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Getting LORs!

Try to work hard, be humble, careful, responsible and simply impress your attending physician/surgeon. Ask him about LOR only after you have done some good work with him. Few students try to take things for granted and expect LOR as their right at the end of elective. It never happens like this and the attending physician/surgeon may dislike this behaviour.

Be careful and appropriate about everything during your elective. Every little thing may count. The attending may ask the fellow you are working with to write the LOR for him at the end of month and your LOR may say everything that fellow thinks about you, not necessarily the attending. So every little thing counts.

Work hard with full devotion and dedication and you would get your wonderful LOR!

Thanks for this great

Thanks for this great website.

i want to ask what kind of LORs are useful?
Is a lor from a physician on the letter head of himself, his clinic name and affiliation hospital useful??

Or the ones got from a university are the only ones which are useful?



I am currently doing an elective in pediatrics hem onc at Mount Sinai. I finished one in Neurology where they placed me with the movement disorders clinic which turned out to be just an observership and the director said he could just give me an evaluation report. In fact on contacting the coordinator in the dept of neurology they said the departmental policy is not to give LORs to international students coz they hardly know you in just a month. the evaluation report I got is just OK!

Now at Peds hem onc, I was initially doing inpatient consults and taking cases but doe to the problem of not being able to put notes in their electronic system EPIC, they say I can only follow a resident and observe. I really dont know what this one will be yielding for me.

I am so confused. Pls advice what to do? How to work out in favour of getting a good LOR!?


Hi Umar bhai! I finished my electives in one of the teaching hospital in NY. I asked my doctor for a lot. He says lors are not usually given to the students. He says that he will send a lor to the concerned department when i ask him to. Whom should i ask him to send the lor? ill be applying for matching in 2014/2015. i still have to write all the steps. i am afraid that he might not remember me. also will it affect the credibility of the lor since there are 2 more years for me to apply for residency? Please reply! thanks!

Hi, LOR author wrote that I


LOR author wrote that I performed reasonably well during rotation. Should I use this this LOR? Please anyone

Thanks a lot everyone for all

Thanks a lot everyone for all the advice.

I am doing an elective right now at Northwestern in Pediatrics.

In my department the attendings change every week and I worked the most with two of them. But even for those two, I got to present only one or two patients each day and I just followed them with their patients the rest of the day. I asked a lot of questions and tried to show them the additional reading that I have been doing.

Do you think I should ask them for a letter? They are sweet in general and it is tough to know whether they are actually impressed with me.

low step 1 score bur lor from yale...

hello umar bhai... m  really confused here pls help me.

i have got a low step 1 score 197, but i have got an elective from yale in pediatric cardio. i havent given my step 2 ck n cs yet. pls tell me waht are my chances of gettin into pediatrics family medicine or family medcine. I will be really greatful to you.

do u think i can get residency in any of the above branches.

thanking you

no LORs at brown

hey guys! i just did an elective at brown. i wanted to inform you all that brown recently implemented a policy where international medical students are not allowed to request for LORs. i did try my luck and asked my attending but he said the same- that they were told not to write LORs. nevertheless, the experience was fantastic and learnt a lot. 

brother i really appreciate

brother i really appreciate all the guidance you r providing...i m a final year student in kemu. my uncle is medical director of a non residency community hospital in newyork which is not affiliated with any teaching hospital...i m going for electives to him for 2 mnths in internal medicine and he has promised tht he wud get me couple of brilliant LORs...wud tht experience and LORs help me as thts not a teaching hospital......secondly i m destined to apply for match 2 years after electives as i m not done with steps still...would those LORs be of any benefit after 2 years...thnx

Electives at a non-teaching hospital

Hey Arsalan, 

According to NY state education department , hospitals that are not affiliated with a medical school are not allowed to have student for clinical rotation with hands on experience however you can observe at any hospital or even small clinics. So I would suggest not to call this attachment an elective when you apply for residency.  

Thanks for your kind words...

umar's picture

Thanks for your kind words... they might be... but LORs from universities and teaching hospital are much valuable...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

Hi  Thanks for the


Thanks for the website.

As an IMG I have done some electives in the states. I will apply for matching next year as I have not taken any of the steps except CS. I asked my attending to give me LORs and they have agreed. As I will apply for amtching next year it will be difficult to contact the attending and ask him to mail LOR to ERAS. I want to waive the right to see as I have been told they are more valuable. 

What if : I apply for AAMC Id this year and ask my attending to upload the LORs now as he will remember me and he'd easily approachable. Next year I can apply for matching as repeat applicant. Will applying as repeat applicant go against me? 

Other options I have : get the lors in hand or rely on my luck and expect the attending to mail lors next year.

Thank you


Faheem Qureshi

I am not sure about it... you

umar's picture

I am not sure about it... you can get the LORs in hand and then remind him next year again to write you the letter...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


Hi Umar bhai,

Well, I might be repeating the same question, but I'd be glad to know the answer:

I'm through the last week of my elective. I requested one of my attendings and he agreed to write a LoR for me... He did mention the waiver to read the letter, which earns it more credibility... 

He said, that it'd be better if he sent it himself to ERAS when I applied for a residency.

I checked out the ECFMG website for info regarding LoRs. They say, that if I'm to waive my right to read the letter, it must be sent directly by the writer to ERAS along with the AAMC’s Request for LoR/Cover sheet, and the ECFMG's document submission form (DSF).

The request for LOR/Cover sheet requires you to post your AAMC ID in it, which I believe, is something you get after you register with the ERAS (after having completed steps 1, 2CK, and 2CS). I am yet to complete my USMLE steps. 

In that case, what should I do? I mean, do I submit a Request for LOR to my attending right away, without the AAMC ID on it, or do I have it sent to him after I get my AAMC ID?

Its kinda confusing... I don't really want to take the LOR home, because I don't want to lose the credibility it gets if I waive the right to read it...

But then, I'm also worried whether, after a year or so, my attending will still remember me!!!


i am dne wid an electv in US and impressd my attending..i askd fr LOR n he told me to write it fr myslf and he ll do minor chnges..i am happy tht he said the trble is wat shd i write..i want to make it sumwer betn v gud n briliant..pls help

 This information is what I

 This information is what I have been told by many american fellows and residents during my clerkship. My team is a very good team and everyone is very helpful. These are all the things that they have told me. I have asked 3 of my 4 attendings to give me an LOR if they like me and all the 3 have told me that they would give me one although one of the three frankly told me that it might not be a very GREAT letter. I already got 1 letter and it is NOT BAD. It is someway useful because having something is better than having nothing.

Congrats and actually this is

umar's picture

Congrats and actually this is how it is for all IMGs... though you have an edge upon those who dont have any Letter!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


Please understand this ::

 U.S. attendings are very humble and very good. They, most of the times wouldn't say NO if you request them to give a LOR. But, remember there are 3 types of LOR. Bad, OK and Brilliant. They will have templates for the first two kinds and depending on how you have performance, they would just type your name in it and will e-mail your or the physician assistant will mail(post) you that letter. To assess you perfectly, you have to be with the attending for atleast 4-6 months which is not usually possible during most of the elective programs. If during that time, if you impress an attending, he would WRITE A LETTER describing your capabilities and the reasons for you being a good candidate for residency and it usually will FILL THE ENTIRE PAGE OF THE LETTER. Also remember it is not regarding the number of words in the letter, but usually brilliant letters are long describing you in detail about your goods and odds. I do not say you cannot get a brilliant LOR during your 1 or 2 month elective, but it is nearly impossible.

I second this post and could

umar's picture

I second this post and could not agree more...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


Hi. In my rotation the attending changes every week. In such a situation what should I do about the LOR. Should I ask all four?

You can ask them but

umar's picture

You can ask them but generally each of them gives an evaluation to course director who is the one to write your letter otherwise they can specify some other faculty member.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

hey i just completed my

hey i just completed my elective at havard and asked my attendind fr a LOR for which he agreed ,he mailed me tht he has been on the residency selection commite of many universities and that if u dont waive ur right to see the letter ur application is red tagged...and tht waiving it off is i wont be applying for match this year but wil b doing so nxt what shud i  tell him to do?

Yes he is right... one should

umar's picture

Yes he is right... one should waive their right to see the LOR...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

regarding lors

hi...i m doing my elective right is said that after the end of my elective i ll get an evaluation form my attending  that i just have to take a print out it same as a lor or evaluation different from a lor?????that means i have to ask my attending to give me a separate lor?????

i have d same query as a visitor above...dont the lor require to be at least 1 yr old.....if more than that it would not b if i get a lor now will it b valid i apply for 2013??????

Evaluation Form and LOR are

umar's picture

Evaluation Form and LOR are different things. One always has to ask for LOR. 

Recent LORs are preferred!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


This is what the ECFMG has to say about LORs.

Should i ask my attending?

Hi Umar bhai,

I recently did my elective in radiology. I guess  the problem with most radiology electives is that you have to rotate in different area every day. At least thats what happened with me. 

However, there were two faculty that i really kicked off with so i asked to be reassigned with them and ended up spending 3 days each with both of them and they both gave me very good feedback on the last day and said they were pretty impressed with me.

So my question is: Should i ask them for an LOR even though i've spent so little time with them? 

Yes you can.... Generally

umar's picture

Yes you can....

Generally speaking while rotating with various attendings in a specialty like radiology, you should get yourself involved in some research projects so that you have a chance to interact more... and thus they know u well... anyhow now when u already have sufficient interaction, you can ask them for a LOR...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


Hello Umar Bhai,

waz up,

I am doing electives these days and my month of the first elective is getting over by next week and I talked to the attending regarding LOR and he agreed for it......

now I would like to know that:

1. usually the attitude of the attendings in US is pretty cool so for most of the time they talk to us very nicely and its really tough to know whether he/she is happy with your work or not, but I think the type of LOR (average/outsanding) they give us will be the real status of the performance, Bhai, does that mean they usally give it to every one who do the rotations under them?

and is there any way to know that whether he is impressed or not before he gives me LOR so that I must know that I going in the right direction?

2.  n also, we have to submit 1 lor from each electives...or if i am doing a elective under different Attending i.e. 1st 2 weeks is other n next 2 weeks its sumone else can I ask both of them for LORs,? is it right to ask for two and sending both for ERAS ?


best wishes too,

Himanshu Adlakha

1. No, they do not ALWAYS

umar's picture

1. No, they do not ALWAYS give LORs to everyone. You yourself realize if someone like you and appreciates your efforts.

2. yes you can.....

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

LOR query

hey any1 who did electives or who r doin electives...wat is the actual funda of getting LOR's..1 of my attending where i m doing elective has agreed 2 write a LOR 4 me, but then does that LOR copy need 2 b taken now or should it be taken when v have registered in i would b applying in ERAS in 2011 for 2012 should i proceed .. also i have heard that there's some kinda waiver in LOR where the attending doctors directly upload ur LOR without showing it 2 u and I hav heard that such LOR's have more does this thing work and how hav u guys approached this issue..Wat did u do for LOR's umarbhai...did u take that on the spot or like u will b taking it next year when u apply in ERAS

 U can get ur LOR now and

umar's picture

 U can get ur LOR now and send it to ERAS yourself later or u can get ur LOR now and request the attending to mail the LOR directly.... i wud advise u to request the attending to write a LOR for u at the end of your rotation and then u when u need to submit it to ERAS, request the attending to mail that LOR that he wrote at the end of your rotation...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

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