|Read this if you would like Dr. Gould to write a letter of recommendation for you : UPDATED AS OF JUNE 2014!!|
|I am often asked to write letters of recommendation, particularly in the pre-health area (medical, dental and pharmacy school). I know that you don't like to ask me to do this, and you know that I don't like to do it. I get asked to write a LOT of letters, so many that I need to organize the process. PLEASE read this page carefully before you ask for a letter. I HAVE UPDATED THIS PAGE RECENTLY IN RESPONSE TO RECEIVING SO MANY LETTER REQUESTS THAT I JUST CAN'T HANDLE THEM ALL. THIS UPDATED PAGE IS AN ATTEMPT BY ME TO REDUCE LETTERS REQUESTS TO THOSE THAT I CAN HONESTLY AND MANAGEABLY WRITE!|
If you are asking me to write a letter it is because you need a letter from a science instructor, in other words you are asking me to be an ACADEMIC reference (I have not observed you in health-related or social settings). This means that the main focus of my letter has to be academics. It is therefore difficult for me to write a strong letter if you did not do well in my class, because after all this is what I am supposed to write about! Therefore, if you did not receive an A in at least ONE on my classes it is probably not in your best interest to have me write you letter. It just doesn't make sense for you to ask for an ACADEMIC letter from me unless you did well in my class, sorry!|
For the same reason I will usually only write a letter for you if you have taken BOTH semesters of organic chemistry with me. Everybody knows that organic is a two-semester course and it looks unusual if you did not take both semesters with me. An exception is if you took CHM 233 with another instructor and then did very well in my CHM 234 class, AND I know you very well, then I will have something good to write about you.
I will only write a letter for you if you are using the ASU pre-health office. It takes time for me to write separate letters, and dealing with different admissions websites or other Universities pre-health services takes time that I just don't have. AMCAS is particularly bad in this regard, their Letter Writer service does not work on any browser on my computer (the last time I tried anyway), I don't want to deal with them until they modernize their website, they have wasted too much of my time in the past. PharmCAS and CASPA are obvious exceptions, since pharmacy and PA letters can not be submitted any other way.
I will usually only write a letter for you if you waive your right to see the letter. There needs to be mutual trust and it also doesn't look good to admissions committees if you don't waive your right to see your letters. Also, please don't ask me for a copy of your letter.
I do not need to get to know you well in office hours to write your letter, but you do need to give me lots of information, see below.
I like to write letters in groups, to save my time. If you are submitting your application in summer 2014 (for example), I will write your letter at the end of the spring semester 2014, after classes have ended and before the summer starts properly. So, you need to get your application material together for me to write your letter at THIS TIME! Letter writing disrupts my routine and my work and so I do NOT like to get letter requests dribbling in over the summer. PLEASE GET YOUR LETTER REQUEST TO ME BEFORE THE END OF MAY AT THE LATEST!
I GET ASKED TO WRITE A LOT OF LETTERS, WHICH MEANS THAT I CAN'T PROMISE TO WRITE YOUR LETTER QUICKLY. IF YOU ARE AIMING FOR EARLY SUBMISSION OF YOU APPLICATION AND YOU NEED YOUR LETTER QUICKLY AT THE START OF SUMMER THEN YOU NEED TO ASK SOMEONE ELSE, BECAUSE I CAN'T PROMISE TO GET YOUR LETTER WRITTEN IN TIME.
In addition to your academic performance, you need to convince me and the school you are applying to that you will be a successful student in their program (and, presumably, a good and caring health practitioner). To help me with this I require the following from you:|
1. A completed copy of my Pre-Health form, see below. Do not delete the questions and use the most recent version from this website. The questions are in bold and italic and colored blue, please use plain text in your answers in BLACK so that I can easily distinguish the end of the question from the start of your answer.
2. A copy of your unofficial transcript.
3. A copy of your personal statement if you have it, even if it is only a rough draft.
4. A photograph/picture so that I can put a face to your name.
5. A resume/CV with your contact information.
6. A signed copy of the pre-health from from the pre-health office or website.
THIS IS WHAT YOU DO: First, send me an email asking if I can write your letter. If I say yes, then I do NOT NEED TO MEET WITH YOU IN PERSON. Just collect the materials above (and this part is IMPORTANT) and give me HARD COPIES of everything that I ask for, ALL STAPLED FIRMLY TOGETHER, if everything is not firmly stapled (NO PAPER CLIPS!) I WILL lose something and you won't get your letter. If you try to email this material to me it will get lost in my inbox and you will NOT get your letter, do NOT TRY TO email or FAX this material to me.
|I know that many of you need letters for application to programs for which summer application doesn't work, for example, summer research positions. These letters need to be submitted in early spring. However, early spring (January - March) is an extremely busy time of the year for me (probably my busiest time of the year) since this is graduate recruiting season, which takes a huge amount of my time. For this reason I am very sorry but I just can't write any letters that need to be submitted in the Jan - March time period..|
|After all of that, please let me know if you get admission into medical/dental/pharmacy etc. school, I like to hear of your successes!.|