5 Rules for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation via Email

When I was applying to medical school, asking for letters of recommendation gave me a big headache. Unfortunately, whether you are shooting for med school, dental school, PA school, or any other kind of health profession, requesting letters of recommendation is a necessary evil that you must endure. Hypothetical conversation: “Hi Professor X, um… my name is John. I was just wondering if possibly, maybe, you might be able to write me a letter of recommendation.  I’m applying to medical school and, um..  and they asked me to get a letter from some science professors. So do you think that maybe you could write me one?” That is a situation to avoid. Why Email? First of all, let’s face facts… you and I are awkward.  It’s almost a prerequisite for acceptance to medical school or any other health professions. Luckily for us awkward people, email has become ubiquitous and is now socially acceptable for something like asking for a letter of rec. You may have been advised to request letters in person or over the phone in order to make a more personal connection.  However, I like to create a more controlled environment in order to minimize the pain and awkwardness. Making first contact with your professors via email prevents you from screwing it up! Second of all, it lets your professor consider the request on his or her own time.  The last thing you want them to do is agree to write you a letter of rec because you put them on the spot and they just want you to go away. But why?  Isn’t the point of...
How to Write a Dental School Personal Statement

How to Write a Dental School Personal Statement

The personal statement is a very important aspect of the application process for dental school. It is a great opportunity to display facets of an applicant that cannot necessarily be seen in the rest of the AADSAS application. This is an opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of in order to help set oneself apart from other applicants. There is no official prompt for the dental school personal statement, but it is widely known that the essay should primarily address the question of “Why dentistry?” While there are many ways to go about answering this question, I believe that the applicant should rely heavily their unique experiences that have inspired them to pursue a career in dentistry and their distinctive attributes that will contribute to their future success in the field of dentistry. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when starting to write your personal statement: What have I observed while shadowing/volunteering/as a patient that has inspired me to pursue a dental career? What common qualities have I seen in successful dentists? How will I incorporate these qualities and ideals into my future career as a dentist? How have my experiences prepared me for a career focused on serving others/the community? The following is a list of some my Dos and Don’ts for personal statement writing: DO: Have an attention-getting introduction. Admissions committees/staff read HUNDREDS of personal statements over the course of the application process. It is important to be able to spark their interest from the start and hold their attention throughout the entirety of your personal statement. Be personal. Don’t be afraid to show...