Letters of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation is a letter you request recommending you to the programs of your choice. You will need several letters of recommendation for your application. You may save as many letters as you like in ERAS, but each program requests a specific number - usually 3 or 4. Send only that number, no more, no less. Some programs request that one of the letters be from the Department Chair. Our departments know of this requirement and schedule appointments with students to craft a Chairman's Letter. For the other letters, choose someone who knows you and your work and can write passionately about your candidacy. If there is an attending in the third year you had a great experience with, ask them if they would be comfortable writing you a strong LOR. Your LOR's become an important reflection of your academic performance and serve as a source of information on your non-cognitive qualities. It is important to identify faculty members who are in a position to state your suitability for a career in that specialty. You will want to request a letter from a rotation in which you did well, one that relates to your chosen field and/or one that is specifically requested by the program. Some programs will put stock in letters from nationally known faculty, and our program directors should be able to alert you to that. When you identify a faculty member you think will write you a good letter, it is acceptable to ask if he/she would be willing to write a letter. Indicate that you will contact them again close to the time of application to confirm their ability to assist you.
When the time comes for you to request the written letter, contact the faculty you have chosen to refresh their memories about who you are and what you did. You could also help your letter writers by sending them a copy of your personal statement and CV.
Finalizing Letters of Recommendation (LoR) in ERAS
The Letters of Recommendation tab allows you to create a list of people who will write letters on your behalf. You also have the ability to print Letter Request Forms and view a list of programs to which you have assigned your LoRs. You can also e-mail or hand deliver a LoR cover sheet to your letter writer.
If you would like to generate a Letter Request Form through ERAS, you will need to finalize your LoR Authors in order to generate Letter Request Forms. LoR Authors can submit LoRs using the ERAS LoR Portal (for US Graduates only) and the ECFMG Letter Writer Portal (for IMGs only) to upload LoRs themselves. You will need to provide a Letter Request Form to each LoR Author you finalize.
You may enter and finalize an unlimited number of LoR Authors; however, no more than four (4) letters may be assigned to any individual program.
US Applicants - The Letter Request Form is a PDF that includes the following:
- LoR Author Details (as you entered them)
- LoR Author Name
- LoR Author Title/Department
- Contact Information
- AAMC ID
- ERAS Letter ID
- Specialty to which this letter will be assigned
- Waiver Indicator for rights to see the letter
- LoR Portal Instructions (US applicants)
- ECFMG Letter Writer Portal (LWP) Instructions (IMG applicants)
- Mailing Instructions
To Finalize your LoR Author(s):
- Click on the Documents tab.
- Click on the Letters of Recommendation tab.
- Enter LoR Author information: LoR Author Name, LoR Author
Title/Department, and Specialty(s) to which this letter will be assigned
Programs will be able to view the LoR Author Name, Title/Department, and the "I waive my right to view my Letter of Recommendation" response you select. However, the specialty you enter is visible ONLY to you, the Office of Student Affairs, and your LoR Authors. The purpose of the specialty field is to help you identify your LoR(s) when assigning them to programs.
- Select Yes or No for “I waive my right to view my Letter of Recommendation”
- Finalize your LoR Author(s).
- Print and distribute Letter Request Forms
Repeat this process for each LoR Author that will be writing a letter for you.
You will have the opportunity to edit and delete before finalizing your LoR Author(s). Once you finalize a LoR Author, you cannot delete it . If it contains errors, you will need to enter and finalize a new LoR Author. You will need to print and distribute the Letter Request Form to the LoR Author for the new entry. You may also want to contact the Office of Student Affairs and inform them of the error so they attach your document correctly (if the LoR Author chooses to mail-in their letter instead of using LoR Portal).
It is your responsibility to follow up with LoR Authors and confirm that LoRs reaches the Office of Student Affairs or are uploaded by the LoR Author via the ERAS LoR Portal in time to meet program deadlines. If you have difficulty in reaching a letter writer or having them actually complete the letter, contact one of the OSA deans for assistance.
Having Your Letters Uploaded to ERAS
Your letter writers are able to upload their letters directly to the ERAS LOR Portal. You can assist them in doing this by accessing MyERAS to create LOR Authors, printing the LOR Request Form's and delivering them to your letter writers by email, regular mail or in person. Your LOR authors will be able to log into the LOR Portal and upload your letter directly to ERAS. This is the quickest way to get your letters uploaded to ERAS.
Your letter writers can also e-mail a PDF version of your LOR to the Office of Student Affairs. Please notify your letter writer that the letter must be on letterhead and must have a signature. In the e-mail to the Office of Student Affairs, make sure they have “LOR – (Your name)” in the subject line and include the cover sheet with the letter. Another option is to e-mail the cover sheet (the cover sheet gives instructions to the letter writer/faculty member, resident, etc.). Include your AAMC ID # and ERAS letter ID on the form. If you are unsure of your AAMC ID #, please visit AAMC ID Look up. Your ERAS letter ID was created when you finalized your letter writers.
If you are going to be out of town, you may have the LOR mailed to the OSA. They can mail the letters to the following address:
Attn: Dawn Roberts
CC: Letter of Recommendation
Department: Office of Student Affairs
School: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Address: 685 W. Baltimore Street, Suite 150
Baltimore, MD 21201
If you are able, we suggest setting a date to pick up the letter and hand-carry it to OSA to be scanned into your ERAS application. Request that the letter be given to you in a signed, sealed envelope. *If you have waived your right to view the letter (and most students do), you may not view the letter.*
You might need to gently remind your letter writers several times of deadline constraints. To check if the letter has been received, you should go the Applicant Document Tracking System in MyERAS. Keep in mind that this system only works if you have selected and applied to your programs.
OSA personnel cannot review these letters and make decisions/suggestions about which letter should or should not be used. OSA also cannot proof the letters for typos, grammar, etc.
After the Match, please consider sending thank you notes to your letter writers and ultimately let them know where you will be going for your residency.