Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Recommended Posts

Hi :)

I was just wondering if there is a restriction to who I can pick as a referee. And also, are reference letters also due on Oct. 1st? 

Specifically, I want to ask teaching assistants, my student club president, and an executive from a volunteer organization. Does that work? Thanks in advance!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi :)

I was just wondering if there is a restriction to who I can pick as a referee. And also, are reference letters also due on Oct. 1st? 

Specifically, I want to ask teaching assistants, my student club president, and an executive from a volunteer organization. Does that work? Thanks in advance!

You can't have friends/family write letters for you. Student club president is a bad idea, and the teaching assistant is potentially a bad idea (depending on how close they are to you in age). Someone else can comment but I'm not sure if a TA ref letter holds any weight.

 

Ref letters need to be received by OMSAS by Oct 1st. So make sure that your referees send it a couple of weeks in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't have friends/family write letters for you. Student club president is a bad idea, and the teaching assistant is potentially a bad idea (depending on how close they are to you in age). Someone else can comment but I'm not sure if a TA ref letter holds any weight.

 

Ref letters need to be received by OMSAS by Oct 1st. So make sure that your referees send it a couple of weeks in advance.

 

I would tend to stay away from using a peer.

 

I totally understand this, but I heard that the evaluation forms are very detailed and it's hard for someone who doesn't know you well enough to fill it out. I know it's my fault, but I really can't figure out any profs who knows me well enough and write me a ref letter within such short amount of time, especially when I'm nowhere close to my school during the summer to sit down with them and talk about the contents. Are there any advice on who else I can ask? (eg. employer, lab coord who is another university graduate, friends who are also founders of their own companies...etc)

 

Also, is there any chance that they don't weigh the ref letters and evaluation forms much?

 

Sorry if I sound like I'm trying to find loop holes. It's just that this came really unexpected and I didn't have time to prep for it. I thought it'd be like UBC where LORs are only required in Feb.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have any former employers or even profs who know you from a class or two, you could explain your situation and give them your CV/transcript so they would feel more comfortable writing about your qualifications. I believe an academic reference is required by most schools, so definitely try to find a prof who's willing to write one! I did the CV/transcript thing even for referees who knew me well, so it's not a bad idea regardless of who you end up choosing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have any former employers or even profs who know you from a class or two, you could explain your situation and give them your CV/transcript so they would feel more comfortable writing about your qualifications. I believe an academic reference is required by most schools, so definitely try to find a prof who's willing to write one! I did the CV/transcript thing even for referees who knew me well, so it's not a bad idea regardless of who you end up choosing.

 

Sorry to come in here when I'm not OP, but is there any other information you would recommend giving your references about the letter? I've not gone through the process before so I'm a little unsure. What I figured would be good is the deadline date (obviously), CV/transcript like you said, and the UofT clusters/CANmeds roles. is there anything I'm missing?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to come in here when I'm not OP, but is there any other information you would recommend giving your references about the letter? I've not gone through the process before so I'm a little unsure. What I figured would be good is the deadline date (obviously), CV/transcript like you said, and the UofT clusters/CANmeds roles. is there anything I'm missing?

 

I didn't apply to UofT so I'm not sure about their requirements specifically, but including canMEDS roles is a great idea - I didn't do that for my referees because I wasn't really aware of their existence/importance at the time, ha. But for schools where there isn't as strict of a criteria/structure for the reference letters, having the option of framing them around canMEDS competencies could definitely be helpful for the referee. 

 

One of my referees for the hospital setting where I volunteered asked if there were any particular patients/experiences I had encountered during my time that had stuck with me or intrigued me so that she could include those in my reference letter. You would have to be pretty close with your supervisor/prof to ask them to include that kind of information, but it's another aspect to the reference letter that you could consider talking with your referee about if you're comfortable enough with it. Other than that, I think CV/transcript/canMEDS is more than enough!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to come in here when I'm not OP, but is there any other information you would recommend giving your references about the letter? I've not gone through the process before so I'm a little unsure. What I figured would be good is the deadline date (obviously), CV/transcript like you said, and the UofT clusters/CANmeds roles. is there anything I'm missing?

What I also did was I told my references what particular parts I wanted them to highlight about me. So for example, my professor I asked her to focus on academics, maybe referring to my presentation I did in that class, my research writing abilities, basically my ability to perform and adapt on an academic level. I had an employer who was an optometrist who could vouch for my being able to work in a healthcare environment, how I interact with patients, how I deal with stressful situations, how this could be applicable in medicine, etc. Last but not least, I had a supervisor for one of the university associations I was involved in. They talked about academics (it was a peer helper program where I facilitated study sessions for difficult classes), working as a team member, and also about me personally and the qualities they saw in me. 

 

This is a little long winded but I figured maybe it would be helpful if i told you what references I used to give you ideas. Ideally, don't use peer students (an undergrad student has very little credibility because they typically don't have the same insight a professor, employer, doctor, or any postgraduate has), TA (same reasons above.. most TAs are grad students or undergrad students), or family members or friends. But with that said, you want to choose someone who knows you over someone with prestige. Find someone who can talk about your personal qualities, your aspirations, and how you've shown qualities that a doctor should have. Even if you know a professor a little bit, don't be afraid to ask them because generally they want to help students out!

 

Hope this helps!

 

Nate

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...