Saturday, October 30, 2010

LOR from pharmacy supervisor (not RP)?

Hi, admissions, Im about to get a letter from my pharmacy supervisor, he is not a pharmD though. He supervises over the other pharmacists, tells them what to do, type scripts; and gives breaks to both techs and pharmacist. I worked with him more than the other pharmacists. Would his LOR be better for me? Can I still submit it?


A letter from a pharmacist would be better than one from a pharmacy supervisor who is not a pharmacist. I'm sure you can submit an LOR from your supervisor as someone who can vouch for your work ethic, but it won't carry the same weight as one from an RP would. You might consider having your supervisor write a letter as well as requesting one of the RPs as well.

Good luck.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Struggling with Orgo - what should I do?

Question: I'm having a really hard time in Organic Chemistry and am very very overwhelmed. What do you notice in terms of Organic Chemistry grades? This is the first semester I'm taking and I am doing terrible. I have strait A's and my masters and never worked hard as I am in this course. Is there still hope for me?! I'm so stressed. I'm really working hard to do well but I feel like my best isn't good enough. Any advice on this would be great! I really appreciate your time to help me!

Answer: You are not the first (and will not be the last) applicant to struggle with organic chemistry. It sounds like the course has not yet completed, so hopefully you still have time to improve your grade.

As far as how an admissions committee will look at Orgo, you are correct to assume that your grade in this course will be scrutinized when your file is reviewed. If you can manage a C or better, I would discourage withdrawing (as noted in previous threads). Instead, meet with your course instructor and begin a dialogue on your difficulties and how you might be able to improve. Maybe they can offer you a tutor or other assistance. Stick with it and do the best you can.

Every year, we admit students with C's in Orgo. I know for a fact that we have admitted students who have failed Orgo and then retaken the course and scored significantly better the second time. If the rest of yor application (PCAT, GPA, LORs) is admittable, don't lose any sleep over your Orgo grade, but exhaust all resources to improve it as best as possible.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Letter of Recommendation - a word of advice

I reviewed a pharmacy school application today that included a "letter of recommendation" from a professor that was anything but helpful to the applicant's chances. It made me think it appropriate to remind you to have some discussion with those people you ask to write LORs to make sure that they can write a supportive letter. Do not assume that every reviewer will give you glowing marks. If they do not feel they can write a helpful letter, find someone who can.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Question about Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

Question: I have to choose one of the following professors for a letter of recommendation - who would be better? a) Organic Chemistry professor that I know well, but got a B in his class 2) Physics professor that I never spoke with, but got an A in class?

Answer: I want to remind everyone how important your letters of recommendation are. Grades are PCATs are very important, but it is very difficult to separate the students with 3.0-3.5 GPA's who have a composite of 70-85 on their PCAT. There are a lot of applicants who fit into those ranges and we don't have room to admit everyone. The LORs can make you or break you.

The people that you choose to write a letter of recommendation for you had better know you well enough to write a good letter. We see a lot of letters from professors who probably couldn't pick the applicant out of the class lineup. The letter begins like this, "Bob was a student in my class. He scored a B and ranked 35th out of 100 students in the class....". Obviously, there are cases where this might be the best letter you can get from a certain professor and you have to use it. It's probably not the best case scenario, but we do understand that it can be hard to stand out or develop relationships with professors in some settings.

To answer your question, I would suggest that you choose the professor who knows you well and can speak to your aptitude as well as your character and personal quailities. An LOR which strongly endorses your application can go a long way toward achieving an interview and possible admission. I suspect a letter from either professor would probably be more than acceptable, but one can tell the committee what kind of person you are and that should help you out.