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LOR Advice


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Hey everyone,

 

I'm hoping to get some input on who to use as references for my application this year. These are my four best options:

 

1. My former MSc supervisor. I've known him for ~3 years (~2 years as a student, have worked a few lab tech contracts for him over the past year), did very well in his course (A+), multiple publications with him, a patent, etc. Probably the best LOR I'll ever get in my life, so this one is set. He wrote me a very strong reference last year and has agreed to write one again this year.

 

2. Associate Dean of the CPD office at Schulich. I've volunteered there for the past year, have been assigned and completed ~5-6 projects with teams of MDs related to medical ethics, medical education, developing CME courses, etc (including a 1st-author publication currently under review). Knows I aspire to be an MD and is very supportive, giving me plenty of work and networking opportunities with other MDs. Haven't asked for a reference yet, but I'm sure she will be willing to write a strong one.

 

3. A family doc who has been involved with many of the projects at the CPD office at Schulich. I've known him for about a year and have started shadowing him (will have ~50 hours in his clinic by the end of the summer). He also knows my goal and has been very supportive, teaching me lots of things about family medicine. He told me that he would write me a strong reference if I need one.

 

4. Former high school teacher, guidance counselor, and volleyball coach (I was captain of his team for a year). I am also good friends with his son and spent a lot of time at his house throughout high school and my first undergrad, so he knows me well outside of school. His son and I helped start a memorial scholarship for a friend who passed away in high school. Haven't asked for a reference yet. I'm sure I'll be able to get a reference, but I usually only see him over holidays, so I'm not sure how strong it will be. I could probably ask him to discuss volleyball, the memorial fund, his relationship with me outside of school, etc..

 

Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it :D

 

Edit: I could also ask a prof/dietitian that taught me 3 core courses for my program. I did extremely well in all 3 courses (94%+). I've met with her a few times in her office so she knows me fairly well and would probably be willing to give me an academic reference.

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Thanks for the great advice. As #3 would be providing a lot of the same information that #2 will include in her reference, I think I will approach #4 first and assess whether he would be willing to write me a strong letter. I think he'll be able to attest to several traits with some unique stories that the other referees can't. However, if he or I feel that I would get a better letter from #3, I will use #3. Thanks again, and good luck to everyone applying this cycle!

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I spoke with #4 the other day about a reference letter. He seemed hesitant initially, and it took a bit of convincing from me to get him to understand why I chose him. He ended up agreeing, as long as I put some points and stories together that I'd like him to speak about. He also said he'd like me to read over it once it's done to make sure it's what I'm looking for.

 

Now I'm feeling a bit uneasy about having him as a reference because it took some convincing, although he said he would speak about the points I ask him to. What do you guys think? Any advice?

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I spoke with #4 the other day about a reference letter. He seemed hesitant initially, and it took a bit of convincing from me to get him to understand why I chose him. He ended up agreeing, as long as I put some points and stories together that I'd like him to speak about. He also said he'd like me to read over it once it's done to make sure it's what I'm looking for.

 

Now I'm feeling a bit uneasy about having him as a reference because it took some convincing, although he said he would speak about the points I ask him to. What do you guys think? Any advice?

 

In my opinion, it should work out fine. If the letter isn't strong, you'll help him refine it.

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