Hey all, as I'm finishing my home school uro rotation, and about to embark on 2 aways, I was wondering: what's the proper etiquette in asking for LOR's, ESPECIALLY on away rotations with people you don't know from Adam?Should a meeting be set up early in the rotation, or should we try and schedule as much time as possible with the "important" people (in the OR, clinic, etc)?I realize it's going to be awkward no matter what, but is there a better/worse way to ask for the letter?Thanks!
Most away rotations should be set up for you to get as much face/clinic/OR time with those that matter most (ie Chair, program director, big name urologist, etc). You should definitely ask for a letter if you have worked with the person feel you have made a positive impression on him/her. A lot of big time urologists don't have the time to write a custom letter for you. Rather, they have a form letter that your name gets onto. Some urologists will offer to write you a letter of rec (which is very nice for you). Some may even sit you down and write it out with you (rarely happens). Regardless, make sure you sign that paper that states that you waive the right to view the letter. Also give the doctor a way out if they don't want to do it, so that it is not awkward for them. You have to ask earlier on (during the 3rd week of your 4 week rotation, or on the Monday of the last week). Make sure you know who their secretary is and get their email/phone number so that you can follow up on that letter. Some attendings will wait until the last minute to do the letter, and your application will be left hanging. Ask for more letters than you need (>3) so your application will not be delayed. The field is small, so that most urologists at academic centers will know a lot of other urologists. Don't ever discount a lesser known urologist. A letter is a letter, although some bigger names may hold more weight, the more thoughtful letters may mean much more to the one reading them. Good luck
I"m at an away rotation now. I'm curious about asking for LOR's too. I was very comfortable at my home program asking for letters because I know the faculty well. On this rotation, Its almost as if I'm with a different faculty every day, and even then they come in the OR for the short, critical portions of the case. I feel like I've made a good impression with most of the residents, but I'm pretty sure only one or two of the faculty can remember my name. I've heard that they expect you to ask for letters, even if you didn't work with them very much. It also seems worse for us rotators because the home students already know everyone. What is the overall consensus on asking for LOR's on aways with little attending exposure?