Writing a LOR

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by midn, May 8, 2007.

  1. midn

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    I need to make an outline of the things one of my teachers needs to write in my LOR and I was wondering what aspects I should include. So far, I've included awards I've won, my dedication to the organization (it's one of my former ROTC officers), general standing compared to my peers, and my academics. Anything else? Any particular way I should style it? Also, how long should it be?

    Lastly, when addressing the letter, since one letter will be written for multiple schools, how do you open it? "Dear respective medical school admissions board"?

    Thanks
     
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  3. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1
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    Everything you've mentioned, with the exception of standing compared to peers, can be gathered from your AMCAS and transcripts. You want you letters to reflect the academic side, sure, but you need them to make you sound like someone that would be a good interview. For example, how do you interact with peers? How do you handle stress? Are you mature enough to handle medical school, medicine in general? What qualities do you daily exhibit that are also characteristics of a great doctor? The bottom line: transcripts and AMCAS give a somewhat objective evaluation. Letter and essays are the subjective components.

    I don't really think it matters to whom the letter is addressed. Are all the letters first going to your pre-med advisor? If so, his or her name would be appropriate, even if he or she is going to forward the letters on to the appropriate schools. "To Whom It Concerns" always works. This is not a big issue. Don't worry about it.
     
  4. alwaysaangel

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    He can mention all the things you listed. But its better if its in the context of more personal qualities.

    Also, when I was getting my letters my writers asked what I wanted them to focus on. Like a main point. So before you ask for letters I recommend that you figure out what angle you are going for in your application: which one thing makes you stand out from the thousands of other applicants all of whom have clinical experience, research, a GPA and an MCAT score. Then you can ask your writer to emphasize that aspect of your personality.
     
  5. midn

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    Thanks for the replies.

    As per the "compared to my peers" statement, I meant compared to my peers in ROTC. We have something called "military aptitude" which is a on a 5.0 scale and encompasses an all-around score concerning physical abilities, leadership, etc. I think it would be worthwhile mentioning that since I got the highest score during my freshman year.

    The focus I was planning on was that I was able to maintain a full college course load with a good GPA and military aptitude score.

    I'll have to think over the personal qualities/maturity stuff...
     
  6. alwaysaangel

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    Well remember that that focus needs to relate back to why you will be successful in medical school and why you will make a good doctor. You really want to stand out among the other applicants. Does doing this relate to your future goals or anything like that so it could be a little more relevant?
     
  7. midn

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    Yes, it does. Sorry I'm not being completely explicit; I take for granted that people know the enormous work load that comes with being in ROTC.

    I got it, believe me. :)
     
  8. alwaysaangel

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    Yeah, but be careful about taking for granted that adcomms know about it when you apply. A lot of them won't. Be as explicit as possible.
     

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