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Recommendation letter from a surgical assistant?

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I shadowed a surgeon for many hours and got to know him well, but I also spent many hours with his surgical assistant (not tech). I was wondering what someone thought about asking both of them for a recommendation letter? Would it be redundant since they both know me in the same setting/conditions or would it be extra cushion for my app? They both would be able to write strong letters for me so quality would not be an issue for either of them. 

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I would try and not have someone you shadowed as they don't really know you that well. As far as having people write you a recommendation letter in the same capacity, all 5 of mine were people I worked with in the surgery department and I got accepted to PA school. Ultimately, I believe it really comes down to your personal statement and grades.


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I have cna healthcare experience but the difficult part is that i work for an agency meaning I go to different facilities for almost every shift. This results in not having the same supervisors and not being able to form those relationships. so im grasping at straws for letters. I work at my undergraduate library as well. That boss knows me well but not in a healthcare setting...

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I guess I am now also having a similar problem too when I thought I was golden all along until I read these posts... I thought this whole time it WAS a good idea to have the someone's you shadowed write a letter of rec about you? Now I guess I'm realizing that's not the case. I have 2 professors that know my academic capabilities and I have 2 pas that I shadowed in different areas of medicine I thought they would be good. I work in the hospital and mainly over nights... I barely see the supervisor unless it's for a code or something. They're also super busy and have been known to not be that reliable with deadlines and stuff. They're not the best person for me to ask although I wish they were honestly. The only other people I see is basically the nurses that work up there and occasionally the residents but only when we call them up there when there's a problem (they're usually down in the ER the whole night) so they don't really know me either. I'm quiet at work, I do a good job, I go above and beyond for my patients, I get things done, but I'm quiet and I usually just keep to myself and get my work done. Maybe I should've been more outgoing I'm kinda regretting that now :/

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I have cna healthcare experience but the difficult part is that i work for an agency meaning I go to different facilities for almost every shift. This results in not having the same supervisors and not being able to form those relationships. so im grasping at straws for letters. I work at my undergraduate library as well. That boss knows me well but not in a healthcare setting...


Then the surgeon is the best option! You have considered all the possibilties and now have your answer. You got this!


@psych2PA - Letters from PAs you have shadowed are not negative, they just may not be as strong as someone who has worked with you professionally. Depending on the person you could ask a supervisor at work for a LOR, and then provide them with key points to emphasize (you work hard, get things done effectively, story about a code you helped with, etc) and consistent reminders of the deadline. You are the best judge of your options. If you do not feel there is someone at work who will write you an excellent LOR, then continue with your current plan. Professionally I have used references from supervisors I did not know well and it has worked out in my favor, but not everyone is comfortable doing this. 

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