A doctor recommendation letter is often the final process in the transition from resident to full-fledged doctor with the fancy nameplate and prime parking spot. Such a letter is usually written be a supervising physician, hospital administrator, shift supervisor, or just about anybody else whose opinion carries some weight. Detailed below, the structure of such a letter is similar to the setup of a cover letter in that it has a more personal tone.
Kicking Off a Doctor Recommendation Letter
The initial paragraph of the letter answers the who and what questions. Who is the resident (or they may be a full-fledged doctor transferring jobs for other reasons like a relocation) seeking the new position? What is the specific position they’re seeking? “When” is assumed to be sometime in the immediate future, so that’s implied.
The Meat of a Doctor Recommendation Letter
The body of a doctor recommendation letter, usually divided into at least two paragraphs to increase readability, answers the “why” question–as in why this person is being recommended for the job. Each paragraph within the body should focus on either a few specific examples of how the person contributed to the team or some specific traits they demonstrated.
Optional Third Paragraph of a Doctor Recommendation Letter
While brevity is a plus with a doctor recommendation letter, there are some valid reasons for adding another paragraph. For instance, it may be necessary to clarify that the hospital where the recommended doctor worked is recognized for its cardiac care program; and Dr. So and So participated in those innovative programs and proved to be a valuable asset to the team.
Concluding a Doctor Recommendation Letter
The concluding paragraph of a doctor recommendation letter includes one more positive shout out (“Your team would greatly benefit from the addition of Dr. So and So to your roster.”) and contact info. Preferably, any listed number should include a direct extension to avoid the hassle of going through receptionists or being shuffled to voice mail.
Before soliciting a doctor recommendation letter, have a good grasp of your post-residency career plans. A vague letter singing your praises that can later be sent to any potential employer isn’t going to be as effective as a recommendation letter addressed to a specific hospital or medical facility. If you need to brush up your resume before seeking recommendation letters, check out our detailed resume samples and other useful goodies!
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