- Explain the relationship you have with the applicant. The committee will want to know:
- Who you are
- What capacity you have interacted with them in
- How long you have known them for
- Describe their behavior and abilities that you have yourself observed. They will be interested to know about information that cannot be conveyed through test scores such as interpersonal skills, judgment skills, clinical ability and leadership to name just a few.
- Never just make unsubstantiated statements or vaguely refer to abilities. If the person has good leadership skills state how and when they used then and what the outcome of the situation was.
- Avoid all use of clichés, do not mention their scores or other information that will be within other parts of their application unless highly relevant. Never say anything negative about the applicant and that includes qualifiers such as “as well as could be expected.”
Of course the better your letter is tailored to the actual expectations of the program that they are applying to the better received it will be. Ensure that the person requesting the letter provides you with all of the information that you will need to be able to write their LoR effectively. Also, take a good look at any sample LoR for internal medicine residency that you can find for additional help with what to write and how to write.
Letter of Recommendation for Internal Medicine: Preparing to Write
If you need to write a letter of recommendation, you need to gather all the information you need to get started writing or use a quality internal medicine LoR sample. The student should provide you a copy of ERAS or electronic residency application form.
It is also important that you ask the student to bring her personal statement and curriculum vitae. The essay may not be complete but it is a guide and it will give ideas about their goals and plans. Another thing is that as much as possible, you need to meet the student to get more ideas such as about her private practice, academic practice, where that student can see herself after ten years, specialty choice and much more.
Do not forget that letter of recommendation must be written on letterhead. For student, if they need to send it to numerous programs, it is better when they keep the address generic. For instance, Dear Program Director.
- Opening: In opening, it is essential to include the name of the students and the AAMC ID number that is found on their ERAS form. In here, you can include why you’re writing the letter like for application to your program. It is better when you include a short statement about your desire for that student like this is a great pleasure offering this quality letter of recommendation to Joy Smith AAMC# application to your residency program. In opening section, it is important that you put information how you know that student and what circumstance you have worked together like I was an internal medicine preceptor in Mary Jones Hospital during Joy fourth year of her medical school. Try to include what are your roles briefly such as inpatient attending, clerkship director and others. Since you are writing the letter of recommendation, write why you think the student is worthy to be evaluated.
- Body: In this part, it is where you need to put specific examples like medical knowledge, interpersonal skills, communication, professionalism and specific traits.
- Conclusion: It is a part where you need to include your great recommendation. You should be straightforward saying, “I strongly recommend”.
You can also check out LoR samples for residency to know how other people write the letter. Lastly, do not forget to include your contact number in the letter.
Some Expert Advice about Your LoR
Having a good set of letters of recommendation for your application can often be a deciding factor when the decisions are made. Consider what Daniel J Egan MD has said in Medscape :
“As someone who routinely reviews applications to our residency program, I can tell you that letters of recommendation are very important to a successful match. The initial screening process typically involves board scores, rotation grades, medical school grades, and Dean’s letter summary statement. However, after an applicant has made that cut, letters of recommendation play an important role in the evaluation process and truly give insight beyond the standardization in the rest of the application.”
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