific schools?
     
  8. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Yup,
     
  9. Shazam243

    Shazam243 2+ Year Member

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    Keep in mind that 3 great letters is better than 3 great letters + 1 average letter, as an example.
     
  10. kirtip

    kirtip

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    How would you go about choosing which letters go where? Wouldn't it be best to just send lets say your top 5 letters to every school?
     
  11. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    1) some schools require specific letters or rather specific writers and may be different across schools. You have to make sure you get that.
    2) with the increase in the number of overall applications, schools are getting more and more stuff to process. I have seen the recommended number of LORs becoming the explicit or implicit number that schools will review. They say 3, send 3. Or they may simply read the first 3. Or they may wonder why you couldnt follow instructions on just sending 3. Or they may get annoyed about reading so much, while it says good things, doesnt really say anything indepth about you.
     
  12. Shazam243

    Shazam243 2+ Year Member

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    Committee letters make things much simpler, so if you have the option to send a committee letter, it would be in your best interest to do so.
     
  13. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    op doesnt have the option .. refer to earlier posts in threads
     
  14. kirtip

    kirtip

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    So, do you think it would be alright if I secured my 3 academic as well as my research PI and my work supervisor. And then diligently look up schools Letter of Rec preferences and send some form of those 5 to the schools I apply to?
     
  15. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Yes, As I say to all students use your judgement.
     

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