Getting into Medical School For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

To obtain the best individual letters of recommendation for medical school, it’s best to ask early. This is true when asking for a premedical committee letter as well, since the evaluation process often begins early in the academic year. That’s why it’s best to become familiar with the guidelines and timetable set by your school’s premedical committee and to stick to it precisely.

For individual letters of recommendation, asking early gives you time to recover when promised letters arrive later than you expect, or never arrive. If you fail to get letters of recommendation on time, your file may not be reviewed by the med school until later in the cycle.

With rolling admissions (where a school begins reviewing applications before the deadline), every week’s delay while you await the arrival of your letters may mean interview slots are being filled.

Asking for letters by early spring gives your evaluators plenty of time to write and submit them so that they’re available for the secondary stage of the application process. If you submit your primary applications early in the cycle, you’ll start getting secondaries by mid-summer.

Having faculty letters safely in hand early is especially important because instructors may not be on campus in the summer, making them much more difficult to track down. If you ask early and someone doesn’t come through, you still have time to seek a backup.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Carleen Eaton, MD, has used her expertise in admissions and test preparation, as well as her experiences as an applicant who received acceptances to top-ranked medical schools, to guide hundreds of applicants successfully through the medical school admissions process. She is the founder of, a medical school admissions consulting firm.

This article can be found in the category: