Jun 21, 2016
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Hey everyone, tried looking this up, but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer so I figured I'd ask this directly.

I'm an IMG. My issue is I'll be applying for the match this year and I was wondering if it would be better for my application to use an LOR from a relatively unknown, small county hospital clinical elective, or a research LOR from a big name program, like UCSF? (not an elective, just happened to know a guy that got me in so I was able to work in the lab for a while.) For the sake of this scenario, lets just say the content of the letters is roughly the same, basically want to know if name brand supersedes the type of work you did.

What would program directors prefer to see? Appreciate any advice anyone can give.

Thank you.
 

gutonc

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Use both. They're both better than any other non-US LORs you have.
 
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Jun 21, 2016
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Use both. They're both better than any other non-US LORs you have.
I'm in the rare fortunate position that I have 3 other US LOR's from clinical electives, so for programs that require 3 I think I'm already set, but I was looking at some program requirements online that said they wanted 4 so I'm trying to decide between these 2 for those programs.
 

gutonc

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I'm in the rare fortunate position that I have 3 other US LOR's from clinical electives, so for programs that require 3 I think I'm already set, but I was looking at some program requirements online that said they wanted 4 so I'm trying to decide between these 2 for those programs.
If you have 3 good clinical US LORs then pick the "fancy" one for the 4th.

Again...asking the question you actually want the answer to is always better than making us guess.
 
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Jun 21, 2016
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If you have 3 good clinical US LORs then pick the "fancy" one for the 4th.

Again...asking the question you actually want the answer to is always better than making us guess.

Yea that makes sense, I was basically trying to figure out if program directors wanted to see LOR's from big name programs over small ones or if they prefer type of work meaning clinical vs research work. I think I'll use the UCSF one for programs that want 4.

Thank you for your advice.
 

AdmiralChz

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It sounds like the research letter might offer something different than your other letters (critical thinking skills, helpfulness in the lab, etc...) so it could be a nice supplement to your application. This is especially true if you are interested in more academic programs and if you have research interests.
 
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Jun 21, 2016
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It sounds like the research letter might offer something different than your other letters (critical thinking skills, helpfulness in the lab, etc...) so it could be a nice supplement to your application. This is especially true if you are interested in more academic programs and if you have research interests.
That makes sense, another reason to go with the UCSF letter. Thank you for your input.