- Careers in Medicine
- COM Policies
- CV and Personal Statement
- Dean's Letters
- Important Dates and Match Timeline
- The Interview
- Letters of Recommendation
- Match Terminology
- MS4 Scheduling
- NRMP Charting Outcomes
- NRMP: How the Match Works
- The Residency Application Dossier
- Web Resources
- Integrated Pre-Residency Program
Letters of Reccommendation (LOR)
You will need LoRs for ALL of the programs you apply for. Follow stipulations set forth by programs. Most programs want two to three letters in addition to the MSPE (Dean’s Letter). Many ask for a letter from the Department Chair (or Chair’s designee).
· ERAS limits the number of letters sent to any individual program to four.
· LoRs carry significant weight since they should have been written by those who have had a period of direct observation and meaningful contact with you.
How to ask for an LoR. Ask the potential LoR writer “May you please write for me a strong and positive LoR?” You want a letter that convincingly endorses your candidacy.
Identify potential letter writers early. If on a rotation with a faculty member from whom you would like an LoR, introduce the idea while on the service. Ask the faculty member to consider writing an LoR on your behalf when you are ready to apply to residency programs. If the faculty member indicates willingness, state that you will make an appointment to meet before the letter is written. If you want someone to write an LoR with whom you are not currently in regular contact, call the office and ask to schedule a meeting to discuss your request. Meet in person rather than communicate via email. Bring your CV and a draft of your personal statement to the meeting.
The best sources of letters are faculty members who have worked with you in a meaningful daily capacity. They are in the best position to know your abilities, personality, and professionalism and to be able to reflect most effectively upon your potential as a resident.
Once you have submitted and finalized your letter writers in MyERAS, you will be provided a “Letter Request Form.” You will present this form to the individuals from whom you are requesting LoRs. This letter request form will provide the details needed in order for your letter writer to load the letter through the LoR Portal. This form also includes a statement indicating that you waive your right to inspect the contents of the letter. Not all letters have to go to all programs.
One LoR needs to be from someone in your field of interest, but, unless specified otherwise, not all letters need to be from a single specialty. Being able to recruit positive endorsements from several specialties may show the breadth of your capability.
It is better to have letters from Chairs, Program Directors, Clerkship Directors, and Professors than from part-time faculty or resident physicians. And while it is better to have LoRs written for a specific specialty, it is acceptable to have non-specialty LoRs written. If considering multiple specialties, ask for individual LoRs for each discipline.
Starting with ERAS 2016 (the Class of 2016), the Office of Student Services will no longer have access to load any Letters of Recommendation. All LoRs must be loaded through the LoRP.