I am in the throes of applying to residency programs, so I’ll be spending a few blog posts talking about some of the endeavors I’ve realized about the application process.
Letters of recommendation. They are probably one of the most intimidating and time-consuming parts of the application. Mainly because you are relying on busy attendings. But a few things I will say about asking for letters of recommendation:
- Ask for a strong letter of recommendation. Emphasis on the word strong. Anyone can write you a letter of recommendation. But you’re going to want a strong letter.
- Ask early. Many attendings take summer vacations, so it may take a few months to acquire your letter. And don’t be afraid to remind them.
- They’re used to it. Asking for a letter isn’t some novelty for most attendings. In fact, they expect it. On your first day of a rotation or sub-I, don’t be afraid to state your intentions. That way they’re going to pay more attention to you.
- Ask for a dean’s letter. Even if they don’t know you, their title does matter. They can gather collateral from residents and other attendings.
What other advice have you all heard? I’d love to hear your thoughts.