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Pre-Medical Program

Letters of Recommendation

Upon receipt of the application forms from AMCAS, medical schools will send a supplementary application packet which is specific for that school. You will be required to have letters of recommendation written on your behalf. Recommendation letters are used by the admission's committee to learn more about the character, aptitude, maturity, ethics, and attitude of the applicant from individuals who know them well.

In addition, students applying to LLUSM as well as to many other medical schools are required to have a recommendation from the PUC Medical Recommendations Committee (MRC). The MRC meets in October or November of each year to consider the medical school applicants. Prospective applicants should advise the secretary to the Academic Dean of their intentions by mid-October and supply a list of medical school addresses to which recommendation letters should be sent.

The Medical Recommendations Committee (MRC) is composed of the following representatives:

  • Edwin Moore - Chairman, Associate Academic Dean
  • Lisa Bissell Paulson- Vice President for Student Services
  • Jan Wood - Director of Residence Life
  • James Boyd- Dean of Men
  • Bill Hemmerlin - Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
  • John Duncan- Associate Professor of Biology, Pre-medical Advisor
  • Robin Vance- Professor of Biology, Pre-medical Advisor
  • Aimee Wyrick - Associate Professor of Biology, Pre-dental Advisor
  • Marie Pak - Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pre-medical Advisor
  • Vola Andrianarijaona – Professor of Physics, Pre-dental Advisor
  • Pablo Hilario – Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Pre-dental Advisor
  • Kent Davis – Chemistry, Pre-med advisor

There is a broad representation on the committee, representing input from different aspects of campus life. Most medical schools take the committee recommendation very seriously and consider this the most reliable recommendation. Prior to a meeting, each committee member will encourage input from each member of his/her department who has had contact with the students being evaluated. This information is brought to the committee and integrated into the evaluation.

In addition to the MRC recommendation, personal letters of recommendation will be required by many medical schools. The student should get recommendation letters from individuals with whom he/she is well-acquainted. Admissions committees are looking for accurate, in-depth evaluations, and a casual acquaintance, no matter in how important a position, will not know enough about you to give a qualified recommendation. Loma Linda University School of Medicine requires two recommendations in addition to the MRC recommendation.

If an instructor is asked for a recommendation but the student rarely participated in class or seldom came to the instructor's office, the instructor has little to go on except a list of scores. The recommender is asked to provide their opinion on your motivation, ethical standards, maturity, character, independent thinking ability, communication skills, creative ability, personality, and commitment to the practice of medicine. Several checks in the "Lack of Information" column will result in a weak recommendation. If you have never taken the opportunity to get acquainted, how can an evaluator reasonably evaluate your commitment to service, integrity, maturity, interpersonal skills, or emotional stability? We recommend that you obtain a copy of the personal recommendation form from the office of the academic dean. Read it and put yourself in the place of the recommender.

Students who find it difficult or impossible to live within the guidelines established for life on a Christian campus such as PUC should expect a teacher or dean to indicate this fact in the "cooperation" section of the form. (Even nondenominational organizations are interested in whether or not a student displays a cooperative attitude.)

In light of the fact that we claim Christ as our example, the teacher filling the "Commitment to Service" part of the form must ascertain to what degree the student's interest in medicine is motivated by a desire to be of service to his/her fellow man in a Christ-like way.

Our advice to students: Be friendly, get acquainted with your deans and teachers. Let them know of your goals, aspirations, and motivation for medicine. Don't be afraid to open up a bit. You will find that most will be happy to learn of your interests as you visit with them.