Composing a Letter of Recommendation for Residency From Scratch
Crafting a letter of recommendation for residency for the first time needs focusing and concentration. Except for containing the evaluative information about the student, it should match the official requirements of the medical program. This article explains the core points of this document, guiding you to design the letter from the ground up.
Letter of Recommendation for Residency: Definition, Purpose, and Importance
Letter of recommendation for residency (LoR) is the essential part of entering the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) residency program. The admission officers will not review an ERAS application without two to four letters of recommendation, even if other package elements are perfect. The fundamentals of a letter of recommendation are Letter ID, applicant data, and personal statement of the residency application. It allows final approval for selection by the admission committee.
LoR for residency is a reproduction of the academic performance of an applicant. It serves as a source of information about the unique qualities of a candidate. Unlike resumes which have many similarities between applicants, LOR allows distinguishing the factors that highlight the exceptional features of an applicant. Their purpose is to strengthen the application and increase the chances of entering the ERAS program subsequently.
ERAS may demand LoRs from specific departments. Submitting more LoRs than requested is not welcome. Some programs review only the first letter to conclude an applicant while ignoring the others.
Standard Writing Recommendations and Formatting Requirements
Since the program requirements may vary, it is a matter of high priority to follow the instructions given for each program separately. While some programs demand letters from specific departments, others need LoRs from attending rather than residents. Letters from individuals not involved in the medical profession are rarely a part of the documental package.
The most valuable writing LoR recommendations are:
- Limit your text to two pages. Strong LoR for residency must have at least three chapters. Usually, the program requirements determine the length of the letter, e.g., «one page or less.»
- Explain your interconnection with an applicant, mentioning the source of it (research, academic, or clinical experience). Mention the period of collaboration.
- Craft your letter. Draw the perspectives for your candidate in the physician field, research, or other chosen specialty. The letter should describe knowledge level, analytical talents, motivation, persistence that will be functional in the future carrier performance. Add the awards and personal achievements.
The formatting requirements for LoR for residency in internal medicine are the following:
- Start with the recipient of the letter («Dear Program Director»).
- Input the AAMC ID number of the student in any part of the letter.
- Make sure that the name of the student is written correctly throughout the paper.
- Sign the document manually with further document scanning, or add the image of your signature.
- Note your official practice and post with your contact information.
- Save the document in PDF format with a weight less than 1 MB with dimensions 8.1 x 11 inches without encryption or password protection.
Some programs may provide a sample letter of recommendation for residency. ERAS programs provide a letter request form with a unique identifying number included and submitting instructions. Make sure that you have received it from your student.
Additional Writing Suggestions for a Letter of Recommendation With Examples
Good LoR for residency is a complex of appropriate writing techniques. Use them to design your letter of recommendation efficiently and impressively:
- Be precise. Support the performance evaluation with examples, stories, or personal examination. They must reflect the professional potential, professionalism, leadership skills, passion for the medical practice of a candidate. Statistical data are appropriate and welcome (e.g., «Mr. Smith is one of the top five students I have worked with.»)
- Describe the lack delicately. None of us is perfect. Considering the weak sides of an applicant, provide them positively. For instance, «Mr. Smith demonstrated enhancement in documents flow» instead of «Mr. Smith needs to endeavor his paperwork skills.»
- Exclude any personal information, e.g., race, religion, family, physical features, or health condition of a candidate.
- Finalize the letter with the overall recommendation. Explain the reasons for consideration of this student to participate in the program. Add comments on how perspective this candidature can be.
- Note your current position and contact information.
- Proofread your letter of recommendation.
If you are using a sample LoR for residency, check several times the correctness of the name throughout the paper.
The Necessary Components and Tips for Writing LoR
There is a strict order on how to write a letter of recommendation for residency. It consists of three parts: introduction, body chapters, and conclusion.
A strong letter of recommendation for residency must contain three crucial elements:
- Analysis of applicant’s capability gained through cooperative work.
- Estimation of student’s performance as a resident and future adherent of this specialty.
- The details that differ an applicant from competitors.
A recommender should know a medical student very well to provide a letter of recommendation. It should not be a problem to explain why the candidate is applying for this specialty? What are the primary qualities of the person, and how can an applicant develop within the program. So a real acquaintance and broad period of working interrelation is a core factor for writing a strong LoR to sound natural and sincere.
As practice shows, a letter from a specialist in the area you would like to match is much more weighty than feedback from other specialties. Choose the writer of your letter carefully. The LoR from the program director or principal can expose the achievements of an applicant better. That will positively affect your entire document as a result.
Never ask your family or friends to write LoR. Medical practice is a complex chain of methods and observations. A person not involved in the process will craft a poor letter which will be evident to a professional. Allow writing LoRs to medical professionals only.
An excellent relationship with your LoR writer is essential for crafting a perfect document. A person who knows you very well or does not know you at all may not reject you in writing LoR. However, you can barely expect extensive and comprehensive recommendations.
Letters of recommendation for residency are a critical aspect of your application. Therefore, start preparing them in advance and carefully, choosing qualified and authoritative authors.
Sample for a Residency Letter of Recommendation
The LoR sample for residency includes the most feasible structural points:
- Purpose of the letter.
- Body part with an enumeration of the positive features of an applicant.
- Body part with examples, proving positive features.
- Finalizing chapter with comments and recommendations.
- Personal data of a recommender.
The letter of recommendation for residency samples may vary slightly. However, the capstone principles of the structure remain the same.
Being an official document, it should be maximally precise, without flowery phrases. But it allows expressing the warm attitude of a recommender to an applicant. Also, emphasizing the emotional qualities, such as good relationship with patients, benevolence, responsiveness, is valuable for a candidate among career achievements.
Except for matching the official requirements, do your best to make the text catchy, notable, making your candidate remarkable. In LoR, all body parts deserve a decent level of attention. So do not think that a powerful beginning is enough. It should be impressive from the first chapter till the end. So, some creativity must be present.
Professional Assistance for Residency Letter of Recommendation
Finding the physicians who can vouch for your clinical skills is a vital part of applying to residencies. During the medical school years, you have doubtlessly developed some exciting relationships with medical personnel and educators which you want to share. Asking for a letter of recommendation for residency often becomes a challenging task. An applicant may collapse with many issues. For example, a candidate:
- Has no stable working contacts, so why should anyone write LoR for this person? As a result, a supervisee does not know how to ask for a letter of recommendation for residency;
- had a perfect relationship with doctors, but they are known to write strict official documents;
- had an excellent collaboration with one doctor, but one LoR residency is not enough;
- Be late with the letter of recommendation for residency because recommenders are very busy.
If entering the ERAS program is your goal, you have no chance to fail. Except for finding the right specialist to write for you, the content of LoR should be exceptionally correct, positive, and match all requirements of the program. If you do not know the recommender very well, the result can be unpredictable and pool your plans for career development.
The best solution is hiring a recommendation letter writing service instead. The professional author will use the information you provide and design a personalized letter of recommendation for you. The sample letter of recommendation for residency and fellowship will help you in the future to write residency letters of recommendation for other students.
The rich experience of our experts allows giving documentation of high quality that matches all formatting and stylistic standards. Entrusting your documents to a professional will save your time significantly, warrant the availability of the paper, and increase your chances to enter the ERAS program.