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Boetlaar

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Is it better to get letters of rec that cover many areas (i.e. one clinical, one service, one research/academic) or to get letters from specialists in the field you are applying. Let's assume that quality of letters are equal in both senarios. Talks amongst yourselves.

p.s. Right now I've got the well rounded approach with one ortho (he also can speak of my community service), one clinical, and one academic. But I could get other ortho faculty to write a letter instead if that would be more helpful than say, my microbiology professor.
 

Count Orlok

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I personally would get them from people in your respective specialty. Number 1 it shows that faculty in the specialty at your school thinks highly of you. Number 2 most of the faculty at all schools in the US know each other or of each other because they attend the same conferences and meetings so they learn to "trust" each others opinions of applicants. If I was an program director of a program you were applying to I would much rather see two people whom I know of in my field attest to your abilities than some random microbiology teacher from god who knows where tell me that you know all about pseudomonas aeruginosa.
 

servitup

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Get them from full time academics and not private practitioners.
 
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GoGatorsDMD

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I would say if you could get them from an orthodontist, that would be best. They are most qualified to say that you have the right stuff.
 

Ligature

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I would also say to make sure that your letters are from people who know you WELL, not just somebody you've worked with a few times. You want someone who is able to truthfully make STRONG POSITIVE statements about your ability, character, work ethic, etc.
 
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