Letter of Recommendation for PA School: Samples that Won & Secret Tips

Let’s say you have decided to become a physician assistant and soon you’ll start submitting PA training program applications to your choice schools. It is important you know that letters of recommendation are essential for every application to PA schools.

But there are things to keep in mind to help you maximize your chances of acceptance.

If you do not know how to go about it, in this article we will be highlighting a sample of letters of recommendation for PA schools and the secrets of writing a letter of recommendation for PA schools.

Here lies the truth!

Whether we like it or not, the opinion of others is important. This means that the letter of recommendation is quite important because in PA schools, having a good letter of recommendation can change your life.

Studies show that people value the opinions of our close network of like-minded people above other sources. And with the availability of infinite social evidence and scoring systems, there has been a shift in trust in experts and more to trust in opinions of the greatest number.

A letter of recommendation plays a big role when we are faced with an overload of options and can also change your life and brighten your day

We have answered questions which you will be seeking answers whenever you find yourself applying to any PA school. The following checklist should help avoid critical errors for you.

The table of content below will give you an overview of the topics this article covered:

What is Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation for PA school is a document you will be asked to prepare and submit to support your application for admission to physician assistant school.

This is often referred to as a letter of recommendation, or LOR. It is the evaluation of your performance in an activity that was directly observed by the letter writer.

I know you might be wondering why on earth PA school will be requesting a letter of recommendation as part of their admission requirements. The reason is quite simple.

For instance, when I was faced with a simple task of replacing my spoilt Dell laptop, the first thing I did was to just jump to Amazon.com in order to make a quick and easy purchase of a new one. I love Dell products a lot and at that point, upgrading to a better model of Dell laptop was all I needed.

One hour later, I was still browsing through the large number of Dell laptops Amazon recommended. In fact, they recommended I try a Model with higher RAM and ROM other than the one I was looking for. Now it’s over one week and I was yet to make my choice of laptop.

Reason being that there are a lot of laptops and it was so difficut to make my choice.

So here is what I did when it was obvious I was stuck and confused of making a decision. I went straight to reviews. That was when I was able to make my final choice and ordered a new laptop

Now, this is what PA school admission officers face when they get over 1000 letters from PA school applicants. A letter of recommendation is their own review from the description above.

You Can Also Check Out: Top 50 Physician Assistant Applicant Interview Questions |PDF

How Many Letters of Recommendation is Required for PA School?

For any Physician Assistant applicant, a letter of recommendation is essential. Even though letter requirements vary from school to school, but 3 or 4 letters of recommendation are generally required.

CASPA only allows you to choose three (3) recommendations for your application. Therefore, it is crucial to choose them carefully. This article is not exhaustive, but it should help you discern the three types of letters that most of the PA programs seek.

As always, check the individual school requirements of your program before choosing.

Students can find specific LOR requirements in the online directory of PAEA’s health care programs.

Check Out the Best Physician Assistant Schools Here: Top 10 Physician Assistant Private Schools In the World

What to Include in a Letter of Recommendation for PA School?

Regardless of the specialty you choose, a solid letter of recommendation is always essential.

However, requirements vary by school, but generally, two or three letters are required.

If physician assistant school is your choice, then be prepared to submit a top-notch letter of recommendation. You can see a large sample below to facilitate your work process.

Most schools require letters of recommendation from professionals who know the candidate’s volunteer and work experiences. Also, it would be wise to receive a letter written by a Physician Assistant that can highlight your interests and knowledge in this particular area.

Remember that you are responsible for sending the correct LOR to each school. You should also schedule a meeting with your editors to discuss the composition of your LORs.

The basic elements that should be included in your PA school letter of recommendation are:

  • The candidate’s eligibility for the position offered;
  • How the author knows the student, the duration of their relationship;
  • Personal skills and qualities that the candidate possesses to be successful in the chosen program;
  • Medical knowledge and attitude towards the workplace;
  • Show a willingness to recommend the candidate and why he/she will be suitable for the program.

How Long Should a Letter of Recommendation be for PA School?

For most schools, 1 to 2 assessment letters from the science faculty taught in a course, 1 letter from a non-scientific instructor, and 1 to 2 letters from physician assistants should suffice.

Some schools will specify exactly how many and what kind of authors and you will, of course, have to provide exactly what they ask for. You can enter the contact details of 3 to 5 advisors on the CASPA application.

It is expected that every Letter of Recommendation for PA school should include more than one or two paragraphs. Such a short letter suggests that you do not know the person well or do not fully approve of it. However, you want to keep the letter concise and focus on a few key points, so avoid writing more than one page.

In general, all aspects of the application for admission to the physician assistant school must be made at the beginning of the application cycle, not later (applications can be submitted in summer each year).

For example, try to involve some letter writers in reviewing your application in the spring of your third year (or the year the application begins). This will help build a relationship and you will be better prepared to write a favorable and detailed recommendation letter.

Who to Ask to Write Letters of Recommendation for PA School?

Basically there is two basic kinds of people you can ask and request to write a letter of recommendation for your PA school.

Though sometimes some of the applicants might not have someone in mind at the time they want to apply.

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Even if you have decided to apply, without having much experience, your options may be more limited and that’s fine.

You work with what you have. You can still find people who are ideal and the real and give you a good letter of recommendation.

Here are the kind of peope to as to help you write a letter of recommendation for your PA school:

  • Physician Assistant whom you have followed or worked with (preferably)
  • Nurse practitioner or doctor (allopathic or osteopathic)
  • Nursing supervisor (charge nurse) in the unit in which she works.
  • Chiropractor or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is okay if you can get a letter from another provider
  • Medical mission trip supervisor
  • A distinguished member of the AAPA
  • A clinical experience tutor.

But if you must, you may choose an additional one from the list above instead of this, provided they specifically address your work ethic.

  • Senior manager or supervisor of a non-medical job who can discuss your work ethic
  • Program instructor (PI) from a research laboratory.
  • A graduate student who has worked in research.
  • Science teacher who can talk about class performance.
  • Health advisor, a pedagogical advisor, or a department director at your school who you know personally and can attest to your academic results.
  • Teaching assistant (TA) or a graduate student from a course in which you have excelled, if he teaches instead of the teacher
  • A non-scientific instructor

Who Not to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for PA School

When it comes to the letter of recommendation, there is definitely some kind of persons you are not supposed to ask to help you write a LOR for your PA School.

The first category are Friends. Such as

  • High school principals
  • Coworkers that do not supervise your work

Letters from family friends, public officials, or character references are generally not helpful and should not be requested unless specifically requested by the medical school.

Secondly, Family, such as

  • Your mom or dad
  • Any relatives, even if you work with them

Lastly, Professors that you haven’t had contact with for a while or professors you had for non-science coursework.

How to Request or Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for PA School

Getting to request and ask for a letter of recommendation for PA school can be tough indeed. But one way is to go about it is to start early to decide who you may want to write your letter and then do your best to impress.

You might even go as far as requesting a meeting to whoever you want to be your recommender.

Though, it’s always best to contact your sponsor by phone or email instead of going direct to request a meeting in person. This respects the person you are asking a favor from and gives you an opportunity to assess their willingness to write a strong and positive letter.

Here is what you should know before sending an email requesting your sponsor or Physician for a letter of recommendation:

Unless you have a close and ongoing relationship with your future sponsor, it’s good to re-introduce yourself first.

Most mentors, teachers, and healthcare professionals deal with many people every day, so it’s not irrational that they don’t remember you right away.

Some people find it easier to remember faces rather than names, so help the process by reminding them of specific cases in which they have interacted. For example:

“My name is Kim Smith. I was a student on internship at your hospital in 2009. I really appreciated the time you gave me during my stay at your hospital. I am a better physician assistant because of what I learned during my internship in your hospital “

Keep your personal email message short and to the point. Be specific about the reasons you want to meet and acknowledge that you are asking for a favor by interrupting their busy schedule.

When writing to a prospective referrer with whom you have an ongoing relationship, it is acceptable to be frank in your request. However, for people who don’t remember you without knowing you, you might consider requesting a meeting in another way.

Here are two examples of evaluation request emails to get started:

It is important to be tactful in your personal message to your whoever you want to be your recommender. Most teachers and doctors are busy people and often receive requests for letters of recommendation. But don’t let that stop you; most are also happy to help their students advance their careers.

In your email request, you can ask to meet with you to discuss the letter of recommendation, but give them an easy way to decline the meeting without feeling like they are letting you down.

They know why you want to meet with them, some might just choose to write and forward it to you instead of meeting with you. At this point, you can state whatever you want to be in your letter of recommendation as stated above.

Here are two examples of the kind of emails request to get started:

Email Request to Someone You Know Well (Sample):

Email Request to Someone You Do Not Know Well (Sample):

How to Write Your Own Letter of Recommendation for PA School?

If you have been at that point you tried reaching out to the people who can speak best to your strengths, and they are not responding. And most times they tell you that they are extremely busy and ask you to write your own letter of recommendation.

At this point, you might not know what to do. And you will be seeking an answer to” How do you write your own letter of recommendation for PA school?

This is not an unusual situation, although it can make many applicants feel uncomfortable or scared. Because you might be wondering how to write about yourself that doesn’t seem pompous, boastful, or awkward.

Also, it might be obvious you wrote it, instead of a recommendation.

If you care a lot about your master’s degree admission, take the time to write a good reference letter. Even though there is an application task that you can not leave to someone else which is writing your own letter of recommendation.

Keep in mind that writing your own letter of recommendation is an acceptable practice, even a common practice. However, this does not mean that your referrer is too busy to help you enter medical school or that you do not want to defend yourself. They said yes, which means they are on board.

Approach this situation as an opportunity to prepare your recommendation to write the ideal recreational letter. By keeping the conversation open, the result may be better than what would have happened if your sponsor had been sitting alone in a room, scratching his head to find out what to say about you.

Here’s how to make sure this self-written letter maximizes your chances of entering medical school.

Tips to Help You Write the Best Letter of Recommendation for PA School

A clean and proper format is like dressing for a job interview. It makes the first impression on the eyes, so it should feel context-appropriate without being too flashy. Be consistent in formatting options and keep the information optimized.

Follow a traditional official letter template, even when sending electronically. Be sure to include the referrer’s contact information in the upper right corner (an email and phone number will suffice).

Since you are sending the same letter to more than one medical school, you should not send it directly to the school. There are times when you can request a letter from a specific medical school, but this is quite rare. A simple “To whom it may concern” or “To the admissions committee” will suffice.

Use a font size of 11 or 12 in some popular fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Margins can be reduced to 1 or 0.75 inches to help adjust text to the ideal limit of a page.

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“Sincerely” or “Kind regards” is the safest option to conclude the letter.

Go ahead and take a look at this beautifully formatted blank letter in front of you. Contemplate its white abyss. Yes, it sounds intimidating, but once it starts it will be a descent to the finish line.

Here are some tips to get the best Letter of Recommendation for your PA School:

Your supposed recommender gave you free rein to put words in his mouth, so don’t hesitate to praise your own efforts and your potential. It does not sell and it is not harassment.

Write a recommendation the same way you write it for someone else you admire. If the referrer really has a problem with the letter, they will either change it themselves or suggest changes.

When you give him the draft, show your gratitude, and be humble. Tell her it was a delicate writing process and that she is open to any changes. It’s always a good idea to offer them a Starbucks gift card or a similar gift as a thank you.

Best Letter of Recommendation for PA School

Writing a good letter of recommendation can be helpful, but writing a good letter of recommendation can change a person’s life.

Most schools require professional letters of reference that know the applicant’s academic, professional, and volunteer experience.

In general, it is also advisable to receive a letter from an assistant who can discuss your health interests and knowledge. Remember it is your responsibility to make sure you send the correct letters for each school you request.

Electronic charts are highly preferred by individual public address programs and by CASPA. Follow the instructions on the individual application websites to learn what to do and how your writers can download your letters.

Sample Letter of Recommendation from Physician for PA School

The sample letter of recommendation for the PA school can help you adequately describe your thoughts to create a fluid letter that will leave a mark on the minds of your readers. Also, this sample of Letter of Recommendation for a PA School can show you how to explain that your candidate is a potential student and a great future doctor.

This example of LoR can also give you an idea of how to write to illustrate your knowledge of the candidate: how long and in what capacity. What are your strengths, your main achievements, and your discipline? What are your skills: communication, organization, creativity, etc.?

  • Sample Letter of Recommendation for PA School
  • Letter of Recommendation for PA School
  • PA School Sample Letter of Recommendation

Secrets of Successful PA School Letters of Recommendation

Try to choose someone who has known you for a while

Teachers and physician assistants provide the most helpful recommendations for the school of physician assistants. Authors should know you well and be able to comment on her work ethic and commitment to the profession. As well as report on yourperformance in the position for which they supervised you.

It is better to receive a letter from someone you have known for longer than someone you have known for less.

One of the questions asked the author of the letter is how long have you known the applicant? To what extent could they evaluate you if they only met you once or if you ended up in the office only for 2-3 hours of observation?

Most desirable is someone who has witnessed your patient care experience. It can be a doctor, PA, NP, DO, etc. who has witnessed her work with patients.

You can use nurses and clinical directors, although these references are not as strong as the first ones. Ideally, they want to see a letter from someone who knows what you’re getting into and is excited about.

We recommend that you select letter writers who know you, as well as your work ethic or personal philosophy. This is probably the most important factor, as they are unlikely to comment on important features if they are unaware of your merits.

Practice in certain fields of medicine

If you are not very experienced in healthcare, this can be difficult and you may not be able to send a letter from someone who has seen you work with patients in a clinic.

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If so, you will choose someone who knows you well and can talk to them about an area relevant to the AP profession, such as your ability to communicate effectively or your scientific ability.

Or you can choose letter writers who are established and have some seniority in your establishment. Such as teachers, non-teaching assistants, physician assistant, non-receptionist.

Send a Template to your Writer

Let your letter writers know about you and what you think is particularly necessary in an LOR. They can request (and you must provide) an updated resume, a transcript, and a good draft of your personal statement.

You can influence the quality of your letter by providing your letter editor with useful information to help you prepare your letter. Such as a copy of your transcripts, your resume, a copy of your personal statement that explains why you want to be a PA.

You should plan to meet with your editors to discuss the letter they will write to you.

In general, it is also advisable to receive a letter from an assistant who can discuss your health interests and knowledge. Remember it is your responsibility to make sure you send the correct letters for each school you request.

Make an appointment at the office and let them know you’re looking, for example, for a letter that talks about your ability to function in a professional healthcare setting.

Make Sure Your Letter was Submitted

Check back periodically to make sure your editors have submitted your letters. Otherwise, we encourage you to send polite reminder emails to authors who have agreed to provide a letter with a clearly specified expiration date that you have specified.

You can control the deadline and we recommend that you send them a deadline that is at least one week before the closest deadline for the schools you are applying to.

Also, make sure your letter writers know how to send or download your letter of recommendation. For the Application Service (CASPA), letter writers will receive an email with information on how to download their letter after entering their contact information in the application. Letters are only accepted electronically through CASPA for schools participating in the application service.

PA School Letters of Recommendation FAQs

What is Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation for PA school is a document you will be asked to prepare and submit to support your application for admission to physician assistant school.

This is often referred to as a letter of recommendation, or LOR. It is the evaluation of your performance in an activity that was directly observed by the letter writer.

How Many Letters of Recommendation is Required for PA School?

For any Physician Assistant applicant, a letter of recommendation is essential. Even though letter requirements vary from school to school, but 3 or 4 letters of recommendation are generally required. CASPA only allows you to choose three (3) recommendations for your application. Therefore, it is crucial to choose them carefully.

What to Include in a Letter of Recommendation for PA School?

Regardless of the specialty you choose, a solid letter of recommendation is always essential. The basic elements that should be included in your PA school letter of recommendation are:

1. the candidate’s eligibility for the position offered;
2. how the author knows the student, the duration of their relationship;
3. personal skills and qualities that the candidate possesses to be successful in the chosen program;
4. medical knowledge and attitude towards the workplace;
5. Show a willingness to recommend the candidate and why he/she will be suitable for the program.

How Long Should a Letter of Recommendation be for PA School?

It is expected that every Letter of Recommendation for PA school should include more than one or two paragraphs. Such a short letter suggests that you do not know the person well or do not fully approve of it.

However, you want to keep the letter concise and focus on a few key points, so avoid writing more than one page.

Who to Ask to Write Letters of Recommendation for PA School?

Basically, there are two basic kinds of people you can ask and request to write a letter of recommendation for your PA school. Here are the kind of people to help you write a letter of recommendation for your PA school:

1. Someone who can attest to your clinical skills (a clinical supervisor) and knowledge of the PA profession (at least ONE on this list)
2. Someone who can vouch for your non-clinical work ethic
3. An instructor or advisor who can attest to your academic performance in the courses.

Who Not to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for PA School?

When it comes to the letter of recommendation, there is definitely some kind of person you are not supposed to ask to help you write a LOR for your PA School.

The first category is Friends. Secondly, Family.
Lastly, Professors that you haven’t had contact with for a while or professors you had for non-science coursework.

How to Request or Ask for a Letter of Recommendation for PA Schoo

Getting to request and ask for a letter of recommendation for PA school can be tough indeed. But one way is to go about it is to start early to decide who you may want to write your letter to and then do your best to impress.

1. Begin by Introducing Yourself
2. Keep Your Email Request Short
3. Request for a Meeting if Required

How to Write Your Own Letters of Recommendation for PA School?

First of all: keep in mind that writing your own letter of recommendation is an acceptable practice, even a common practice. And that this does not mean that your referrer is too busy to help you enter medical school or that you do not want to defend yourself. They said yes, which means they are on board.

Approach this situation as an opportunity to prepare your recommendation to write the ideal recreational letter. By keeping the conversation open, the result may be better than what would have happened if your sponsor had been sitting alone in a room, scratching his head to find out what to say about you.

How can I go about acquiring good letters of recommendation?

Ask for these letters in a way that makes it easy for the person to say no – so you won’t be desperately getting letters late in the game.

Say “I am thinking about who to ask for letters of evaluation to support my [medical or other health professions] application; I have these people in mind…and I was wondering if you would be willing to be a letter writer”.

This way it is easy for the person to say, “I think the people on your list are good, but I might not know you well enough”. Get a clear answer and follow up with a thank-you note/email – and hand “the Kit” off right away (see below).

In Conclusion

Being accepted into a PA School is a difficult task and if you are applying to a solid school, prepare to submit a winning letter of recommendation for a physician assistant.

A perfectly written letter can benefit any application, however, it is not that simple. If you’re having trouble writing a great LoR for PA school, seek professional help from this article. We have all you need to know to get the best Letter of Recommendation.

References

  • linkpas.com – How To Write A Personal Message To Your Evaluator [Example]
  • doseofpa.blogspot.comLetters of Recommendation & Physician Assistant School
  • eforms.com – Physician Assistant Letter of Recommendation Template – with Samples
  • savvypremed.com – How to Write Your Own Letter of Recommendation

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