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What's a better LOR?


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Hello,

 

I am debating about who to ask to write my reference letters. I have worked in a lab for almost two years, so I am definitely getting my PI to write me one (who is also an MD), the second is covered and for the third I am wondering if I should get a lady with who I have volunteered with for 2 years and knows me relatively well or should I get a co-worker (who knows me relatively well) at my Lab who is a Doctor (MD) as well?

 

Which one do you think would look better/make more of an impact?? I am leaning towards my MD co-worker at the lab cuz she's a doctor (lol) but I don't know if using references from the same "field" and both (PI and co-worker) who know me from similar aspects will hinder its effect?

 

Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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Seems like the your PI can comment on your academics so having another individual (co-worker) who is in the same lab write a reference letter might not be the best route. I tried to diversify my reference letters with 2 of them from supervisors/professors that I've worked with (they weren't MDs mind you lol) and my third one came from the president of a student government group that I was a part of for 4 years. I think you should go with the volunteer lady so that not all your refs come from individuals in the 'academic' field. It shows you have a life out of school. My 2 cents.

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I would think about what the people could comment on in the letters. Your PI will comment on research and your work in the lab. Would your co-worker be able to comment on other/different things? On the other hand, through your volunteer position you've shown another aspect of yourself. You should try to have diversity in your letters, but ultimately pick whoever will write you the strongest letter. It doesn't matter if your LORs are written by MDs or not as a strong letter is key.

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i used a refernece for my academics (professor), research (PI) and volunteering (volunteer coordinator). As stated above make sure they will write you STRONG refernece letters, not just good ones. Try to make sure they use real life examples of you displaying a desired trait like empathy rather than them just saying "applicant X is the most empathetic person i have met". real life examples are key

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How does everyone choose an academic reference?

 

I have my other references picked out, a doctor that I did research with over the summer and then one of my volunteer coordinators (leadership position with youth); however, I don't really feel that any of my profs know me well enough to write a letter.

 

I do have some profs where I showed an interest in their class and they recognize me but I don't really think that is enough to give me a good reference letter. I was considering giving them a copy of my resume, but I still don't really think that would lead to a great letter. Another potential option would be to use my personal MCAT tutor, who can see that I'm working hard to get a great score, but I don't think that would be looked upon favorably or really lead to a great letter either.

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For Canadian schools, it's not mandatory to have an academic reference. If you don't have a prof who you feel will write you a strong non-generic letter, then don't worry about it. It's far more important to have great letters that speak to your personal strengths than have a basic letter commenting on your grades and stuff that schools can read about in your sketch.

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I applied last year as a second year with a high school teacher reference and I got an above average LOR score. But my teacher was a little hesitant about writing me one last year, since they weren't too sure how it would be assessed, even though they thought I was a great student.

 

I was just nervous for not having an academic reference for OMSAS since that seemed to be one of the three components that they were looking for in the LORs.

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I applied last year as a second year with a high school teacher reference and I got an above average LOR score. But my teacher was a little hesitant about writing me one last year, since they weren't too sure how it would be assessed, even though they thought I was a great student.

 

I was just nervous for not having an academic reference for OMSAS since that seemed to be one of the three components that they were looking for in the LORs.

 

It's not about the teacher, lol, it's about you! Encourage the teacher. It just needs to be honest, give examples to demonstrate credibility and strongly advocate for you.

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I followed the doctor/professor/sports coach, boss at work or other hobby formula. This provides you with a person who can vouch for a broad range of aptitudes and skillsets that you have. Too many doctors is actually worse. Queens even suggests on their we page (or they did at least) that one of them should be a character reference

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  • 1 year later...
I applied last year as a second year with a high school teacher reference and I got an above average LOR score. But my teacher was a little hesitant about writing me one last year, since they weren't too sure how it would be assessed, even though they thought I was a great student.

 

I was just nervous for not having an academic reference for OMSAS since that seemed to be one of the three components that they were looking for in the LORs.

 

Hi mddreamer, how did you know your LOR score from OMSAS last year? I have been rejected from Ontario schools in one year and had an interview at Toronto another year, and both times I did not get any scores and feedback from OMSAS.

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