Are you planning to file your medical school application in 2023? We suggest that you do not take it for granted. It is estimated that several times more applicants than usual will apply this year, thanks to the lifting of all pandemic-induced restrictions everywhere in the world. How to make your application strong? Well, there are a few elements but the most important of all is a recommendation letter. The good news is that we have brought this blog to you with everything you need to know about medical school letter of recommendation.
In this blog, we will introduce you to:
- How to write a letter of recommendation for medical school?
- The important points you need to incorporate into the letter of recommendation for medical school
- Letter of recommendation for medical school samples
By reading this blog carefully, you will be ready to draft a powerful medical school LOR.
What Is a Letter Of Recommendation Medical School?
Letter of recommendation for medical school refers to the letter that medical school students need to produce before a higher education board or a recruitment panel when they apply for higher studies or jobs. The letter is typically written by any known faculty or project manager or colleague who has associated with the candidate for not less than six months.
Why is it Important?
Medical schools and hospitals are very particular about the candidates they hire for jobs, internships, or training. Not only that, they want to ensure highly academically efficient candidates are selected. They want to shortlist candidates with good character. A reference throws a light on all those aspects. Here are five reasons why a medical school reference letter is so important.
- It elucidates the candidate’s potential to succeed in the medical profession or medical school education.
- It gives a third-person point of view regarding the candidate’s character, accomplishments, and strengths.
- Medical school LOR helps the panel to learn in what ways the candidate outdoes other applicants.
- It gives a quantitative assessment of the candidate’s achievements.
- It helps the admission panel to know whether the candidate will live up to their expectations
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Questions to Help You Write a Powerful Medical School Letter of Recommendation
The answers to the following questions will make content for a powerful medical school recommendation letter.
Why do you want to recommend this candidate?
Know the purpose of writing this recommendation letter. Also, ask yourself whether you truly want to recommend this candidate. If you cannot write a genuine recommendation letter, politely reject the request.
How do you know the candidate?
Explain in what capacity you have known the candidate and how deeply you know them. Mentioning the duration of your association will make it more solid.
How did the candidate stand out from the rest?
Talk about any quality that made this candidate different from his/her peers. Share an example for more clarity.
Why do you think the candidate is suitable for the chosen program or job?
Based on your association with the candidate and observing their character, reaction, and attitude in given situations, try to show why you think the candidate is suitable for the chosen medical school program or job.
Why do you think the candidate has the potential to undertake this course/job efficiently?
Again, based on your observation of the candidate’s performance, focus and integrity in taking up a project under your supervision, show how you rate the candidate’s potential to succeed in the course or job they are going to select.
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What Do The Selection Committee Want To See In A Letter Of Recommendation Medical School?
Having associated with many incumbent and retired medical school selection panel members, we have been able to pinpoint five important characteristics that selection officers want to see in a medical school recommendation letter. They are:
- Details and examples that show the integrity and honesty of the candidate.
- An LOR that sounds genuine and balanced without overly praising the candidate.
- Proof that the candidate being recommended truly deserves a seat on account of his/her potential.
- Measurable evidence for the candidate’s achievements or accomplishments, for instance, rank in the class
- Examples of the candidate’s personal qualities such as communication skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, managerial skills etc.
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How Long Does Your Letter Of Recommendation Medical School Need To Be?
There is no strict rule regarding the length of medical school LOR. However, it is advisable to keep it short and concise. Not less than 400 words though. The ideal length of your LOR could be between 400 and 500 words.
Medical School Letter of Recommendation Examples
The following medical school LOR samples will give you a clear overview of how to write and what to write. Read the sample carefully and note down the points that strike you.
Dear [Recipient’s Name],
It is with a great sense of honour that I am writing this recommendation letter for Mrs XXXX as he seeks admission to your esteemed medical school. I have known him for over three years in the capacity of a head teacher while he did his senior secondary school at XXX. He had exhibited his interest in the healthcare profession back then I had encouraged him. As he finally takes this major step towards his dream, I honestly support him. He deserves it.
Besides being the headteacher, I taught him chemistry. It was a subject most students found difficult. XXX too found it difficult initially but he insisted to build a deep knowledge of the subject and was very punctual with his coursework and assignments. While most students concentrated on completing senior secondary school, XXX went a step ahead of all. He wanted to figure out how subjects like Chemistry would benefit him in his future career path which is medicine. In addition to my subject, XXX maintained consistency of excellence in all other subjects. Parallelly, he kept on improving on critical thinking, solving complicated problems and reasoning.
XXX has excellent time management skills. Normally, students would take a year after their senior secondary school for the medical entrance exam. XXX managed to find time to prepare for the entrance test during senior secondary school and cleared it along with the senior secondary school exams. It was a remarkable achievement for him. In my ten years of professional life as a teacher, I have only come across three students who made such a great achievement.
Apart from his academic excellence, what sets him apart from the rest is his kindness. He took a special effort to help his classmates who were academically weak. After the regular class hours, he would cover topics that they found difficult to grasp. XXXX has a true desire to make a positive impact on people whom he interacts with daily and this unique quality makes him an ideal candidate for a career in medicine.
I strongly believe that the academic excellence, time management skills and personal virtues of XXX would make him suitable for your medical school program. I have no doubt that he will continue to excel and contribute to your institute. Should you require any further clarification about XXXX, feel free to get back to me at my email address (xxxx) or phone (xxx).
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Guidelines for Using Medical School Recommendation Letter Samples
For the best result from the samples, adhere to the following guidelines.
- Download your sample letter of recommendation for medical school from a reliable source or database. It is better to avoid free samples found online.
- While reading the sample, jot down anything new that you notice in it, for instance, medical school letter of recommendation template.
- Brainstorm your points while reviewing the medical school recommendation letter samples.
- Use the sample reading as a starting point to write your own unique medical school recommendation letter.
- Try to figure out the expectations from the sample reading. While each LOR is expected to be different, all of it touches on a common theme
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How To Write A Letter Of Recommendation For Medical School?
Writing LOR, like any other writing project, comes in handy when you apply the right strategies and steps. Here are six easy and simple steps to help you write a powerful LOR for medical school.
- Write an introduction: Start your LOR by writing a strong introduction highlighting the purpose of the letter and then establishing your association with the candidate. Explain why you recommend the candidate.
- Academic excellence: In the second paragraph of the letter, talk about the candidate’s academic excellence as per your observation. Show where the candidate was ranked in the batch. Talk about the candidate’s skills, strengths, achievements etc with examples.
- Personal values and character: In the next paragraph, highlight the candidate’s personal values such as honesty, integrity, etc. Show how the candidate stood out from the rest of the application on account of his/her personal values.
- Conclusion: Conclude the letter by strongly emphasizing the candidate’s aptness for the medical school program and your recommendation. Add your contact details and share your readiness to be contacted in case of any need.
- Validate with a sample: Once you have finished writing the LOR, compare it to a sample and see if it meets all requirements. It is important to ensure that your LOR looks at par with or better than the sample in terms of readability.
- Proofread and submit: Finally, proofread your recommendation letter carefully. Make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes in it. We recommend that you proofread the letter at least four times before submitting it.
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Who Should Write Your Medical School Letter of Recommendation?
If you need a medical school letter of recommendation, you can consider the following people to write it for you.
- Healthcare professionals: Any healthcare professional with whom you have associated in the past for more than six months can write your medical school LOR. For instance, reporting physician, nurse, nursing supervisor etc.
- Professor: A professor who has taught you a clinical subject can know about your academic achievements and character and thus write your LOR.
- Mentor: Have you been mentored by anyone when you started practising medicine? If so, your mentor could be considered for writing the recommendation letter.
- Project manager: If you have done any project or internship during your medical school training outside your college, the project manager who oversaw your work can write your medical school recommendation letter.
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Does Your Recommendation Letter Tick the Following Checkboxes?
- Does the letter have a powerful and catchy introduction that creates a first impression in the reader?
- Does the LOR strongly recommend the candidate?
- Does the LOR fall in the recommended word count – between 400 and 500 words?
- Does the LOR give clarity regarding the association between the candidate and the referee?
- Does the LOR provide the referee’s contact details?
- Is the LOR comprehensive enough, giving clear supporting information for all the points discussed?
Dos and Don’ts in Writing Letter Of Recommendation For Medical School
- Provide supporting information and evidence for each point.
- Write in a positive and pleasant tone.
- Write in simple language avoiding complex vocabulary or jargon.
- Prepare for the LOR writing by reading samples and understanding expectations.
- Contact a referee with whom you share a bond to write your medical school reference letter.
- Wait until the last minute to write the LOR thinking it is a simple document.
- Request the referee by mail or phone for the LOR. Meet them in person and request it.
- Write the LOR if you are not hundred percent happy to recommend the candidate.
- Ask LOR from the people in similar positions. Get it from diverse persons instead, for instance, a mentor, HOD, professor or doctor.
- Forget to thank the referee. You will require their follow-up if the admission panel asks.
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Have you been able to write your medical school letter of recommendation with the help of this blog?
It is important to write a unique and powerful letter to help your candidate secure his/her seat.
We hope the letter of recommendation for medical school samples, tips, and steps shared in this blog were useful.
In case you want us to enlighten you further regarding any areas discussed in this blog, let us know in the comments.