A beaming medical school letter of recommendation is one of the most crucial components to completing an AMCAS application.
However, when compared to the daunting personal statement essays and MCAT preparation, a few simple letters of recommendation would seem a cinch.
But like any aspect to completing your intricate medical school application, compiling a stellar medical school letter of recommendation will take some earnest effort and contemplation on your part.
What Admissions Teams Expect from Your Medical School Letter of Recommendation
Institutions use a medical school letter of recommendation to assess not only a candidate’s previous work ethic and expertise through the eyes of a close observer, but a candidate’s ability to form substantial professional relationships as well.
Generally speaking, medical schools will require two science letters and one non-science medical school letter of recommendation upon application. And depending on the school, an applicant might be asked to supply a letter from a boss, coach or mentor.
However, don’t ask just anyone for a medical school letter of recommendation. When considering a potential writer, keep in mind:
1. Is this a physician, faculty member or close professional mentor that would speak highly of my work? If it’s a faculty member, did I receive good grades in their class and visit regularly during office hours?
2. Would this person be able to recognize me by name?
3. Has this person spent enough time observing my work that they can make an extensive, accurate description of my strengths, talents and potential?
Never ask a friend or family member to write a recommendation.
Asking for a Medical School Letter of Recommendation
After you’ve honed in on the perfect candidates for writing a rec letter, start considering the tools your writer might need.
Although they’re likely to be able to gage your overall academic and medical success, you’ll need to supply your writer with some necessary basics, like your transcripts, a resume, and any notable qualities you’d like your letter writer to mention.
And don’t forget to relay why you’re interested in a medical field career, as this will be the base for which your letter writer will theme his/her message.
While a stellar medical school letter of recommendation is integral to completing your AMCAS application effectively, be sure to explore our array of application tips (personal statement writing, MCAT preparation, and important dates).