Residency Letters of Recommendation Samples

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Residency Letters of Recommendation Samples

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Letters of Recommendation (LORs) are pivotal in your residency application, providing a unique perspective on your skills, character, and potential from those who know your work best. This blog provides you with sample letters to help you get powerful recommendations that strengthen your residency application.

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And now, let’s get started with the LOR examples:

Letter of Recommendation
Example #1: Internal Medicine

Dear Program Director,

I am writing this letter of recommendation in support of Shiv Roy, who is applying to this year’s match in Internal Medicine. Shiv has been an exceptional student under my mentorship during her US clinical rotations and research endeavors. I have had the privilege of working closely with Shiv during her time at my primary care outpatient clinic in San Diego, where she displayed remarkable dedication, medical knowledge, and a commitment to excellence.

From the outset, Shiv’s depth and breadth of medical knowledge impressed me. During her three-week clerkship at my clinic, she seamlessly integrated herself into the work environment. In a short period, Shiv was actively involved in patient care, performing tasks ranging from taking comprehensive histories and conducting physical examinations to formulating differential diagnoses and implementing treatment plans. I was particularly impressed by her note-taking skills on our electronic medical record system, Epic, which she mastered through her own initiative and meticulousness. Her colleagues and residents also recognized her hard work and exceptional patient care. Outside of this, both the office staff and residents commented on her positive attitude, can-do personality and pleasant nature. Indeed, Shiv’s presence in the office was felt so much that I have even had several patients ask for updates on “Dr. Shiv” since her rotation with us.

Furthermore, Shiv’s enthusiasm extended beyond clinical rotations. Following her time at my clinic, she expressed a desire to engage in research activities within our department. I connected her with Dr. Jim Smith, a respected colleague studying social determinants of developing pulmonary fibrosis. Shiv worked remotely with Dr. Smith for six months, all while completing additional clinical rotations and studying for the three-step sequence of the USMLE. Her commitment to research and her ability to balance multiple responsibilities were truly remarkable.

Throughout her various clinical experiences, Shiv consistently garnered unanimous praise for her hard work, aptitude for learning, and outstanding performance. She possesses a unique combination of intelligence, drive, and leadership qualities that sets her apart from her peers. I have no doubt that she will emerge as a thought leader in her chosen field of specialization and make significant contributions to the medical community.

In addition to her exceptional scholastic achievements, Shiv’s personal qualities further distinguish her. She is an incredibly compassionate individual with strong family values. Shiv’s commitment to supporting her family in India is evident in her willingness to work a second job as a food delivery driver, alongside her full-time responsibilities in the lab. This resilience and empathy demonstrate her determination to overcome challenges and her unwavering dedication to helping others.

Having mentored numerous medical students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty members throughout my career, I can confidently assert that Shiv Roy is a generational talent. Her potential for success is truly outstanding. I hold no reservations in providing my highest recommendation for Shiv as an applicant in this year’s internal medicine match. She is my top choice, and I firmly believe that she will bring great honor to your institution.

Thank you for considering Shiv’s application. Should you require any additional information or have further inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am more than willing to provide any necessary assistance.

Best Regards,
David Smith, M.D., M.S.
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Program Director
Department of Internal Medicine
University of San Diego

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Letter of Recommendation
Example #2: Surgery

Dear Program Director,

I am writing this letter in the strongest support of Tom Wambsgans, who has applied for a residency position in General Surgery at your program. Having had the privilege of mentoring Tom for the past four years, I can confidently say that he possesses exceptional qualities and achievements that make him an outstanding candidate in this year’s match.

I first crossed paths with Tom during his initial year of medical school when he reached out to me expressing interest in a research position within our department. From the moment we met, I was immediately captivated by Tom’s charisma, inquisitiveness, and unwavering motivation. During the summer between his first and second years of medical school, Tom joined my lab where he delved into studying the impact of initiating early DVT prophylaxis in postoperative trauma patients. His natural talent for research quickly shone through, and he soon became involved in several other projects within our lab over the subsequent year. Tom’s productivity and dedication were remarkable, leading him to be awarded a highly competitive, funded research fellowship through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. As a result, he spent a dedicated research year in our lab further exploring his work on venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in acute care/trauma patients, which has resulted in numerous presentations and a manuscript accepted for publication in the Annals of Surgery.

Often, students who take time away from clinical settings struggle to transition back seamlessly. However, Tom defied this trend and hit the ground running. His performance during his Acting Internship was nothing short of stellar. I had the pleasure of working with him for two weeks on the Acute Care Surgery Service, where he quickly assimilated into our large team and became an invaluable asset. Remarkably, Tom’s technical skills surpassed those expected of someone at his level of training, and his medical judgment was consistently sound. Such was the confidence in Tom’s abilities that our consult resident entrusted him with carrying the pager during lighter OR days. The overwhelming support for Tom from the residents who worked alongside him on our service was evident, with many reaching out to me to passionately endorse him and strongly recommend his consideration for our program.

In addition to his time on the Acute Care Surgery Service, Tom also spent two weeks working with our Surgical Oncology service, receiving equally glowing reviews. Our chief resident even went so far as to describe Tom as the strongest acting intern he has encountered throughout his residency. At the conclusion of his month-long rotation, Tom delivered an exceptional presentation to our entire department on the indications for biologic therapy in advanced hepatobiliary cancer. It is worth noting that while Tom has conducted significant research within our department, his decision to immerse himself in an entirely unrelated topic during his rotation demonstrates his admirable ability to step out of his comfort zone—a quality that cannot be taught and is a testament to his exceptional work ethic and adaptability.

Having mentored over 150 medical students and residents during my tenure at the University of Texas, I can confidently assert that Tom ranks among the top 5 individuals in this category. Without a doubt, Tom possesses the qualities, skills, and drive necessary to become a future superstar in the field of surgery. I have no reservations in stating that he will be highly sought after by all elite training programs. It is with the utmost conviction that I provide my highest recommendation for Tom Wambsgans, and I assure you that he will be ranked to match at our program this year.

David Ogmier, M.D., M.B.A.
Professor of Surgery
University of Texas

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Final Thoughts

We hope these examples offer valuable insights into residency letters of recommendation.

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