Evaluation of the Current Perspectives on Letters of Recommendation for Residency Applicants among Plastic Surgery Program Directors

K Shultz, R C Mahabir, J Song, C N Verheyden
Plastic Surgery International 2012, 2012: 728981
Background. The goals of this project were to evaluate the current perspective on letters of recommendation and to assess the need for, and acceptance of, a more standardized letter of recommendation (LOR). Methods. An eight-question survey was distributed to plastic surgery program directors. A five-point Likert scale was selected as a means of quantifying the participants' responses to the survey. Results. Twenty-eight of 71 program directors (39.4%) completed the survey. The majority of participants felt that current LOR did not offer a realistic way to compare applicants (mean ± SD, 2.9 ± 0.8). While most agreed that increasing the objectivity of LOR would be valuable in comparing applicants (mean ± SD, 4.1 ± 0.9), the overall average response to whether a more standardized letter format would improve the resident selection process remained only slightly better than neutral (mean ± SD, 3.5 ± 1.2). Most of the chairmen supported the notion that familiarity with the author of the LOR strengthened the recommendation (mean ± SD, 4.5 ± 0.6). Conclusion. The majority of plastic surgery program directors would like more objectivity in comparing applicants but are ambivalent about a standardized letter of recommendation.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"