Nicholaus

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Dec 9, 2007
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I asked my Surgery attending if he would consider writing me an LOR the other day and he told me to draft one myself and he would read over it and sign it.

So, how do I go about writing my own LOR? I don't want to put words in his mouth, but at the same time, since I'm applying to Surgery programs the letter needs to be very strong! I've never written my own LOR so I'm pretty overwhelmed. Any advice, recommendations, or suggestions?

Thanks in advance :)
 

Rogue Synapse

The Dude Has Got No Mercy
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Apr 11, 2006
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I've had this experience in the past. It's a really weird position to be in. You have to balance your natural humility, a trait normally valued by people, with the need to do whatever it takes to get into your program of choice. I was really afraid of saying things about myself that weren't exactly true, so I undersold my qualities and probably wrote a weaker letter than my professor would have otherwise. I will never see whether he changed the letter at all, but it apparently didn't keep me out of med school. If I had the opportunity to do it again for a residency LOR, I would definitely stretch it to the limit and write a letter describing the best medical student in history. The worst your attending could do is edit it down a bit before signing it or say they're not comfortable signing it and you could tone it down a bit yourself. I don't know, that's just me.
 

Shalom77

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Jan 14, 2007
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I was given advice to put a lot of concrete factual information in there that of course portrays you in a good light as evidence to those excellent qualities your mentioned. The opinion stuff can be edited but if they don't know about some of your academic accomplishments or that you had an award winning poster at a national conference, were the head of a student organization (as an example of your leadership skills), or volunteered in the free medical clinic or that even with the demands of medical school, your ran the Boston marathon one year, etc they can't put that in. Being specific also gives the impression that they know you well (whether true or not.)

I didn't write one for residency - but I have written one before. Have someone else read it, preferably more than one someone else.