How to Re-Use Previous Letters of Recommendation for Medical School


Applying to medical school means sending in a lot of supporting documentation, including several letters of recommendation. If you're down to the wire and don't have time to get a new recommendation letter, you may have to reuse an old one. But before reusing a previous recommendation letter, check to make sure you aren't breaking any rules of the medical school you are applying to. Conscientious attention to your documentation will help your application stand out from the others.

  • Read the letters you want to use and make sure they will help the medical school see you as a good candidate. Mentions of strength in science, anatomy or work ethic are good signs.

  • Call the person who wrote your reference letter and ask permission to reuse it for a different medical school application. The medical school may contact the person for further information, so it's best check with the letter writer beforehand. Ask if he has a copy saved that he can update with a current date. Have the person email the file to you so that you can print it and use it.

  • Contact the medical school admissions office. Explain that you have a reference letter that supports your application but that it was originally written for a different application. Ask if it breaks any rules to reuse it.

  • Include the letter of reference in your medical school application if you have permission to reuse it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask people for letters of reference at least two weeks in advance, though a month is more appropriate.


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