Medical School Recommendation Letters – What’s Special?
When students apply to medical school, they must submit at least two letters of recommendation from teachers or professors, honestly assessing their academic ability and creativity as future students. These letters play a large role in the decision on the admission of the applicant. This is why it is so essential to provide the admissions committee with any useful information. Let’s start by looking at some helpful instructions to help every student get into medical school.
Who Should You Contact for a Recommendation?
You cannot write a recommendation letter yourself. It is worth getting a recommendation from someone with experience in the field who knows you well and considers you a capable learner. If you want to study in medical school, ask the school’s class teacher to learn before and from the teacher in the relevant subject for recommendations.
A high school student should ask for two letters of recommendation: from the class teacher and a teacher or tutor in a specialized subject. It will be great if these letters complement each other. For example, the homeroom teacher will talk about your personal qualities, overall academic performance, and relationships with classmates. And the teacher – about your interest in the subject and what qualities will help you achieve success in your further studies in your specialty.
If one recommendation is required, ask the referee to describe your academic performance, personality, and specific knowledge of the subject as fully as possible. And remember, it’s okay to ask for a recommendation. In most schools, teachers even consider it part of their job. Teachers are always ready to help intelligent students enter a prestigious medical school. The main thing is to take the question seriously: tell us why you need a recommendation, why this particular teacher is asking for it.
How to Get a Recommendation?
First, talk to the teacher by phone or in person. Please tell us what you would like to receive a recommendation from him. Describe the program you plan to enroll in and the type of student that medical school will love.
Explain why the recommendation from this particular instructor would be helpful to you. Remind your teacher how he helped you overcome yourself and what he taught. Explain what you would like to see in the letter, what is worth emphasizing.
Be sure to include the dates when you need to have the letter on hand. It is advisable to write to the referee one month before. It’s better to have some time to spare than to rush and get a quick recommendation.
If the teacher agreed or promised to think about it, duplicate your request in the letter. Attach documents to the letter that will help the referrer in his work:
- A brief description of the program you are applying for.
- Provide your draft of a motivation letter for a couple of paragraphs. A common meaning should unite the recommendation and the letter of motivation. In a motivation letter, you talk about your merits. You prove why you should be admitted to the university. In the recommendation, the teacher says this about you.
- Provide your high school diploma or the points you expect to receive after graduation.
- Provide a brief description of the work that you performed for this teacher: abstracts, essays, presentations in the classroom. Perhaps you had some extracurricular projects: Olympiads, exhibitions, sports competitions. Be sure to remind yourself that you participated or helped organize them.
- Your resume. Briefly describe your studies, grades, achievements, attach a portfolio of your works that correspond to the chosen program. Even if the referrer is your homeroom teacher, they may not remember all of your achievements. This resume will help him shape your image as a talented student. Also, bringing all of your accomplishments together helps prepare a motivation letter or essay.
My Referee Declined: What to Do?
If one of the referrals declined, don’t be discouraged. Wait for a response from the next one. Think that only this referee can write the necessary letter for you? Try to call and find out the reasons for the refusal. Perhaps he misunderstood the task or is very busy right now. Once you understand the reasons, you can figure out how to help the teacher.
Requirements for Letters of Recommendation
- There are no specific requirements for medical school recommendation letters. But there are seven informal writing characteristics to stick to. Make sure your recommendations meet these specifications, or copy the requirements and send them to the referee.
- Volume: 1-2 pages. Long recommendation letters are tiresome to read. This volume is sufficient to indicate the main merits of the incoming.
- Link to program requirements. The recommendation should refer to the program’s requirements and write about why this particular student is suitable for it.
- A story about personal qualities, leadership, and achievements: prestigious universities look for individuals, not just academically successful students. It will be great if, from the recommendation, the selection committee learns about the student’s character, his will to win, the ability to gather the whole class to work on a project.
- Specificity and examples. Recommendations are credible, where examples back up statements. Do not write that the applicant is a “talented person.” It is better to tell that the student took part in charity events, helped the school nurse.
- Avoid clichés. Some phrases are so worn out that they are not credible and boring to read. For example, “strong leadership qualities”, “creativity”, “successful student”. It is better to describe the situations where the student showed himself immediately. You get both a fact and proof right away.
- Chip. The recommendation should be remembered. You can tell in the letter about some unusual achievement, or even insert an appropriate joke.
- True. Last but not least, it’s worth writing the truth. For the misappropriation of other people’s merits and deception of the selection committee, the student will be expelled from school even after admission.
Contents Medical School Recommendation Letter
To write an effective recommendation letter, the teacher must answer the main medical school questions in his story. You can provide a list of these questions to the referee to become a plan for writing a letter. The admissions committee needs to find answers to the following questions in the letter:
- How well does the referee know you?
- How does the teacher assess the student’s progress? Were there any cases when the student went beyond the program?
- Does the applicant have non-standard talents or abilities?
- How did the applicant interact with classmates and teachers?
- Do you think the choice of university is right for this student?
- How does the applicant feel about failures, and how does he try to correct them?
Also, tell the teacher the required amount of recommendation and the approximate structure of the letter. Today, there is no specific template for writing a recommendation letter, but you should adhere to the following structure for better perception. Introduction: here, the referee should introduce himself and explain how long and in what capacity he knows the applicant. The central part consists of a maximum of 5 paragraphs, which describe the applicant’s personal qualities and academic data. It is best if each of a young person’s qualities was supported by a particular situation in life. Conclusion: here, you need to describe why the chosen medical school is suitable for the applicant and what prospects will open up for him when receiving the chosen specialty.
Medical School Recommendation Letter: Example
As Kate Lawrence’s homeroom teacher for the past five years, I want to take this opportunity to recommend Kate Lawrence for your program. Kate Lawrence has always been the best student and pride in the school. Her real goal is to get an excellent education in the field of medicine. To achieve her goal, Kate demonstrates perseverance, efficiency, and high responsibility. To improve her knowledge, Kate takes part in various subject Olympiads and competitions.
Keith is an English Language Olympiad winner and a High School Chemistry Olympiad winner. Kate’s academic success did not go unnoticed. In the fall of 2020, the gymnasium recommended Kate for a trip to the Discovery Gifted Camp. Kate’s life interests are not limited to her studies. Keith is the winner of prizes in ballroom dancing competitions and has also been successfully playing tennis for several years. Also, Kate participates in many charitable organizations and helps our school nurse.
When Keith helped our school nurse, she proved to be a responsible, disciplined student who knows her job well. The primary duties that Kate performed were:
- performing treatment procedures prescribed by a nurse and keeping records of their implementation;
- monitor the timely receipt of the results of laboratory and other studies, paste them into the medical records of schoolchildren;
- carrying out measures to comply with the sanitary-disinfection and sanitary-anti-epidemic regime during the coronavirus.
As a class teacher, I want to add that Kate has a beautiful talent for communicating with people: she is an engaging conversationalist and an attentive listener. As a creative person, Kate takes part in extracurricular activities. Many activities in the school and the class were organized with her participation. Kate is a capable girl with many talents. At the same time, she is modest, responsible, and serious. If you have any questions about our student Kate Lawrence, please contact us immediately.
English teacher, class teacher:
Mrs. Jennifer Stachel
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