Letters of Recommendations (LoRs): List of Guidelines - USMLE Forums
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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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  #1  
Old 08-04-2009
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Certificate Letters of Recommendations (LoRs): List of Guidelines

Here's a list of guidelines to follow for your letters of recommendations for your residency match application:
  • The more LOR's the better, minimum three. Each program you will apply for cannot accept more than 4 LoRs. But you can assign different LoRs to different programs and therefore you can have an unlimited number of LoRs but using only 4 of them to each specific program.
  • Clerkships LoRs rank higher than Externship LORs which in turn rank higher than Observership which in turn ranks higher than non-obervership LOR's.
  • Better to have a specialty specific LoR rather than just a generic LoR. Even more better to have program specific LoR!
  • Physicians writing your LOR's would better be from different nationality and ethnicity (though many may disagree but skepticism is a prominent trait of most program directors!). Never take an LoR from a relative.
  • If you did not spend enough time with the doctor who's writing your LOR, ask him/her not to specify the time spent with them. Like by saying during the month of February instead of saying 2 days per week for two weeks in February.
  • The LoR must be written on an official Letterhead paper of the institute in which the writer is working or affiliated with.
  • Non-black color of the signature is no longer a requirement. See Details
  • Better to mention your AAMC ID in the subject of the LoR. (not mandatory).
  • The LoR should be addressed "Dear Program Director".
  • It's better to waive your rights to see the LoR as this will add more weight to it. However, make sure that the writer is going to meet the time line deadlines and that he/she actually likes you enough! For more info about this read here http://www.usmle-forums.com/residenc...ights-not.html
  • You are not going to send your LoRs to the ERAS. You will send it to your designated Dean's office such as the ECFMG in the case of IMGs. (if you have waived your rights to see the LoR the same applies to the letter writer).
  • Important that writers include contact information in details because they might be contacted by residency programs.
  • Don't take LOR's from a remote specialty, like for example you are applying for surgery and you give dermatology LOR's!
  • A good LoR is not necessarily a very long LOR, a precise descriptive single page LOR may be more than enough.
  • Let the LoR be realistic not unduly praising you. If the writer says you are the century's superman, program directors will likely laugh at it.
  • Don't worry if the LoR is mentioning some negative aspects about you such as areas that you have to improve on. In fact, this may make the LoR even stronger as it carries more objectiveness and honesty.
  • DO NOT FAKE an LoR. You will be caught and you may damage your entire medical career.
  • Although, not mandatory, but it's better if your LoR is recently dated (within last one year is desired).
  • For IMGs, your California Letter and Dean's Letter is not counted as an LoR. You still have to find additional minimum of three LoRs.
  • For IMGs, let the writer mention your English language communication skills if English is not your native language.
  • For IMGs, LoRs from your home country are OK but it is better to fortify them with US LoRs.
  • If you want to apply by mid-September then your LoR should reach your designated dean's office no later than mid-August.
  • LoRs are arguably the most important part of your ERAS application after your scores.
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Last edited by StepTaker; 03-27-2011 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Adding links
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2009
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I have a question
I was working in my country with a US doctor for around 6 months (he was a visiting doctor to the hospital where I worked) back then he wrote me an LOR.
then he left back to US

Now I came to US looking for residency
Can I use that LOR!!
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cortymle View Post
I have a question
I was working in my country with a US doctor for around 6 months (he was a visiting doctor to the hospital where I worked) back then he wrote me an LOR. then he left back to US Now I came to US looking for residency
Can I use that LOR!!
This LOR would definitely work
But it's great if you still have contact with him
Call him and ask him to update the letter as of a current date, they don't like old letters

Good luck
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Old 01-18-2011
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Help

i wanted to ask that is it possible for you to choose the LORs u want to be sent to each university u apply to even if have waived ur right to see them and ur profeesor is directly uploading it on ERAS?
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2011
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Info Yes you can

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysconfused View Post
i wanted to ask that is it possible for you to choose the LORs u want to be sent to each university u apply to even if have waived ur right to see them and ur profeesor is directly uploading it on ERAS?
Yes. you can.
After the letter writer sends the LoR to ERAS, you'll see it in you account (you won't be able to read it's content but you'll see that it's there in your account) and you can assign it to whatever program/specialty you like.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2011
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Default Interesting article

An interesting article on Medscape Med Student this week: Do FMGs Need US Letters of Recommendation for a Residency Position?

An excerpt:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohei Hasegawa
...The best person to write your LOR would be an American faculty member, especially one who has a strong bond with the residency committee. Letters from your country could also be very helpful if the writer has a personal bond with the committee or was a graduate of the residency program to which you are applying. There are several reasons for this. First, residency admissions committee members always look first for the letterhead on which the LOR is written. There is a level of trust when it comes to reading a letter. A reader who does not personally know the writer will weigh, intentionally or unintentionally, the letter's comments more heavily if it is a US institution. Second, faculty members from US schools know what the committees are looking for in a candidate and they will be able to write a more relevant letter for you. For similar reasons, letters from faculty in your country are less desirable. They might be unfamiliar with the structure and purpose of a LOR and the residency admission committee would not know how reliable your letter is, coming from an unknown entity...
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2011
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Hello step taker , you said :
If you did not spend enough time with the doctor who's writing your LOR, ask him/her not to specify the time spent with them. Like by saying during the month of February instead of saying 2 days per week for two weeks in February.
BUT if I work with 2 doctors part time in the same month and if they mention same month in their LoR ... Would it be a problem ? Please need your advice .
Thank You
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Old 03-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUSTC View Post
Hello step taker , you said :
If you did not spend enough time with the doctor who's writing your LOR, ask him/her not to specify the time spent with them. Like by saying during the month of February instead of saying 2 days per week for two weeks in February.
BUT if I work with 2 doctors part time in the same month and if they mention same month in their LoR ... Would it be a problem ? Please need your advice .
Thank You
No, that wouldn't be a problem
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
No, that wouldn't be a problem
Thank you very much .......
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2011
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Default letter of recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokolesqua View Post
Yes. you can.
After the letter writer sends the LoR to ERAS, you'll see it in you account (you won't be able to read it's content but you'll see that it's there in your account) and you can assign it to whatever program/specialty you like.
Hi

Does the letter writer have to include in the body of the letter whether or not the student waived the right to see the said letter?

I hope someone can help with this.

Thanks in advance.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2011
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HI STEPTAKER!!



I want to waive my right to view the LoR.. so if I do that should i leave all the LoRs to be sent by the office of my medical school ..
How do they send it?? I have about 9 recommendation letters , 3 each for 3 different specialities (Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Paediatrics) ...The thing is there is no tradition of " waiving right to see LoR" in our medical school... I have to ask the college to do that...so i have few questions...

1) Should my medical college be sending all the 9 recommendation letters that i have asked from professors in one envelope or different envelope?

2) To what address should they be sending the recommendation letters??

Thank you in advance and waiting for your reply!!!!
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Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmleguy View Post
1) Should my medical college be sending all the 9 recommendation letters that i have asked from professors in one envelope or different envelope?

2) To what address should they be sending the recommendation letters??

Thank you in advance and waiting for your reply!!!!
Each professor should send his/her LoR to ECFMG separately.
You need to download the coversheet and give it to the professor, the cover sheet has the address that they should be sending to.
The cover sheet can be downloaded from here
https://www.aamc.org/download/140222/data/lor_img.pdf
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Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Each professor should send his/her LoR to ECFMG separately.
You need to download the coversheet and give it to the professor, the cover sheet has the address that they should be sending to.
The cover sheet can be downloaded from here
https://www.aamc.org/download/140222/data/lor_img.pdf
thank you very much!!!!
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2011
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Hi StepTaker,

Regarding LoR, I being an old grad, don't think even the professor would remember my face. So how can get the LoR from them.
I plan to do HOUSE OFFICER job at a govt super-speciality hospital, could the LoR from the HOD there, be of any help to me , what else can I do get get the LoR?
One more think, do I need to send them separately, when do I need to send them, do I need to send them during my application for step 1 or else when?
I read different post about LoRs but get myself more confused probably because I landed there while searching for requirement for good chances to get throu match. I am preparing for step 1 so if I could get any info about LoR before hand, I can plan my studies accordingly to get them in time.

Help me on this
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunseen View Post
Hi StepTaker, Regarding LoR, .....Help me on this
If you are an old grad then you should not use the LoRs that you got during your medical school. You should use the LoR from your postgrad work such as the hospital you mentioned.
LoR better to be less than 1 year old when you submit them.

You start submitting your LoRs when you start your residency application in ERAS for full details read here http://www.usmle-forums.com/residenc...ete-guide.html

You can send them separate and you can send them together. Both work.
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Old 04-21-2011
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Hi StepTaker,

Thanks for the early reply, but there is a little confusion I think, the house officer is the job i wish to take at the hospital as a part time say for 6 months, and not as an PG there. so should that be helping me in any way? What else do u suggest to get few more LoRs.
Few more queries when could we apply for the observership/externship in there, could we apply while we are there for CS exam, do we get the visa extended for the same or need to apply for the other visa.

Thanks for listening my queries .
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunseen View Post
Hi StepTaker,
Thanks for the early reply, but there is a little confusion I think, the house officer is the job i wish to take at the hospital as a part time say for 6 months, and not as an PG there. so should that be helping me in any way?
Any job after graduation is regarded as postgrad job in USA, so your house officer job is regarded as postgrad.
Yes, an LoR from your HO job can help but not as good as a US LoR.
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Old 04-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunseen View Post
What else do u suggest to get few more LoRs.
Do observership or externship or research in USA.
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Old 04-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunseen View Post
when could we apply for the observership/externship in there, could we apply while we are there for CS exam, do we get the visa extended for the same or need to apply for the other visa.
You can do the USCE at any time you can do it.
Usually they don't sponsor you Visa, so yes you can use the visa that you will get when come to do the CS.
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  #20  
Old 04-22-2011
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Hi thank you so much for the very useful words. There is a confusion I want to clear, I am an IMG and after completion of my elective last year I was given 2 LoRs but they told me they will send it by waiving of, how will that work?
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  #21  
Old 04-22-2011
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Originally Posted by mbilalk View Post
Hi thank you so much for the very useful words. There is a confusion I want to clear, I am an IMG and after completion of my elective last year I was given 2 LoRs but they told me they will send it by waiving of, how will that work?
Please read these two threads
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2011
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hi !!
this is a wonderful post!
thanks for this.really helpful.
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  #23  
Old 07-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Thanks for the posts!
What do I write in this part of the LOR?
Training Program Specialties Applied-to

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  #24  
Old 07-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTAV View Post
Thanks for the posts!
What do I write in this part of the LOR?
Training Program Specialties Applied-to

You write the specialties you are applying to.

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