Choosing the Right Medical School Letter of Recommendation Writer

11 months ago, Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 01:37:31
Choosing the Right Medical School Letter of Recommendation Writer
Author: Michelle Finkel, MD Having read many letters of recommendation (LORs) as a Harvard Assistant Residency Director, I can tell you that these letters matter much more than I thought when I was crafting my own residency and medical school applications. One little considered fact: Mediocre letters (not to mention frankly bad ones) are a lost opportunity at best and a fast way to bomb your residency or medical school application at worst. It is critical that you get strong letters of recommendation. One major factor in getting those includes asking the right people. Different medical schools are seeking different sources of your letters. Many medical schools require at least two science professors and one non-science professor to submit LORs on your behalf. Some also require a letter from your principal investigator (PI) if you have done research. Many medical schools now prefer a composite letter from a premedical advisor or committee. (For students attending schools that do not provide this service, individual letters from faculty members can be substituted.) And if that isn’t confusing enough, some medical schools have time limits on their letters; they may require that no LORs are older than a year. Remember that your letters have a big impact on your residency and medical school application, and a mediocre letter can bomb your candidacy.


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