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Hello!

 

I'm getting ready to apply to PA school for the first time this cycle, I've pretty much completed everything besides some edits on my personal statement and my recommendation letters. I've already asked my professor/mentor from undergrad to write me a letter but I'm trying to figure out who to ask for the others and also how to ask. 

 

I worked as a scribe in the ER while I was completed my undergrad degree for about 1 year, I worked with several different doctors and multiple doctors told me that they would write me a letter of recommendation if I ever needed one. I have emails for a couple of the doctors and I'm friends with another on social media. I'm just wondering if I should email them prior to sending the evaluation request, I haven't worked there in a couple months and just wanted to make sure that I was being appropriate when asking for the letter via email.

 

I also am currently working as a scribe in another ED (in another state) and have been there for about 3 months. I've worked with some great doctors but I'm just not sure if I've been working there long enough to have a strong recommendation letter from any of the doctors or if they would be comfortable writing me one. 

 

Also, is there anything that I should include when I ask for the letter of recommendation? (personal statement, CV/resume etc). My biggest thing is I'm just not sure how to phrase everything and what needs to be included in the request for the letter. Any suggestions would be appreciated! 

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Have you shadowed any PAs? I would recommend asking for a letter of rec from a PA specifically, since a lot of programs require it. (Unless none of your programs do, and you really feel that it isn't needed). Otherwise, definitely ask a doctor that you've shadowed. I'm pretty sure that ~99.99% of schools require a letter of rec from a healthcare provider. Ask them if they feel like they would be willing and able to write you a good letter of rec, and if so, ask them what they need you to provide them (whether it be a resume, or what have you) in order to make the process easier.

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Asking for a LOR is super easy! You want to choose a good mix of people (professors, PAs, MDs, etc) and ask individuals you think will write an excellent recommendation. Is there anyone who has previously offered or at your current job who you feel knows you well? Definitely email! Do no reach out via social media!

 

When emailing to ask someone for a LOR remind them who you are ("Dear Dr. Smith, I scribed for you at Big Hospital ER last year. I am currently in the process of applying to PA school...") and include at least your resume. If there are things you would like them to emphasis don't be afraid to include that as well. Finally tell them that you will be entering their information into the CASPA application which will send them a link to complete the recommendation. There is nothing worse then having someone reply with the LOR attached. Good luck!

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Some schools have requirements about having a PA or whatever. Otherwise -- please please please! -- pick people who know you well enough to write something other than just another vanilla letter!

 

A favorite teacher/professor, a favorite coach, someone who can speak to your work ethic while you were going after your healthcare experience. Not just people who know (or knew) you peripherally and have little of substance to share about you.

 

You would be surprised at how much vanilla LORs look alike. This is one opportunity to have something said about you that isn't your grades, test scores, or your essay talking. Take advantage of that. The best LOR I ever saw was from an applicant's college soccer coach.

 

Good luck!

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