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Dean's Letters

Residency Planning: Dean’s Letters


  • Overview of the student’s academic career to date
  • Not the same as a letter of recommendation
  • Complements other aspects of the entire application, not merely recapitulates them
  • What’s in it:
    • Information about background, college, path to medicine and specialty choice, academic performance in medical school, research experiences, outside activities and interests
    • Excerpts from evaluations from clinical/research rotations
  • What’s not:
    • GPA
    • Class rank


  • All applicants meet with one of the Deans in the Office of Student Affairs
  • With rare exceptions, all letters for students in a given specialty will be written by the same Dean
  • Deans meet with students in mid-summer through mid-September to discuss application process and strategy, and to obtain information for Dean’s Letter
  • Students fill out an interview questionnaire prior to meeting which will be sent out well in advance
  • Students review and sign-off on letters for factual accuracy. Excerpts chosen from evaluations are not negotiable

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