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Asking for LOR from volatile boss

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jellybird, May 10, 2007.

  1. jellybird

    jellybird Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    New York
    Here is the dilemma - I'm reapplying to med school this spring. It's important that I update my LOR to demonstrate my continued interest, etc etc.

    I work with a PI with big name and some decent pull at the med school here. He's an amazing person, and an amazing doctor, but he's also a bit mercurial. In my PI's ideal world, I would never leave my job. I would stay here forever and ever!

    I've only been here about six months, but I've done lots of good work that everybody is impressed with so the letter could potentially be very nice. When I took the job we agreed I wouldn't leave right away, but we never defined what that time period meant?

    Do I ask him for a letter of rec even though he'll probably be irritated that I'm applying? If I do ask for a letter, when do I ask for it? If I don't ask for a letter, when do I tell him I'm applying?

    Any thoughts/opinions/anecdotes/advice?

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  3. yepiminthere

    yepiminthere 10+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Well even if you begin applying this summer and get accepted for the entering class of 2008, you still won't head off to medical school for another year. So that will be a year and a half of good work that you will have put in for this man. Seems like enough.
  4. Why are you working for someone if you're worried about them giving you a bad letter? Ask him, you'll be working for him for 18 months by the time you leave, thats long enough. If he says no, he's a jackass, and you should leave.
  5. SomeRandomName

    SomeRandomName 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    Ask him now - the sooner the better. Tell him that you like your job but your dream is to be a doctor so applying to medical school is what you need to do. Nobody can fault that.
  6. jellybird

    jellybird Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    New York
    Thanks for the advice!

    Some clarification: my boss is not a jerk, but he does have mood swings. I love my job and I'm sticking around because the people I work with are inspirational. I'm lucky to work there (and they're lucky to have me)!
  7. sunny1

    sunny1 2+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I would explain your goals and be very clear about the timeline involved (over one year to apply, interview, wait the summer before matriculating, etc.). Even though your PI likely knows this, it just sets the tone that you are still committed to your job. I've found with mercurial people that it's important to be sure you're the one setting the tone to start with and that it's positive and respectful.

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