LOR advice for OPMs

please don’t make the same mistake i did.

be sure to request LORs from your UNDERGRADUATE professors too! even it’s been 10+ years since you’ve graduated (like me) and they barely remember you, just find one whose class you did well in and ask for a letter.

i thought my two grad school letters plus one clinical letter was enough, but alas it is not

and now it’s nearly the end of august and i’m having to do the last minute hustle and try to get them in under time pressure, which sucks!!

so dont make the same mistake i did. get lots of letters and get them early! they seem like a pain, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

This was a lesson I too learned the hard way last year. You’re advice is absolutely correct, especially since all LORs now have to be submitted with the primary (AMCAS) application. In years past, LORs were sent with or after the secondaries, buying applicants a little more time then they have nowadays.

I agree that it is a good idea to get a letter from a professor from a previous degree. Luckily, I had at least one professor from the sordid past life of my undergraduate education who would vouch for me!

I am curious though as to where you heard this. Did an AdCom tell you that you needed a letter from a far previous professor? I’ve never actually heard that it was necessary before, I just thought it would be a good idea in my case.

I’m sorry you’re feeling under the gun. Just do what you have to do and breathe!

a couple of schools i applied to asked for these such letters (NYMC, AECOM). i actually did put forth a good faith effort to track down my UG profs, but they’re all retired emeritus professors or no longer at the university since it’s been so long since i graduated!

i ended up writing the adcom for NYMC a long email explaining my situation and asking them to take the letters that i was able to get from work and grad school.

i’m sure they get these situations a lot with us non-trads. so hopefully it all works out

Hopefully they will understand your situation. Surely you can’t be the first non-trad that they’ve had apply with a past!

I got really lucky with my “past-life” letter. I found my old thesis advisor’s email address from my undergrad’s website and emailed her with the subject line “I hope you remember me!” Thankfully she did and agreed to write the letter, but she had said it was a good thing I emailed her when I did because she had one more week at my old school before she moved to another school in another state! Whew! I would have never found her.

Another problem is that, at least for me, I was a wallflower/underachiever (read: immature kid) in undergrad and I doubt that many professors even remember me, let alone would write me a LOR.

Can I start collecting letters now? Should I start collecting letters now? Or am I going to have to contact my professors as I am applying to medical school so that they are more current vs. 3 years old? So, far I have 1 LOR and had another professor volunteer to write one. I just wasn’t sure what to do with these as of the moment. Of course, I will need them for scholarship applications, but, will these ones be useful for med apps?

From what I’ve heard it’s best to have them write you a letter when you are still “fresh” on their mind. It will still look good on your application.

Say you aren’t applying until 2011, but you just had someone agree to write you a letter. It would make more sense to have them do it now since you just were in close contact with them and while they still have a recent memory of you. Even if they write you one in Spring of 2011, they will have to reference back to when they taught you in Fall of 2009 in their letter. I would hope that AdComs know this… but anybody who has a definite answer on this feel free to chime in!!

yes, you should definitely ask for lor’s when things are fresh on their minds. if you’re not applying to school for a few years, sign up for an interfolio account which costs <$20 to manage all your letters and transcripts. then when you’re ready to apply, you can collect everything and submit to amcas. waiting for transcripts and letters are the part of applying that actually takes to most waiting, so if u get on the ball early with those things and apply EARLY, then you’ll be golden!