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Letters Of Recommendation

Medical School

Make sure to ask for a letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well and can highlight your good qualities – don’t just choose someone with an impressive title. The application usually requires two or three letters. For each letter, try choosing a reference that can speak to different aspects of your work. For my three letters, I asked a physician at the clinic I was volunteering at, a professor whose course I’d taken and who I volunteered with, and a supervisor I was doing research with.

One strategy for asking someone for a letter is to ask them to give you an informal evaluation first- ask them what they think your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can improve. If they give you overall positive feedback, ask them if they’d be willing to write you a STRONG recommendation letter. If they give you overall negative feedback, it may be wise to ask someone else for a letter. Don’t be discouraged if the person you’re asking says they can’t write you a letter – it’s better moving on to ask someone else than having them write you a poor letter anyway. Give your referees a few months’ time to finish the letter – don’t wait until a week before your application is due! Offer your referee a copy of your CV and a chance to meet up to discuss your goals and skills.

Find A Physician

To Work With

Many people get letters of recommendation from physicians, and there are many ways to find a physician to work with. I found my volunteer position at a physician’s clinic on my university’s work and volunteer online database. Another place you can consider looking is in the classroom. Sometimes your professors are also M.D.s, so look them up online. Ask your classmates if they know any physicians looking for help with projects. Volunteer at your local hospital and try to network with the physicians by going to rounds. Finally, you can ask your university guidance counsellor to ask if they can provide you with more resources.

Take Home Points

Do Something You’re Passionate About

Medical School

One last tip: don’t go through the trouble of volunteering somewhere if you’re doing it just for the letter of recommendation – your disinterest will show and reflect in your performance. Instead, do something you’re truly passionate about. Don’t like answering phones nonstop for a big-name organization? Don’t be a desk clerk! Love hanging out with kids at summer camp? Be a camp counsellor! No matter what you do, don’t forget to have fun!

Take Home Points:

– Get a letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well (i.e. someone you’ve worked with for a longer time).

– Give your referee plenty of time to write the letter before the deadline.

– Ask your referee if they can write you a STRONG letter – don’t’ be discouraged if they say no.

– If you want to volunteer with a physician, check the resources at your university.

– Working with your referee should be fun – choose someplace you love!



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Success Stories

Jess B (2018)

Accepted to UWO Medicine (MD/PhD)

I enrolled with Med Applications one month before my first interview. I had been preparing for interviews by reading books and discussing questions with friends and family, but I was still nervous and didn’t really know what to expect. I felt so much more comfortable after my session with MedApplications. My instructor was very knowledgeable and catered the session to what I needed work on (as I had both panel and MMI interviews, this was particularly beneficial). It was very useful to cover topics with someone who knew what to expect from an interview and could comment on the quality of my answers. All together the experience was extremely helpful and very reassuring; it significantly calmed my nerves during my interviews. There weren’t any questions I was surprised by in my interviews. I would definitely recommend a session for future students.

Roxana M(2018)

McGill Medicine (MD)

“MedApplications helped me with both my essay preparation which brought me to the big interview and with interview preparation. MedApplication's services provided me with not only an insight of how to tailor an application to bring out the best of my ability but it also gave me the confidence I needed to survive the MMIs.

K. Y.2018

O uf T, UBC, McMaster

"I used MedApplications mock interview service because I wanted to practice and receive feedback from a current medical student. I found the mock interview helpful in identifying weaknesses in my answers and improving on them to make them stand out. I would recommend MedApplications to anyone who wants extra preparation to gain confidence for medical school interviews."


U of A

"I went into my first MedApplications session without a clue about what MMI's were or how to prepare for them. After meeting and practising with Eric and Kent, however, I learned all of the tips and skills I needed to ace the interview. They were incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging and their help gave me that extra boost of confidence on interview day. Thanks MedApplications!"

Hana W(2018)

University of Ottawa Medicine

“I was accepted at Ottawa which was my ideal school and my only interview. Josh was absolutely wonderful and definitely part of my success! He was very helpful throughout the entire process 🙂


Mother of a High School student for a Pre-Med program

“Hi MedApplications, just to let you know that Isabelle got an offer from University of London St. George’s College. The competition this year was quite challenging. We would like to thank you and Sarah for your contribution to this achievement. Your services are excellent. Please count us among satisfied clients.”

Matthew L. (Class of 2018)

McMaster University Medicine

"I used the MedApplications seminar and mock interview services before I had my interviews at Queen's and McMaster medical schools, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. Their seminars were incredibly helpful in providing information about the interview process and ways to truly emphasize your best qualities in an interview. Their mock interview session was great as well as it gave me an opportunity to practice my interviewing style with a current medical student! If you are looking for a way to prepare for an interview as important as the ones for medical school, I would definitely recommend MedApplications."


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