Medical school admission committees place a great deal of weight on an applicant's letters of recommendation. You should attend to this aspect of your application with care and organization. We suggest that you obtain six letters of evaluation, including two or three from faculty members who have taught you in the sciences, one or two from non-science faculty, and others from additional sources such as someone who has supervised you in a summer internship, someone for whom you have worked, a coach, etc. Obviously, a person who knows you well can write a stronger letter than someone who knows you only slightly. In choosing between someone who taught you in a small class and a prominent individual who has little basis upon which to write a personal letter, select the former. Candidates applying to osteopathic programs should include a letter from a D.O. as well.
Your health professions recommendations should be specific to the type of program to which you are applying; i.e., medical school, dental school, veterinary school, optometry school.... These letters will be released only to support your application to the health profession program for which they were written, and for related scholarships.
Candidates seeking a strong, well-written letter of evaluation should remember that their request places a serious, time-consuming responsibility on the evaluator. You can help your recommender write the best possible letter by following the guidelines listed below:
It is your responsibility to insure that your letters of recommendation are on file. Rounding up all you recs can be one of the greatest challenges of the application process, so please plan to start requesting them well in advance of the March 15 deadline. Don't be surprised if you have to give some folks a friendly reminder or two before their letters actually arrive! Check the status of your credential file. Please discuss any special problems with the health professions advisor.
When indicating to the medical schools how you will be completing their requirements for letters of recommendation, state that you will be submitting a Committee Letter, with Seth Ramus identified as the Health Professions Advisor. Do not list the individuals whose recommendations will be a part of your packet; if you do so, any unforeseen delay with one letter will hold up your entire application.