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Letters of Reference

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Few questions:


-How long should it be? I know there isn't a specified length but would a one pager be frowned upon?

-I've heard you need 2 academic and one community. I have one academic and 2 community, as the community people have worked with me for longer and know be better to write a letter. Is this okay? Will it put me at a disadvantage?

-Does one need to be from an MD? I've also heard this before too.

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1- As long as it's a strong letter, I don't see why 1 page shouldn't be fine. There's no need for the letter writer to ramble on endlessly.

2- If the school you're applying to has strict requirements on who writes the letters, stick to those. If they don't (most Canadian schools) then get whoever will write you the strongest letters. I know a few people who got into med that had all 3 of there letters be from community people or who had none from an academic person.

3- No.

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I'll tell you about my reference letters:


2 from PhD professors (both psych)

1 from a special needs kindergarten teacher

(so no MD)


-I believe all my reference letters with 2+ pages long (with the longest being around 3 or 4)

-it is kind of tough to write a strong reference letter in 1 page single sided (because the letter needs to include the heading information and the signature information, all of which take up at least 1/3 of the page)


-each school's website tells you their recommendation on who should be writing you letters (but for Ontario schools, I believe it doesn't matter)

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Read this if you haven't yet.


Canadian schools don't really care who it is (within reason) so long as they have both the opportunity and capacity to comment on your character and attributes.


US schools are generally quite a bit more strict with respect to who writes your letter so if you're applying south of the border definitely check out the requirements on their admissions pages.

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