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...
How to Write a Personal Statement for Osteopathic Medical School

How to Write a Personal Statement for Osteopathic Medical School

You may spend days, even weeks, developing the perfect personal statement for osteopathic medical school. However, the committee members only spend a mere 3 to 10 minutes looking over it. For this reason, it is crucial that you make an impact right from the start. Your personal statement is your first impression, and you only get once shot at making it a good one. Find out the secrets to writing a flawless, impeccable personal statement for your entry into this prestigious field. Understand the Philosophy of Osteopathic Medicine Osteopathic medicine is one branch of the healthcare profession in the United States and Canada, as well as fifty-five other countries. Founded in the 19th century as a reaction to prevailing medical thought, osteopathic medicine focuses on manipulation of bones and joints for the treatment of illnesses. Today, this field of medicine more resembles mainstream medicine, and the training of osteopathic physicians is similar to that of those who choose a traditional medical school. An osteopathic physician (also called a Doctor of Osteopathy or a “DO”) uses the same evidence-based practice as a medical doctor (MD). Qualified applicants from DO programs gain entry into residency programs throughout the United States, just as MDs do. Osteopathic medicine has a philosophy that is holistic, and patients accept the core principles of osteopathy as sound medical practice. It is crucial that you understand the unique DO philosophy. Understand Why the Personal Statement is Important As many as 50% of osteopathic medical school applicants do not get accepted to programs of their choice. Most of these applicants have better than average scores on the MCAT,...
How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement

How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement

Although you spend hours, even days, composing your medical school personal statement, the admissions committee only reviews it for a period of 3 to 10 minutes. This is why it is critical to make an impact right at the beginning. Your personal statement is like a first impression, although your academic qualifications and other achievements are also taken into consideration. Your personal statement needs to set you apart from the crowd, and there is always a crowd applying to medical school. Understand Why the Personal Statement is Important Over 50% of medical school applicants do not get accepted into their programs of choice. Most of these applicants have average scores or higher on the MCAT, as well as excellent undergraduate grades. However, grades are not all there is to it. Recommendations from professors and physicians play a significant role in the decision process. In the end, however, it is the personal statement that sets you apart from other equally well-qualified applicants. The medical school admissions committee does not want to fill spots with mediocre candidates. Instead, they want to place candidates that will likely succeed in the medical profession, and that success involves dedication and discipline. Consider Your Reason to Attend Although liberal arts graduates who do well in science courses have an equal chance of acceptance when compared with “pre-med” students, medical schools want to see evidence of a real interest in medicine. A genuine interest in this field of study is often due to a genuine interest in people, as medicine is a front row seat at the drama of life.  Oftentimes, altruism motivates medical school applicants....
Personal Statement Example – Medical School

Personal Statement Example – Medical School

Medical School, July 2006 942 words My decision to adopt the lifestyle of medicine was not the stuff of Saturday morning cartoons—no flashing light bulb materialized above my head, nor did a load of bricks fall from the sky and crush me. Medicine has, for as long as I can recall, been as innate to me as composing drafts of this essay right-handed. The earliest queries about my “grown-up” profession were answered by a matter-of-fact “I want to be a pediatrician. That’s a baby doctor.” I could never imagine doing anything else. I wanted to help people who were sick or injured, and I had an avid curiosity about the workings of the human body.   The “B” volume of my family’s World Book Encyclopedia was nearly destroyed by my small hands repeatedly flipping to the ‘Baby’ and ‘Body’ entries, studying the images in an attempt to comprehend pregnancy and birth while puzzling over how those multi-colored organs fit into my own body. Exploration in comparative anatomy began during fishing and hunting trips with my grandparents—cleaning the fish and animals was just as entertaining to me as harvesting them. I wanted to learn more, so I returned to the encyclopedia shelf. Branching out to ‘Bird,’ ‘Dog,’ ‘Ballet,’ and ‘Painting’ quenched a bit of my thirst for more global information, but I never stopped wondering just how the body worked, what happened if something stopped working, and how to fix it. Throughout my childhood, I believed I knew what medicine was, and exactly why I wanted to be a doctor.   Years later, I find myself standing in a cozy...