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Reference Letters

Reference letters, also called letters of recommendation, are documents that are prepared by the faculty at your college which speak to your skills and intelligence as a student. Along with the interview, letters of recommendation are an extremely important part of the medical school application. They are a judge of your fledgling professional ability to medical schools. Reference letters display a professional assessment of your abilities as a student as well as competence and potential for graduate study.

As a general rule, you are required to submit five (5) letters of recommendation in order to get into medical school. These letters must come as follows...

Getting those 5 reference letters to become solid is no easy task and often involves you building a relationship with your professors and bosses outside of the classroom. By standing out in the crowd and getting your professor to know you personally in the classes you do well in, you will have a much better chance to get a solid letter of recommendation. So see your professors after class, speak your mind and do extra projects like research, independent study or study abroad. These experiences will not only boost your resume, but provide you with invaluable contacts for writing letters of recommendation when the time comes.

A sample group of people to get letters of recommendation from

How to get a Reference Letter

So how do you go about asking your professors for reference letters? A lot of students come from the perspective that this a favor done for a student but instead from a professors perspective it is an essential part of their job. The entire education system depends on reference letters so do not let your lack of social comfort get in the way of receiving a deserved letter.

One of the best tactics in asking your professors for a reference letter is to give them at least a month or a few weeks in advance as they might have other obligations and research to fulfill. Be prepared to give them information about the programs you want to study and where you are thinking about heading in the future.

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