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asking for reference letter from core emerg rotation


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Our EM rotation is ~4 weeks long and we do ~13-14 shifts. I have 5 shifts with the same core preceptor and the remainder of my shifts are each with a different physician. I have been getting generally strong feedback from this core preceptor and so am hoping to ask them for a reference letter but am not sure if 5 shifts would be enough for a strong letter. I have no continuity with the other docs, so I can't ask for a joint letter with someone else. I could try to pick up an extra shift or two with this preceptor if that would make a difference? Anybody have insight on EM preceptors' expectations in terms of hours/shifts worked before asking for a letter? 

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Just ask them. It's incredibly normal to ask for reference letters, and better to ask them for it before you work with them so they can pay attention. Say I have 5 shifts with you, do you think that would give you enough exposure to write me a strong letter of recommendation, and say that you could swap shifts with your classmates or pick up extra shifts with this person if not.

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8 hours ago, bearded frog said:

Just ask them. It's incredibly normal to ask for reference letters, and better to ask them for it before you work with them so they can pay attention. Say I have 5 shifts with you, do you think that would give you enough exposure to write me a strong letter of recommendation, and say that you could swap shifts with your classmates or pick up extra shifts with this person if not.

Thanks for this- I've already worked 3 shifts with this preceptor so I'll ask at the beginning of my next one so they can pay attention! This preceptor does know I'm hoping to go into emerg (we've talked about it) so I don't think it will come as a surprise request.

 

8 hours ago, shikimate said:

5 shifts within 1 week is enough to get a good idea of someone's skill and aptitude. 

It's 5 shifts over ~3 weeks so hopefully they will be able to see some longitudinal growth/development too!

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Definitely ask - you have nothing to lose :) I was able to get a very strong reference letter from an emerge preceptor after 4 shifts, and honestly feel that I could have still asked after 3 with this preceptor, too. 

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I've heard of people getting letters after 2 shifts on emerg electives, when they're likely sharper right out of the gate. I think 5 shifts on the core is very doable, especially if you've already gotten positive feedback

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Yes, 5 shifts with the same preceptor is probably more than average for EM rotations. Most of them will factor in feedback from all the attendings who worked with you. I would definitely get a letter from this core rotation and then you can pick and choose after electives later.

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