togo123

5+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2013
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Dental Student
So, I've been shadowing this dentist for almost 40 hours. Would it be inappropriate to ask her if she could write a letter of recommendation for me through a note? Like, I was thinking that I could leave a thank you note on my last day of shadowing for her letting me shadow, then saying at the end "I would really appreciate it if you could write a letter of recommendation for me for dental school. If that is a possibility for you, here is my email" then leave my email address. I am just so scared to ask because I don't know if she likes me or not! Her personality is just a little aloof I guess.
 

pulltheleverkronk

2+ Year Member
May 25, 2015
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Bad idea. All it takes is them not feeling like it that day for them to not reach out to you.

Just express your thanks at the end of your time shadowing, and ask if she would feel comfortable writing one. Even if she doesn't "like" you, she could still write a professional letter for you. Give her the opportunity to say no, but don't make it so easy. It's much harder for a person to reject you outright if you're standing right in front of them.

Although the thank you note is a great idea and you should send one after you're done- regardless of what happens.
 
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dent--girl7

2+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2015
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Pre-Dental
I completely understand where you are coming from--asking for a letter of rec can be pretty nerve wracking, especially if you don't know if the person likes you. However, I would recommend asking in person. Then you get a response right away and you aren't left anxiously refreshing your email until she responds. Plus asking in person, I think, is more professional as it shows you are mature enough to have that kind of conversation face to face.
 
Aug 3, 2015
110
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No note.

Ask in person and when you ask make sure you ask for a strong letter of recommendation. Also dentists are really busy so offer to write the letter yourself and just have the dentist approve it and let the dentist submit it.
 
May 19, 2015
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Ask in person. I would not recommend offering to write it yourself, I have heard a story of that backfiring because the dentist felt his writing skills were in question. They are professionals who have been in this position so they will make the time. It doesn't take that long to write one. Just have your personal statement/CV/resume that you can provide them upon requesting so they may be able to incorporate certain aspects of it in the letter.
 

pulltheleverkronk

2+ Year Member
May 25, 2015
758
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No note.

Ask in person and when you ask make sure you ask for a strong letter of recommendation. Also dentists are really busy so offer to write the letter yourself and just have the dentist approve it and let the dentist submit it.
Don't do that. Writing a letter for yourself is an ethical gray area, in my opinion
 

Blackhorse90

2+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2014
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Pre-Dental
Don't do it
 

DentalDoge

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2014
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I dont understand why you wouldnt ask her in person if you were shadowing her...

Since, you know, youre already there.
 
Aug 3, 2015
110
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Don't do that. Writing a letter for yourself is an ethical gray area, in my opinion
Why? Dentists are busy with running a practice/s, paying bills, and probably balancing a family. The last thing they have time for is to write you an amazing LOR. Who can speak on your behalf better than yourself? Easier on everyone if you to write your own letter and they sign off on it.
 

DentalDoge

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2014
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Why? Dentists are busy with running a practice/s, paying bills, and probably balancing a family. The last thing they have time for is to write you an amazing LOR. Who can speak on your behalf better than yourself? Easier on everyone if you to write your own letter and they sign off on it.
Annnnd?

Doesn't make it more ethical
 
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redmau5

5+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2014
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136
Boston, MA
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Why? Dentists are busy with running a practice/s, paying bills, and probably balancing a family. The last thing they have time for is to write you an amazing LOR. Who can speak on your behalf better than yourself? Easier on everyone if you to write your own letter and they sign off on it.
And professors, employers/supervisors, etc. have all the free time in the world to pump out killer recs? Please.
 
Aug 3, 2015
110
69
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Pre-Dental
You people are ridiculous. If you aren't fabricatimg the information then it is not unethical. It isn't like you are creating a fake email and submitting the letter yourself. They read your draft of the letter and make adjustments as they see fit. If they don't like a part they take it out and if they wish to add something then they add it. They are reading what you wrote and adjusting it. Completely ethical in my opinion :happy:
 

pulltheleverkronk

2+ Year Member
May 25, 2015
758
1,180
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You people are ridiculous. If you aren't fabricatimg the information then it is not unethical. It isn't like you are creating a fake email and submitting the letter yourself. They read your draft of the letter and make adjustments as they see fit. If they don't like a part they take it out and if they wish to add something then they add it. They are reading what you wrote and adjusting it. Completely ethical in my opinion :happy:
If the dentist wants you to write the letter yourself, chances are that they don't know you very well. That means you could write almost whatever you want about yourself- even if it isn't true- and as long as the dentist signs off on it, you're golden. That's where things get sketchy. I could write...

"Kronk's commitment to community work is second-to-none. Working with orphans with cleft lips on the South Side of Chicago has reinforced his desire to pursue a more holistic form of dentistry. I've witnessed his passion and desire to serve up close."

All made up. Obviously a dentist wouldn't write that about me... But how would he know any better if what I said above is the narrative I've constructed and lied about?

Let's put it this way- if you aren't comfortable saying "I wrote my recommendation letter myself and my dentist signed it" to a dental school interviewer, then you shouldn't do it.

Not judging... For real, people can seriously do whatever they want and I wouldn't care all that much. If you consider the implications and are chill with it, then go for it. If you aren't a liar, go for it. I would just rather have a letter that takes into account another person's perception of me rather than one that's just about how I view myself.
 
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doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,164
2,304
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Dentist
An lor is about what
You people are ridiculous. If you aren't fabricatimg the information then it is not unethical. It isn't like you are creating a fake email and submitting the letter yourself. They read your draft of the letter and make adjustments as they see fit. If they don't like a part they take it out and if they wish to add something then they add it. They are reading what you wrote and adjusting it. Completely ethical in my opinion :happy:
An lor is about what others think of you, not what you think you see in the mirror.