ERAS Application, Part V: Letters of Recommendation

By | December 2, 2014

CHL-Mailing

Another crucial aspect of your application that interviewers and committees will see are your letters of recommendation. These should truly be shining displays of your character and competency as a future physician. To avoid ending up with a generic letter, make sure you request your letters from physicians who know you very well. I have personally seen letters that are “cookie cutter” and don’t have any glowing or spectacular words included. To me, that’s basically a poor recommendation. On the other hand, if the physician who writes the letter states something like, “I would absolutely recommend this person for your program”, or “He/she is among the best students I have ever worked with”, then you’ve done your job. Having three or four letters like that will give you a major boost. Of course, you won’t know what your letter writers say about you, so thats why its so important to make sure you are requesting your letters from the people who know you well. Getting letters from notable people in the specialty you are applying to or people that the committee members know personally or professionally are also smart moves. These can give you additional talking points in interviews since interviewers typically read your letters ahead of time. You will also gain respect and credibility in advance of your interviews and during the review process. Lastly, make sure you request your letters early and give your letter writers ample time to complete them.