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I had a high school teacher (whom I had done a lot of EC leadership work with) who told me straight up when I graduated that if I'm coming to him in 4 years looking for a reference, I probably have a problem. granted he's more than willing to act as a verifier or referee if i really needed it but I guess that's one standpoint

 

personally though i feel like it's a case by case basis. if you think it's really really meaningful stuff that you did that helped you grow a lot, i mean you still have 2/3 recent ones, right?

 

for reference i'm asking someone who i'd worked with during the summer of highschool - first year and throughout first year, so honestly it's pretty long ago too so... take it for what it is :P

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I think a high school teacher is too far. After 3-4 years of undergrad, it is expected that you are able to make more meaningful, recent connections that can speak to your current accomplishments and skills. People can change a lot since high school and I think you should be able to find a better reference.

 

The only exception I can think of is if you have worked with them in some other capacity since then in a more meaningful role than student leader.

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For my non-academic referee, I used a program coordinator for a child-care position I had throughout high school (was initially volunteer, but later paid) and I did not experience any problems. Quality is key (even if the reference is a bit older, if they knew you well and can write a better letter, that holds more weight than a more recent referee that does not know you as well). 

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For my non-academic referee, I used a program coordinator for a child-care position I had throughout high school (was initially volunteer, but later paid) and I did not experience any problems. Quality is key (even if the reference is a bit older, if they knew you well and can write a better letter, that holds more weight than a more recent referee that does not know you as well). 

 

This is a little different then a high school teacher.

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For OMSAS, does anyone think recency matters when picking a referee? Would a high school teacher who both taught me and I did extra-cirriculars with be from too long ago when compared to a undergrad prof who knows me relatively well? I was just thinking that the med schools might be more interested in my more recent qualities.

 

I would go with the prof who knows you well only because this is more recent in time. However, the teacher would be fine for non-academic (and can touch upon the academic as well) using CanMEDS competencies as the road map.

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