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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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Old 03-27-2013
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Certificate Recommendation letter from volunteer work

Do recommendation letters from volunteering activities have any weight on your application? I know that there is a field on the ERAS application to write about extra-curricular activities participated in but is there a way to add recommendation letters from the organization/people you volunteered for?

To elaborate: I'm still a med student & recently volunteered for a plastic surgery mission by a team of American doctors here in my hometown. My job was basically to act as an interpreter and I got a certificate from the organization for that but I also shadowed the lead paediatrician closely (since I'm interested in paediatrics) and she, being such a nice lady, complimented my bedside manners & English Language skills and herself said (without any prompting from my side!) that she'd be happy to write a recommendation letter for me anytime. One of the anaesthesiologists said the same. Should I approach them for recommendation letters now or should I just stay in touch and not be pushy now but later on ask for USCE opportunities when I go to the US 2 years later?

P.S.: the paediatrician is a clinical coordinator at Northwestern University, Chicago and she said she could write the recommendation letter on their official letterhead.
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Old 03-28-2013
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I think your volunteer story would make a great addition in your personal statement. As far as LOR's are concerned I think getting one now doesn't hurt but getting LORs that have recent date on them IMO have a greater impact. Maybe you could ask her if she'll be willing to wrote one a year down the line, if so that'd be your best shot. Just keep in touch with her though so she doesn't forget the qualities she liked about you which'll prolly make a good LOR.. Good luck
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Old 03-28-2013
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Get one now. Then when you're ready to apply for residency, send the peditrician a copy of the letter she wrote for you and ask her to make a similar one with a recent date. That's because if you ask her to write later, she might (a) change her mind and then not write the letter (2) forget you and therefore write an unimpressive letter. This way, you'd have a 'backup' letter just in case she forgets you, is unwilling to write it later, or writes a pretty average one later. All that and you'd still have a recent date on the letter if all goes well.
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Thank you so much Kryptonite and eesfee.

I think I'll write to her now asking for a letter and also let her know of my plans for a US residency and that I might ask her for another letter a few years from now. She's so nice I think she'll do both...lets see!

Once again, thanks guys and to the moderators - I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong section...only after I posted the thread did I realize that this doesn't belong to the residency match forum! Sorry!
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