Letters of recommendation...a dilemma

Hello everyone. Here’s my situation…if I get the summer school class I need, and subsequently find a way to support myself over the summer, I will be able to apply to medical school in June of 2007 (if not, it will have to be June 2008). I am currently in my last semester of physics and I have my eye on my professor for a letter of rec. Any suggestions on how to do this? My ideas: have him write a letter at the end of the semester (not sure if he should date them June '07 or not), print out 29 copies (that’s unfortunately the number of medical schools I’m planning to apply to), get him to stuff the envelopes, and then I’ll keep them in a safe place until I apply in a year or two; or, I could ask him to write a letter and save it on his computer with the arrangement that I will contact him in a year or two…but who knows what could happen in 2 years. Also, this is not someone I feel super-confident calling and stalking for two years just to get a good letter in 07 or 08…the man’s has a wife, three kids, and two jobs! Also, I have no idea which schools use a standard letter of recommendation form and which schools accept typed letters…what do I do? I finished my undergrad work (the first go round) 10 years ago, so those professors are out as far as letters of rec. I really like this professor and he seems amenable to writing letters of recommendation for pre-meds. Does anyone out there have any good ideas/insight/similar experiences? Thank you in advance!

If the schools to which you’re applying accept it (I believe many do), you may want to check out a service like Interfolio. As I understand, your letter-writers mail directly to Interfolio, and they mail out certified copies for you as you need - for a price, of course.

Definitely consider using Interfolio. Check it out at www.interfolio.com Basically they charge $15 to set up an account, and $3-4 every time you send out the LORs depending on whether you send them electronically or by snail mail. It’s worth every penny IMO because of how much easier it makes your life (and theirs).

I don’t think you can do it the way you just described. It looks better when you void your rights to see the LOR, which of course wouldn’t be the case if you send the LOR yourself.
Doesn’t your school have an advising office that takes care of the letters of recomendation?
Another thing…the professors who teach pre-med classes are used to the fact that people come and ask them for letters of recomendations. Even if they have families they ususally have time to write a letter. it’s part of their job. They have students coming and asking all the time; even students who were in their class a year or so ago. So if you ask him for a LOR some time next year it’s still OK - as long as you make sure now that next time this year he still remeber who you are! All the teachers I asked for LORs hadn’t taught me for a while. But I made sure they knew who I was…

You should ask him whether he would be willing to write you a strong letter of support (not just a letter), and if so, explain the situation. I think my recommendation would be to have him write the letter now so that he doesn’t forget you (or just suggest that) and then either send it to your pre-med committee or keep it in his files at the ready. It is very important that you not see the letter from the point of view of admissions committees.

Thank you so much!!! I had no idea Interfolio even existed! That is EXACTLY what I needed, as my current undergrad school doesn’t provide that service. You have no idea how helpful that info is. I hope the good karma comes back to you all 100 times over during the admissions process!