Show and tell isn’t just for elementary school anymore – it turns out it can have a HUGE impact on your personal statement.

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3 Email Templates for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

3 Email Templates for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

So by now you’ve read my earlier post, 5 Rules for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation via Email. If you follow the rules laid out there, you should have no problem getting your professors to agree to write you a letter of recommendation. But I know that some people want a little more help. Asking for a letter of recommendation can be intimidating. That’s why I’ve created a few sample emails for different scenarios.  All of them follow the 5 rules. Please share some of your successful email templates in the comments. One last thing before we get started. I wrote another article specifically for Premed students on my new blog Premed Revolution. Check it out here: Socially Awkward Premed Part 2 – Request a Letter of Recommendation Over Email.   1. The Standard This template is designed for classes in which you did fairly well and had at least minimal contact with the professor either by email, after class, or during office hours. Professor [Xavier],   My name is [Ben Frederick]. I took your [organic chemistry] course [last semester]. You may remember me [coming to your office hours after every test to go over some of my wrong answers.] [Organic chemistry] was a very challenging subject for me and I was proud of the [A-] I received in your class.   I know you are busy so I’ll get to the point. I am currently in the process of applying to [medical school] and I am trying to gather a few letters of recommendation.  Because I enjoyed [your class and teaching style so much], I decided to start...

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...
Personal Statement Example – Vascular Surgery & General Surgery Residency

Personal Statement Example – Vascular Surgery & General Surgery Residency

Surgical Residency Saint Louis University medical student 558 words My father was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years ago.  He underwent surgery as well as chemotherapy, necessitating his stay in the hospital.  With the hours he had, trapped in a hospital bed, he began to write his autobiography.  This exercise was his method of taking stock of his life, the mental challenge of grappling with his own mortality by systematically revisiting the trials and tribulations that brought him to where he was.  Based on his writings and reflecting on my father’s persona, if he asked me to title his autobiography, I would select [name removed]: Physician, Father, Researcher, and Activist.  Physician before all else simply because it was more than a profession, it describes his ethos, how he went about doing everything else he did in life. Should I ever complete a similar mental exercise, the title of my autobiography will begin, “[name removed]: Surgeon”. My first year in medical school exposed me to a handful of specialties and dozens of subspecialties. Finding and choosing a specialty was daunting as many appeared to peak my interests. In an attempt to gain better perspective, I decided to spend as much time in the hospital as possible in the summer between my 1st and 2nd years. I contacted several departments at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NWM) in Chicago about shadowing their physicians. My schedule started me on the Trauma Surgery and Critical Care service and rotated between different departments every week. I never ended up leaving the Trauma Surgery service.   Though I spent time in other department’s clinics and floors, I...