Tuesday, June 8, 2010
US LORs.......the interviews tickets!
Who and How to write letters of recommendations for application to residency programs, this what we will know in this blog.
United States LORs to be effective should be written by either program directors, faculty or internists in ACGME certified programs.
The letters of recommendation (LOR) are the most important part of your ERAS application. The program directors base most of their decision on the quality of the LOR (Writers, States, institutions......) when inviting people for interviews. The LORs are sent to the ECFMG/ERAS service to be uploaded to your MyERAS account where you can assign different LORs to different residency programs you are applying to after September 15th.
LORs are of two types: waived or non waived. Waived letters are these which are sent directly from the writer office without reaching your hands. Non waived LORs are those which the writer handles it to you then you send it together with your other documents. People usually argue which is better. Although the waived letters are considered more legible, but the true facts listed there by the writer may harm your application by giving the PDs insight to your many negatives. In our opinion always get the LOR non waived i.e. to your hand, this way the writer will make sure he writes a good LOR and recommend you as a super applicant. In our experience in there was no advantage of waived over non-waived LORs.
Which combination of LORs attract the program directors and faculty? LORs obtained from observerships in ACGME certified programs are the by far the most powerful letters. Some people do observerships through companies that advertise over the internet. Pay attention these companies not only rip off your money but also provide you with generic shared LORs. The PDs are totally aware of these companies and our statistics each year shows less interviews for people doing observerships through them. The other important thing PDs look for is LORs from different States as they are look for applicants who are exposed to various american health/residency systems.
There is no standard format for writing a LOR. Actually it is difficult to standarize the LOR however it might be easy to give a skeleton outlining the keypoints which they should mention in the recommendation letter. I will not go through specific points however I will just drop down a more or less what meant by a near typical LOR that you can modify and give it to the LOR writer or requester. Also you can take a look at the 9 real LORs posted on the right side column of this page to see what points you can mention and elaborate about.
To whom it may concern
I am writing to recommend Dr. xxxxxxxxxxxx for acceptance to your residency program. Dr. xxxxxxxxxxxxx has been doing observership in our clinic since March of 2006 until the present time. In those six months, I have been extremely impressed by her determination, concentration, and willingness to work hard. He possesses excellent learning abilities, professional work ethic, a good team attitude, and a great passion for the Family Practice field. Always enthusiastic and confident, he readily offers help to his peers.
In our clinic, Dr. xxxxxxxxxx has been exposed to a diverse array of patients of different ages, medical conditions, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds. His ability to build a comfortable and trusting environment for each and every one of these patients is remarkable. He is very skilled at history taking, performing physical exams, and writing patient notes. Constantly working on obtaining new knowledge and skills, he reads a variety of medical books and discuses medical cases with doctors.
I strongly believe he will be an excellent addition to your residency program. His assertive nature, his personal and professional tact, and his emotional sensitivity to the patients will help his to become a competent, effective, and respectful physician. I believe that his patient’s needs, comfort, and benefit will drive every decision he will make and each action he will take.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to call me at xxxxxxxxxxx.
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