Recommendation Letters for Research Programs by amo47901

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									                                                              Pritzker Letters of Recommendation FAQ


Letters of Recommendation: Getting the Letters
   How Many Letters of Recommendation Do I Need?

    Categorical
       - 3 letters of recommendation are required.
       - ERAS will not allow more than 4 letters per program
       - Some specialties may require a Chair’s letter (see below)

        -   General rule:
               3 clinical letters of recommendation
               1 supplemental research letter (if relevant)

    Prelim + Advanced
        - 3 letters of recommendation are required for the prelim application
        - 3 letters of recommendation are required for the advanced application
        _______________
        6 total letters

       Letter writers can use a modified version of the same letter for both applications. For
        example, a faculty member from the Department of Medicine can use the same letter for
        both the preliminary year in Medicine and the categorical application in Anesthesia. They
        will just need to make sure that the opening sentence in the letter reads: “I am delighted to
        recommend John Doe for your residency program.” Be sure to let the faculty member know
        that you will be using his/her letter for both your prelim application and advanced
        application!

       You need to be extra careful in naming/assigning your letters in ERAS so that Pritzker staff
        attach the correct letter to the correct program. For example, a letter that Dr. McDade writes
        for a prelim medicine application could be named: LOR-McDade-Prelim-Med

   Whom should I ask?

    Faculty members who know you best and can strongly support their application. Clinical letters
    are preferred. Research letters can be used as supplemental letters but not as primary letters.

    It is more important for you to receive a detailed letter from a faculty member who knows you
    well than from a “big name” faculty member who does not know you well.

   What information do I need to provide to letter writers?
    We recommend asking your letter writers in person and bringing the following with you:
             Draft of your CV
             ERAS Cover Letter or SF Match Cover Letter
              AAMC identification number. This the same number as your AMCAS number.
              You can access this AAMC number once you have registered for ERAS. ERAS
              tokens will be distributed on July 1.




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                                                                    Pritzker Letters of Recommendation FAQ




   Which Specialties require a chair’s or section chief letter? (per UC program directors)


Department                Process                       Co-written      Comments
                                                        by faculty?
Anesthesia                Some programs may             Yes             If Dr. Apfelbaum is not your
                          require a chair’s letter.                     specialty advisor, letters are written
                          Contact specialty advisor                     in conjunction with your advisor or
                          first, and then arrange a                     another faculty member.
                          meeting with Dr.
                          Apfelbaum                                     **If you are applying to advanced
                                                                        programs and will need a prelim
                                                                        year, remember you will need a
                                                                        prelim medicine chair’s letter!

Medicine                  Letter is written by and      Yes
                          co-signed by your
                          faculty advisor. You do
                          not need to contact Dr.
                          Vokes.
***Prelim Medicine        Letter is written by and      Yes             **If you are applying to advanced
                          co-signed by your                             programs and will need a prelim
                          faculty advisor. You do                       year, remember you will need a
                          not need to contact Dr.                       medicine chair’s letter!
                          Vokes.
Obstetrics & Gynecology   Meet with Dr. Haney
Med-Peds                  2 chair letters! Specialty    Yes             Office of Chairman of Pediatrics and
                          advisor(s) in Medicine        (for both       Medicine will co-author/edit letter.
                          and Pediatrics will co-       Medicine        You do not need to contact them
                          author the chair’s letters.   and Peds)       directly.
Orthopaedic Surgery       Meet with Dr. Peabody         No
(Chief letter)
Otolaryngology            Meet with Dr. Naclerio        No
(Chief letter)
Plastic Surgery           Meet with Dr. Song            No
(Chief letter)
Surgery                   Meet with Dr. Matthews        No
Urology (Chief letter)    Meet with Dr. Shalav          No


   Co-written Chair Letters
    Dr. Vokes and Dr. Apfelbaum’s chair’s letters are co-written and co-signed by a faculty
    member (generally specialty advisor). This means you will need to ask 3 faculty members to be
    writers, one of whom will co-sign the chair’s letter.

    Junior Faculty Member: If you would like a Chief Resident or junior faculty member
    to write a letter of recommendation for you, the junior faculty member should write the Chair’s
    letter. That way the chair’s signature can balance out the junior position of the co-signer.

   How do I get a Chairman’s Letter if he/she doesn’t know me?

    It is best to contact the secretary in the department or seek your specialty advisor’s advice.


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Letters of Recommendation: Logistics
   Where should my letters be sent?
    Via email, fax or hand delivered to:

    ATTENTION: EILEEN WAYTE
    UCMC, Room O-131
    Tel: (773) 834-3757; Fax: (773) 834-3119
    Email: ewayte@bsd.uchicago.edu


   When should all my letters be in?

    Generally faculty will deliver their letters within 4-6 weeks of being asked by students. We
    recommend that students begin asking letter writers in June/July.

    We hope to get all letters in by the end of September. Last year we gave faculty members an
    estimated deadline of September 15, recognizing that many letters will come in
    approximately one to two weeks later. Most program deadlines (but by no means all—this
    varies by discipline and by program) are around November 1st. However, we found that
    sometimes a program will not invite students for interviews until all of their letters have
    arrived.

   Do I need to have all my letters of reference scanned into the Dean’s Work Station
    before I can apply?

    No, you can (and should) send in your application and assign your letters even if the letters
    haven’t been received. Programs will be automatically notified by ERAS as additional letters
    arrive.

   Do I have to designate all my letters at the time that I apply?

    No, you can apply without designating any letters at all. You can apply with a few letters
    designated and add letter writers later.

   What do I do if my letter hasn’t been received, I can’t get in touch with my letter writer,
    and it is well after the 4-6 week period?

    If it has been 6 weeks since a student requested a letter, it is appropriate for students to send a
    reminder to their faculty letter writers. If it has been less than 4 weeks since a student asked
    their letter writers but it is in the middle of September, students should let Eileen/Kelly and
    they will follow up on student’s behalf.

    In early September, Eileen, Caroline, and Kelly will regularly generate reports from ERAS
    and will start reminding faculty if any letters are missing.




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                                                             Pritzker Letters of Recommendation FAQ


   I am trying to decide which letter to assign to a certain program. Can you tell me if Dr.
    X wrote a good letter?

    Since you waived your right to see the letter, Pritzker staff cannot share this information with
    students. Pritzker staff only looks at the letters of recommendation to make sure that the
    correct letter is assigned and that there are no flagrant errors (wrong name, etc.)

   Can I change my personal statement and letters of reference even after I have
    assigned them to programs?

    Yes, you can de-assign both your personal statement and your letters of reference and send in
    new ones. However, do not do this lightly. First, there is no guarantee that programs have
    not already downloaded your documents and have a hard copy already. Second, there are
    dangers associated with “over-tweaking” your application. You have put a lot of thought
    already into writing your personal statements and in selecting your letter writers. A last
    minute change may not be as well thought out as the choices you have already made. Finally,
    programs will see your changes and may interpret your behavior as indecisive.




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