Admissions committees give more weight to letters that have a professional tie (i.e. not family members or close friends).
You will need two LORs from science faculty, ideally from professors of two different scientific disciplines.
Most applicants from Hamilton obtain between 4-6 letters. Focus on attaining quality over quantity.
Begin reaching out to your reference writers in early November.
When you approach someone to write a LOR, ask whether he/she can write a strong endorsement of your candidacy for medical school. If the person says no or hesitates in any way, look elsewhere for a LOR from someone (a professor, coach, supervisor, etc.) who knows you well.
Admissions committees favor letters of recommendation that address a candidate's nonacademic strengths & characteristics in addition to their academic qualifications.
For those who agree to write a letter on your behalf, schedule a brief meeting to discuss your experiences and goals. Provide them with your resume and transcript.
Let your letter writers know that Leslie Bell will be contacting them in early December to request that they submit their LORs by February 1st, 2015.
Once you've confirmed that your letters have been submitted, send thank you notes to the writers.
As part of your application to medical school, you will be expected to waive your right of access to your letters of recommendation.
If you plan to apply to osteopathic medical school, most DO schools require or prefer a LOR from an osteopathic physician whom you have shadowed.