Medical school is the perfect arena if you are passionate about saving lives. But like law schools, medical schools also require a recommendation letter that will set you apart from other applicants. The recommendation letter will present your academic achievements and positive traits that will convince the institution to approve your application. To give you a brief background about this letter, read further below. Read More
A medical school recommendation letter is a letter crafted for an applicant to vouch for their academic achievements and positive traits. The applicant then requests for the letter of recommendation personally to the chosen advocate. This advocate is either a professor, supervisor, or any other professional who has worked with you throughout your academic life.
According to U.S. News, among all the applicants who submitted applications to U.S. medical schools for the school year 2018-2019, only 41% enrolled. While remarkable grades are a yardstick for acceptance, life experiences are also sought by institutions to gauge the applicant’s competence.
How to Write a Winning Medical School Recommendation Letter?
Before crafting the letter, sit down with the applicant first, and discuss the previous feedback and performances that you might have forgotten. Write them down so you will have a basis when writing the letter. Once you have gathered the necessary information, create the letter.
Here are the tips below on how to write a winning medical school recommendation letter:
1. Include Date of the Letter
Start the letter by including the date you wrote the letter. The date will make it easier for the institution to track admissions. Include this in the topmost part of the message. Along with that, you should include the name of the recipient, title, and address.
As much as possible, use titles instead of the generic To Whom It May Concern. The applicant should be able to give you the name of the recipient.
2. Discuss Relationship with the Applicant
Discuss how you have come to know the applicant. You can do this seamlessly by introducing yourself first and stating your title. Explain your observations about their behavior, work ethic, and how they provide solutions to every problem encountered.
3. Detail Distinctive Characteristics and Accomplishments
Next is to detail their distinctive characteristics that show how they approach the problem at hand. Terms such as hardworking and passionate can be used here. Avoid generic and exaggerated terms that will throw off the reader. In medical school, extracurricular activities are essential—so, highlight them as much as possible. Keep everything truthful, insightful, and straight to the point.
4. Specify How the Applicant Will be a Good Contribution
Given the characteristics and the accomplishments you just stated, specify how they will make a competent physician down the road. Relate their skills and abilities to the field of medicine and how they will be a perfect contribution to the said field. Recommend them positively to the reader.
5. Close the Letter Affirmatively
End the letter by stating that you are open to communicating with the reader. Provide your contact information with the days and times that you are available. Thank the reader also for taking the time to read then give a complimentary close with your full name and signature.
Proofread your letter after composing it. Your letter might have contextual errors that you fail to notice. Your reader will get discouraged if there are misspelled words or typos in the context. Tip: You may ask someone to read your letter because they can spot errors that you cannot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it acceptable to write the recommendation letter yourself?
The only acceptable time to do so is when your professor or supervisor asks you to do it. In short, you write the letter on their terms. The person may instruct you to do so when the circumstances simply do not allow them. Do not write anything that the person does not wish to put on the letter.
What makes a medical school recommendation letter effective?
An effective medical school recommendation letter is written by someone who knows you academically. This person is more likely a professor or a supervisor that can advocate you well. Choose wisely because recommendation letters are a major factor in the deciding process of admission.
What should I do if I don’t have a recommendation letter?
If you think that no professor or supervisor really knows you well, you can still ask them to write a letter for you. Approach them personally and politely convince them to write for you. It also helps to point out the urgency.
How long should my recommendation letter be?
A letter should be concise. Keep the content to a maximum of two paragraphs. Furthermore, your letter should be kept on one page only because a two-page letter looks improper and unprofessional. Keep the letter short and informative.
How many people should I ask to make me a recommendation letter?
That depends on the requirements of your school. To be on the safe side, don’t just ask one person—instead, ask for four people to write you a recommendation letter. Choose the ones that know you well—one that can bring your credentials justice. And don’t ask the wrong person.
Physicians and surgeons have gone through the eye of the needle to arrive where they are now. One of the hurdles that they jumped over was getting into medical school. Among the equally-competent applicants, they have to think of ways to stand out from the crowd. Through the anecdotes of their previous professors and supervisors in a professional recommendation letter, their chances of getting admitted are increased.