A residency letter of intent (LOI) is a letter sent to a residency program director as part of post-interview communication to attend the desired program.
It is one of the additional yet important steps in applying to medical residencies. It follows the creation of a rank order list that contains residency programs an applicant would wish to attend. The school letter of intent, in this case, is your chance to choose the top program and show your strive to apply for this or that exact program to its directors. Learn more about this in our full article.
A well-written residency LOI increases the chances of matching your top-choice program. As we have said, it is not an imperative part of applying to residencies, but taking your time to create one will never hurt. It will show that you have put your best efforts to increase your chances of being ranked highly with your residency application. Not all medical residency programs will take a LOI into consideration, but you never know whether your dream program is among them.
Interesting statistics — a 2014 survey of directors of one of the USA residency programs showed that you increase your chances of being ranked highly with your residency application by almost 30% if you accompany it with a good residency LOI.
Yes, you can receive a match without a letter of intent. An outstanding application and a successful interview are surefire ways to become a resident at a desired medical residency program. Essentially, your letter helps you stand out from other applicants who are at about the same level in the program’s ranking but failed to take their chance and write a good letter of intent.
However, you should be confident about your application and interview to ensure that your LOI actually increases your chances. If you haven’t done well at previous stages, even the best letter of intent is unlikely to make much difference.
Step 1 — The information about the applicant and responder
The letter should start with the information about the applicant placed in the top left corner. It should tell their name and address.
Beneath it, there should be the effective date of the letter.
Under the date, the information about the responder (director of the program) should be included, namely, their name, title, and address of the medical facility they work at.
Step 2 — Opening
The letter should start with the respectful “Dear [Name of the program director]. Then, the letter should tell the purpose of writing — in our case, to convey the applicant’s strong interest in the residency program. This section might reveal that you were impressed by your visit to the medical facility when you had an interview, and in this letter, you want to tell why you think you would be a good fit for the program.
Step 3 — Benefits of the program
Next, it is vital to convey why you consider this particular program a perfect residency choice. You should specify what exactly makes the program your top choice residency.
These might be specific qualities of the program, such as various research opportunities, flexible curriculum, matching research interests, good location, range of experiences it offers, etc. This information might come in several paragraphs, but it is recommended to keep the entire letter short — not more than one page long (about 250–270 words).
Step 4 — Closing
The letter should end with you saying how you want to attend the program and intend to rank that program first on your list. Along with that, there should be a confident statement that you would be a good fit for the residency. You should show that both the program and you will benefit if you become a resident.
The last thing to write in the residency LOI should be the word “sincerely” and the applicant’s name.
If you want to get an excellent example of a residency letter of intent, our website is at your disposal. Use our residency LOI sample to get an idea of a letter that would enhance your chances of attending the desired program.
From: Jonas Jones
47 Rockledge St. Pasadena, TX 77506
Phone number: +1555444786
To: Dr. Eric Johnson
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dear Dr. Johnson,
My name is Jonas Jones. I was honored to be interviewed about the Endocrinology Residency Program you offer on February 25, 2021, and share my goals with renowned Dr. Brown. I am writing this letter of intent to express my strong interest in the program and let you know that your program is my number-one choice in my list of residencies. Given the opportunity to join it, I will gladly accept the offer. With this letter, I would also like to update you on my recent activities.
There are two main reasons why The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine residency program is my top choice. The first reason is that it perfectly aligns with my professional interests. The program will help me further support them by creating a new generation of drugs for patients with endocrine disorders. The second reason is that I am really excited about my possible mentors at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. I would be honored to get involved in the projects supervised by reputed Dr. Brown and Dr. Grisley.
What excites me when I think about the residency program is facing various challenges and professional growth when being a resident of such a cutting-edge program. I am confident that I align with your program’s goals and mission and share the commitment to community care and the principles of the medical profession. Furthermore, I would be glad to contribute to your programs’ reputation using my research experience in endocrine disorders. Finally, it would be a great honor for me to be given a chance to complete the final stages of my training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Regarding some updates to my application materials, I would like to tell you that I was recently invited to participate in the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ (AACE) 30th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress. There, I will have a chance to present my latest publication in thyroid disorders.
Thank you for your consideration. For any additional information, please contact me at my email or phone number.