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How to best go about getting early carms letters

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I'm currently doing summer electives between my second and third year and I met a preceptor I really clicked well with and was thinking of asking for a letter. I'm completely clueless about how letters work and I may be wrong but I was under the impression that the process has changed recently with electronic letters being accepted. How should I go about with this letter? I wasn't sure if I should a) get the preceptor to send the letter to carms now (not sure if they would even accept it), b) have them write the letter now and send it to me or keep it themselves c) contact them two years from now for a letter when applying to carms . 

I'm worried that c) will just cause them to have forgotten about me by the time I apply to carms. Option b seems like the best option, but I wasn't sure what the commonly accepted protocol is. Is it forwned upon for them to send you the letter? If I did this would I be able to just send them the letter when I am applying and just have them send it off themselves?  

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2 hours ago, Lactic Folly said:


This is the instruction sheet for early references. The letters should never be sent to the applicant directly.

Doesn't this just apply for letters that are slightly before the deadline? I'm not sure if I even have a carms profile. Would my profile have just been made automatically when I enrolled in medical school? 

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I would encourage you to try and use letters that are from your clerkship years or from preceptors that have interacted with you now but also later in clerkship (i.e. closer to the CaRMS deadline). Letters are likely to be evaluated on perceived strength of applicant (i.e. functioning at level of a resident, top 5%, top 20%), the persons credibility (senior staff vs. resident), and length of time they've known you. A letter from your pre-clerkship year is not only less recent but also less likely to be as strong as it could be once you've gained more clinical experience.

Your gestalt around your positive interaction with this preceptor is important to pick up on and so I would recommend you reach out to them to do an additional elective in clerkship or to work with them in a longitudinal fashion over the coming months (i.e. extra shifts, research). The longer they know you, the more they see you grow as a student-physician, the better the letter will likely be and the more weight it will hold.


/My 2 cents. 

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