Building Rapport with Professors for Strong Med School Recommendation Letters

"FROM TIME TO TIME, WE encounter impressive medical school applicants with good GPAs, strong MCAT scores and solid clinical experiences. But when they are ready to submit their medical school application, there is one catch: They don’t know who to get letters of recommendation from.

We discuss potential letter writers, but these students worry about approaching them because they have no relationship with them. A student got an A-plus in physiology, but took the course three semesters ago and never interacted with the professor. Or a student did research for a year, but worked with a graduate student in the lab and rarely talked to the faculty member who runs the lab.

When these students reach out for a letter of recommendation, the professors do not remember them. The result is that either their request for a letter is declined or they receive a superficial letter that cannot attest much to their unique qualities or personal attributes." …