Faculty members may ask you to draft your own letter of recommendation. They may use your letter draft as a launching point for their own, after reviewing the accomplishments and traits that you highlight. After you provide a letter, some faculty members will draft their own, others will edit it, and others may simply sign the letter without making any changes.
We urge extreme caution in the case of applicants who draft and submit their own letters without editing help. Being asked to draft your own letter is a golden opportunity, but due to inexperience in writing this kind of letter, you may end up writing one that simply rehashes the content included elsewhere in your application, or that fails to include crucial content that program directors are looking for. Submitting a generic letter robs you of an opportunity to significantly strengthen your application. Letters of recommendation have always been extremely important in the residency selection process, usually ranking second in importance after Step 1 and Step 2 CK exam scores. With the USMLE Step 1 exam now pass/fail, multiple surveys of program directors in different specialties have indicated that these letters are likely to increase even more in importance.
We are often approached by applicants who failed to match, seeking a better understanding of the factors that prevented them from achieving success. In most cases, a major factor keeping them from matching is the quality of their letters of recommendation, especially when those letters were written by the applicant themselves.
Many students who draft their own letters of recommendation use examples or templates found on the Internet. The Internet is full of poor examples, and applicants must take care to use credible sources for proper guidance. Be very careful of using sentences and paragraphs from other letters—for example, it is obvious when applicants use common phrases from online templates, or when they include the same chunk of text in several of their drafted letters (which are supposed to be from independent mentors). Residency programs may use plagiarism software to detect duplication of content. In one study, nearly 12% of residency applications included at least one plagiarized letter.
Before submitting your letter draft to your attending, we recommend showing any letter draft that you develop to a mentor who has experience in residency advising. This will help to ensure that you have written the letter that you deserve.
AVOID ERRORS THAT APPLICANTS MAKE
If your attending asks you to draft a letter that will serve to highlight or focus aspects of your experience and personality for their own letter, we can help.
When providing such a draft, you need to maximize the impact of every sentence. You need to highlight specific traits and accomplishments, in a greater depth or from a different angle than what's included in your CV.
We have considerable experience editing letters of recommendation, and we can ensure that your draft letter highlights the type of information that program directors seek. Of note, we do not use templates or examples from the Internet. We write each letter from scratch, utilizing the information you provide to us in a very detailed questionnaire. If you do not provide us with a sufficient level of detail, we will ask you to provide additional information. We do that with your best interests in mind because we want to help you draft the type of letter that you deserve—one that enhances your chances of securing an interview.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
"So many of my interviewers told me how great the letter was!"
How It Works
Step 1: Purchase the Service from our online store.
Step 2: We will send you a list of questions for you to answer so that we can create a powerful letter of recommendation.
Step 3: Answer these questions in detail, and then send the information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Dr. Desai will use this information to create the letter.
Step 5: We will make revisions as needed until you are satisfied.
Please note that this service includes drafting and editing of one letter of recommendation (for a single attending or physician).
We offer letter of recommendation packages for applicants that are in need of multiple letters. These packages include a discounted price; see our shop page.