OldPreMeds Podcast
OldPreMeds Podcast
Jan 27, 2016
6: How to get the Best Letters of Recommendation as a Nontrad
Play • 10 min

Session 6

Ryan and Rich answer your questions over at the OldPreMeds.orghere on the OldPreMeds Podcast. In today's episode, they will touch on letters of recommendation - what the admissions committee is looking for, how to get strong ones, and when is the best time to get them.

OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

How do you get a good letters of recommendation? Do you need to take more upper division science course work to get a good letter of recommendation? Does the letter of recommendation need to come from a professor you interacted recently?

Here are the insights from Ryan & Rich:

Many medical schools require 2 science professors and 1 non-science professor for a letter of recommendation

What the admissions committee wants to see from the letter of recommendation:

How you're evaluated in a class setting in recent history

Ways to get good letters of recommendation:

  1. Take another course or two and make an attempt to network and get a letter written.

  1. Get a committee letter which takes away the need for specific individual letter requirements and get one overall evaluation from your undergraduate school.

  1. Some schools have recommendations for nontraditional students

  • SUNY Upstate Medical School- Students who graduated more than 5 years ago and are currently employed may submit one letter of recommendation from a current supervisor or someone form a science faculty they took a course from a while ago
  • Weill Cornell Medicine (Cornell University)- Supervisor at work or research professor; students working in career fields like nursing or other medical fields can get a letter of recommendation from a supervisor from a physician you work with that may be useful

General Note:Students (nontraditional especially) should think about networking when they start going back to medical school because they need to get good letters of recommendation.

When is the time to get letters of recommendation?

Don't wait until application season to ask for letters of recommendation.  You can have your letters sent to Interfolio.com and they will hold on to the letters until you're ready to apply to medical school.

If you feel that a person is going to write you a strong letter of recommendation, ask for it even if you're applying next year.

Major takeaways from this episode:

Make an effort to network and even as you go into medical school, network early because you will need letters of recommendation again when you apply for residency.

Schools have different specific requirements for letters of recommendation so check out the MSAR and go through the College Information Book to find out what each school wants for letters.

Links and Other Resources

If you have questions you want answered here on the OldPremeds Podcast, go to oldpremeds.org and register for an account. Go into the forums and ask a question.

Listen to our first episode at OPMPodcast.com/1 to find out more about who we are.

Also check out the Premed Years Podcast at www.medicalschoolhq.net.

Find us on iTunes and go to opmpodcast.com/itunes and leave us a rating and review.

Check out MedEdMedia.com for all the shows that we produce including the Medical School Headquarters and the OldPreMeds Podcast. We will soon be launching a medical school podcast as well so stay tuned!

Email Dr. Ryan Gray at ryan@oldpremeds.org or connect with him on Twitter @medicalschoolhq.

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