Something I noticed about Letter of Recommendations

A lot of students prefer to go into industry, work a few years, and then apply to medical school. However, they have lost contact with all their professors and physicians they shadowed while in college. I would suggest having them write their letters before you go into industry and keep them in a place, such as interfolio. This ensures the student doesn’t have to re-contact someone they known in the past for a recommendation letter when the time comes.

Please let me know if there is an alternate way to go about this. Thanks!

Hello Mchun,

This is a great idea, but I’m not sure how a professor would feel about writing a letter years in advance. The idea is to foster a long-term relationship with them. However, since I haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it can’t be done! You may be the first of a new era in getting letters of recommendation!

This would really be dependent on your writer’s comfort level.

When I applied, I was out of the classroom for almost 10 years and had no professor LORs. Not all schools require an academic letter or committee letter. I found that those that did, at least to the 15 or so places I applied, granted me a waiver based on my specific situation. All it took was an email after receiving the secondary application for them to let me press on with the process. You could probably email them beforehand if you don’t want to risk losing money on schools that deny it.

I have used this approach with some success. Furthermore, this tactic can also be done for things besides college, such as volunteer and paid work in the healthcare field. But, this approach can backfire. In my case, many years ago, I worked with a physician at his hospital during the day and volunteered with him at night at a homeless care clinic. The fact that he was at both places, my paid work and my volunteer workplace was a coincidence. So, I got him to write me an LOR that talked about my experiences and work ethic with him at both locations. One letter for both places. Then I left both organizations to do health work abroad. While I was outside the U.S., the physician got into legal trouble, which resulted in him having his medical license revoked. The physician was fired from the hospital and left the homeless clinic voluntarily. So, now any LOR from him would look foolish, would it not?

Needless to say, I plan on going back to that homeless clinic and that job to get new LORs, assuming any one there still remembers me. Unfortunately, that doctor who was suspended was the one who knew me the best.