Letters of recommendation can reveal important aspects of your potential that cannot be gleaned from your grades and test scores: in particular, your personal character, professional behavior, maturity and distance travelled. With specific examples, letters of recommendation should, in effect, augment your personal, professional, and academic record.
Health professions schools generally request four to six letters of recommendation, which will be included in your committee letter and delivered to your schools. Choose your recommenders strategically. At least two should come from science faculty, and one letter should be from humanity/social science faculty to address your critical thinking and communication skills. You will need one letter from practicing healthcare professionals (MD, DO, PA, nurse, etc.), and one letter from direct supervisors (athlete coach, primary investigator of a research project, community service site coordinator, on-campus job supervisor, etc.). The combination of the letters should provide a balanced picture of you as a well-rounded applicant.
When asking for letters, consider the following advice:
- Ask early. Ask at least one month in advance before the priority LOR deadline (Feb 28)
- Ask in person. Set a time to connect with your recommender to share your resume, personal background, accomplishments, goals, and reasons for applying
- Guide your recommender with the AAMC Letter Writer Guidelines
- Highlight your strengths. Outlining your competencies and how you gained those skills through interactions with the recommender
- Use our guide on who and how to ask for letters of recommendation
- Warmly remind your recommenders with follow-up emails
- Hand write a thank you note and stay in touch. They would love to learn about your updates!
Pomona College uses veCollect as credential service to collect and store your letters of recommendation. Please contact our office for further instructions on creating an account.