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Deadline for reference letters


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I'm applying to CaRMS next year (not this year) and was looking over my schedule for clerkship.

If I have an elective right before the CaRMS deadline, will I still be able to get a reference letter from the preceptor I work with? I know the CaRMS deadline is normally in November but I saw some info indicating that the deadline for letters is actually a bit later - in December.

 

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The deadlines are all posted on the CaRMS website: https://www.carms.ca/match/r-1-main-residency-match/r-1-match-timeline/

Last year it was February, and this year it’s Jan 31. Next year is likely to be similar. Whether or not you can get a reference in time will depend on the preceptor. Plenty of people have gotten last minute references but plenty have been burned. Make sure you have other options if it’s not in in time. 

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Can someone enlighten me please? If the deadline for LORs is January 31, should I schedule my important electives early in the year? But on the other hand, if the 4th year electives start in August, then by the end of December, theoretically, all of the electives should be finished (~21 weeks). The last preceptor will have the whole month to write the letter. Am I missing anything?

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37 minutes ago, who_knows said:

Can someone enlighten me please? If the deadline for LORs is January 31, should I schedule my important electives early in the year? But on the other hand, if the 4th year electives start in August, then by the end of December, theoretically, all of the electives should be finished (~21 weeks). The last preceptor will have the whole month to write the letter. Am I missing anything?

No, you aren’t missing anything. There’s just no perfect answer, and what works best will vary by person, specialty applying to, school schedule, etc. For example, some people prefer to have important electives late so they have the most experience and perceive that as giving the best chance at getting a good letter. Some people prefer to have electives early when they’re more fresh off vacation, or because they still are deciding between specialties. Depending on how competitive electives are for the specialty you’re applying to, there’s a good chance you end up taking what you can get when you can get it. You also should have more options for letters than the bare minimum - what if the elective you thought would give you the perfect letter doesn’t go that well? You need to have options. 

And yes, in theory, a month should be plenty of time for preceptors to write a letter. Do the vast majority get them in on time? Yes. Do some leave it until the last possible minute and stress students to the maximum? Yes. Do some actually flake and end up not responding or submitting it late (either intentionally or not). Yes. I’ve seen it all. 

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