Ms. Cydney, student coordinator of many clinical rotations with Saba and MUA students, is here to save the day! Many hospitals and thanks to people like Cydney, keep your letters on file until ERAS opens. And you can request the letter to be sent in. For example, if you do an internal medicine core rotation, and you feel as if you did well and can get a strong LOR (Letter of Recommendation), ask at that time. That way when it is over a year later and you are applying, your letter was already written when you were fresh in the attending’s mind. When ERAS opens, you can then ask the coordinator to submit your letter.
But, HOW do I ask?! It is a good idea to begin to gauge how you are doing midway into a rotation. Ask your attending for feedback and ways that you may be able to improve. When the rotation comes to an end, ask the same attending if you can get an evaluation. If you feel as if this person will write you a strong letter, ask them at that time.
Most will say yes and will send it to the student coordinator when they complete it. Note that some attendings may need a gentle reminder. If the letter is not completed, just send a follow up email thanking them for taking the time to meet with you and agreeing to write the LOR.
***TIP*** – When sending emails, sometimes it is helpful to have a picture of yourself (But remember to keep it professional!) inserted at the bottom after your signature. I know you may think you are unforgettable, but these physicians work with many students throughout the year, and sometimes they just need a small reminder of who you are.
Be mindful that not all coordinators are as helpful as Cydney! Make sure you speak with the student coordinator at each location to see if this is an option.
View more information from Cydney by viewing our video – How do I ask for a Letter of Recommendation?
“ERAS” is a trademark of AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).