So I believe 3 letters is standard (with at least 2 being URO letters). Do some programs require 4? Does it look better to have 4? Should you have 3 uro letters? I'm doing away relatively late (mid-september to end october) so away letters will not really help me. Please offer any advising words.
I think this is an important distinction. Anyone else care to weigh in?
You want 3 letters from Urologists. Most letters from other specialties don't really mean much. If a Urologist is well known, that is even better.If you have 4 letters, 1 can be from non-Urology, preferably from a surgeon of some sort.
The Urology field is small. Residencies carry 1-5 residents per year, with most programs with 2 per year. Most Urologists at academic programs know the other attentings at other programs. Sure, your psychiatry letter may be great and make you out to be a stellar candidate, or your OB/Gyn rotation letter makes you out to be the 2nd coming of Patrick Walsh, but does it really mean much to the Urologist reading the letter? The attendings who interview would rather see great Urology letters from people that they know. What you need to understand is that when someone offers to write you a letter, they are essentially putting their reputation on the line for you to their peers. So that if they say that you are fantastic and that you will be the best resident ever, and you prove them wrong, it makes the attending look like a complete douche. Future letters won't mean as much if anything.So, I agree with the first reply above. The more letters from Urologists the better. The more well known Urologists, the better. I'm not saying that non Urology letters won't mean anything, but they won't be viewed as strong. I also agree that surgical specialty or G surg letters are better than primary care letters. Remember, all you future Urologists out there, you are all cut from a different cloth than your primary care colleagues.
If we have 4 letters already received, should we just send all 4 even though most programs require only 3. is it better to send anextra or just send exactly what they ask for?
How many letters do we need to have by the opening of the application--September 1? Will programs extend invitations with two letters and a third hanging?
I'd like to know this as well
Most if not all programs will not grant you an interview until your application is COMPLETE. This means your application fulfills ALL of their requirements. This, however, does not mean that you need to have everything in on the exact date that applications open. Why? Because most programs know that you are still waiting for those ever so precious LOR's and that a lot of attendings drag their feet. This does not mean you should not apply. Submit what you have and pray that the letters and other missing pieces get in ASAP. Programs won't start granting inverviews until the 3rd -4th week of September. But the earlier you can get everything in, the better you'll feel, and you may get interviews before those that lag. Programs that you apply to get notification when you upload new documents. Most programs will update their downloads periodically prior to granting interviews and subsequently before interviews.
If you have a strong research background that resulted in pubs in another field, a letter from the mentor would be helpful, especially if that mentor is 1) a huge advocate of you or 2) writes well on your behalf and is well known generally/high up in their dept. Regarding other rotations, would try and get letters from surgical rotations, not psych or ob-gyn, etc. That being said, I have 4 urology letters. The main point is that you will need at least 1 urologist to vouch for you, but other poeple who make a convincing case on your behalf can also be helpful (with caveats as above).
why not an ob.gyn letter? isn't it applicable- surgical specialty- overlap with uro-and of course all the female uro and incontinence etc.