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Hi everyone. This might be a stupid question, but I just wanted to get some opinions. When getting a LOR from a PA, does it have to be a PA you shadowed? I have a very close family friend who has known me for a long time and I have sat down a handful of times to chat with her/interview her about her career and all of my questions regarding the journey of becoming a PA from the CASPA process to her current position. Is it suitable to get a LOR from someone like this or does it have to be strictly from someone who I shadowed/worked with? Thanks in advance!

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Hi everyone. This might be a stupid question, but I just wanted to get some opinions. When getting a LOR from a PA, does it have to be a PA you shadowed? I have a very close family friend who has known me for a long time and I have sat down a handful of times to chat with her/interview her about her career and all of my questions regarding the journey of becoming a PA from the CASPA process to her current position. Is it suitable to get a LOR from someone like this or does it have to be strictly from someone who I shadowed/worked with? Thanks in advance!


Get it from whichever PA knows you the best. It can be a family friend or whomever.

The LOR writer should be able to talk about you in ways you can’t.


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On 7/8/2019 at 10:07 PM, UGoLong said:

 


Get it from whichever PA knows you the best. It can be a family friend or whomever.

The LOR writer should be able to talk about you in ways you can’t.


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Right but is it okay to get it from the family friend PA who I have never directly worked with

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Right but is it okay to get it from the family friend PA who I have never directly worked with
Yes it is.

There is no requirement that LORs come from old employers! One of my best friends wrote one of mine, for example.

You want people who know you well and can talk about your character, etc.


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I did not get any LORs from PAs. I got 2 from MDs I worked with and 1 from my supervisor. If a LOR from a PA isn’t required where you’re applying, I would recommend getting LORs from those who’ve worked with you, assuming they would write a solid letter. 

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To repeat, LORs do not have to be from employers. The best one I ever read as part of a review board was from a prospective student's soccer coach.

LORs fill a need for a third party who knows you to be able to tell us who you are. If that is a coworker, fine, but it is not a requirement.

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13 hours ago, UGoLong said:

To repeat, LORs do not have to be from employers. The best one I ever read as part of a review board was from a prospective student's soccer coach.

LORs fill a need for a third party who knows you to be able to tell us who you are. If that is a coworker, fine, but it is not a requirement.

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To me, a soccer coach is different than a family friend. A soccer coach can attest to your work ethic and how you work with others from a less biased standpoint.  I think a family friend could be fine, but probably not the strongest choice. 

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Bubbles,

I'm clearly not going to convince you. So be it.

To the others out there: use references that can speak to your character, regardless of whether or not you are fortunate enough to have a well-qualified (medically) family friend.

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I respectfully disagree with @UGoLong in this regard.  In both my academic and clinical position, I review over a thousand CASPA applications and immediately dismiss references that are actually personal references in the guise of professional references.  For example, I have had applicants use parents for their LOR because they are physicians or PAs.  Most admission directors I work with, including mine, specifically state professional references, and ignore (or worse, penalize) personal letters.  It should be inferred when applying to schools or jobs that the references you provide are those who can speak to your professional career.  If you wanted to submit this as a 4th or 5th letter and specifically state that this is someone you know personally, that would probably be ok.

My opinion is that this could appear to be nepotistic or bias. 

I also suggest you look closely at what the program specifically states on their website.  Our site states must be professional reference with a preference for at least one clinical reference (PA, MD, NP) and one professor. 

I do agree that coaches write very good letters and often speak to grit, determination, overcoming hardship, leadership, and other things clinical references don't speak of.

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