The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Podcast 63: Letters of Recommendation for the PreMed Virtual Summit

In case you missed the PreMedSummit- here is another piece of the invaluable information! Go to to learn how you can still get all of this essential pre-med advice!

[0:52] The basic requirements for letters of recommendation.

Dr. Yoediono recommends getting five letters of recommendation: two from a science professor, one from a non-science professor, and two from outside of academia. You should also look at each medical school’s website to see if they ask for anything specific. Students tend to have a harder time getting these letters from science professors.

[3:59] Committee letters.

This is a letter written by a pre-health committee or a pre-health advisor at your school. It is essentially the school’s official assessment of you. It can count as one of the five letters of recommendation. Committee letters are based on a template and getting them personalized depends on the school. Some schools do not offer committee letters at all.

[8:18] When to start thinking about letters of recommendation.

February or early March in the year you’re planning to apply is when Dr. Yoediono says you should start thinking about these letters. The people you’re asking for letters from are busy with their job and with other students asking for letters.

Before this, developing relationships starts as soon as you step on campus. There are three things you can do to start building relationships: take advantage of office hours, go to review sessions, and even become a TA.

Some people think it’s a good idea to let the professor know right away that you intend to ask for a letter of recommendation, but Dr. Yoediono sees no advantage to this approach.

[16:17] The title of the professor.

It does not matter if the letter comes from a Senior Professor or Associate Professor. The main thing is receiving an in-depth assessment about yourself. Title will not dictate how well they know you. A TA can write you a letter if it is on the behalf of the professor or if the professor co-signs it.

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