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Requesting Letters of Recommendation
for your Residency Application

Overview

Letters of Recommendation (LOR’s) are an important part of your application.  Residency programs hope to learn several things from a LOR.  They are interested in your fund of knowledge, clinical judgment, interpersonal skills and personal qualities.  Equally important is what type of student you are and your potential as a resident.  Essentially, will you be a “good fit”.  Along with clerkship & Sub I grades and the interview, your LOR’s are one of the most important factors programs use when selecting candidates for interviews and in ranking candidates.

You can and should be asking for LOR’s early on, even before you have decided on a specialty or picked programs. However, the majority of LOR’s come from 4th year work. LOR’s from the work of your 3rd year may also be used.

It is very important throughout this process to keep in mind that programs and specialties may have different requirements. LOR requirements are program specific. It is your responsibility to research requirements prior to applying.

LOR’s submitted for your residency (Electronic Residency Application Service –ERAS or SF-CAS, Military) application must follow specific guidelines.  Please review the links below for more details.

Quick Links

Who to Ask

When to Ask

How to Ask

How Do I Ensure a Strong LOR?

What information should I provide to my letter writer?

How many letters will I need?

The number of LOR’s that you will need will vary by student and program.  While most will only need three, you may need more depending on your specialty, if you are applying to more than one specialty or prelims/transitional years, etc.  This information is program specific. It is extremely important to check with the programs directly.

Chairman Letter

MSPE

Where do LOR’s get sent and how?

Tracking your LOR’s? (How do I check to see if my LOR’s have been received?)

Early Match (SF Match-Central Application Service-CAS)

How do I choose which ones to use?

TIPS