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Chief Resident writing LOR?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Pox in a box, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    Is anyone getting a LOR from a "Chief Resident" who has completed the fulfillments of his/her residency but is doing an administrative chief year? He/she is on the same level as an attending but is doing another year to increase fellowship opportunities or some other reason. Is it improper to get a chief resident to write a letter of recommendation? I have a chief resident who is my attending this month. Anyone have any experiences or thoughts?
     
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  3. huskymed06

    huskymed06 Junior Member
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    NO.
    You can not get letters from anyone but full attendings for clinicians. The more senior the better, the more famous the better, the higher rank the better, assuming they actually know who you are and can write a personable letter.

    You can't get letters from any resident, your best friend from Hebrew school, or your momma.
     
  4. footcramp

    footcramp Senior Member
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  5. UVa2005

    UVa2005 Junior Member
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    I would talk to the program director at your hospital for the program you are applying to as I would say it depends on the program. Personally, I would rather hear from a Chief Resident who knows you well and who was your attending for the month than an attending who doesn't know you at all. That being said, I would do my best to do an elective early with a different attending to get that letter as well. At my program, the chief residents are highly regarded and respected and their letters would carry weight here. Hope this helps.
     
  6. No. Go for a full attending. Professor > assistant professor.
     
  7. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    Man, I'm screwed.
     
  8. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
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    You CAN get letters from anyone you want. You SHOULD get letters only from attendings. I agree that this is kind of ridiculous since you may have worked very closely w/ a chief or other resident who could give a more accurate evaluation of your clinical skills, and only peripherally with an attending but I don't make the rules and medicine is still a game where names and reputation can make or break you.

    BE (now PE)
     
  9. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    The sad thing though is that this "chief resident" has the exact same credentials as an "attending" that is working on a different team (they both just finished their residency...one went directly into hospitalist service and the other decided to do an extra year as chief).
     
  10. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf
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    As above.. Get the highest ranks... non-attendings = useless.
     
  11. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Nope. Don't do it.

    There are enough people, and not just here, but on medical faculty, who will look askance at a letter from a resident, Chief or not, to make it not worth risking.

    Supposedly once you cross the line from resident to attending you are somehow immune to the influences of medical students and write objective letters. I know the Chief knows you the best and may be well-respected but it will smack of an inability to get a letter from faculty.
     
  12. I would also consider getting letters from more senior attendings (not ones that just finished residency). If at all possible, that is.
     
  13. ukdoc74

    ukdoc74 Junior Member
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    Kimberli,
    What about a LOR from a researcher MD that has no current associations with academia ( he used to be an attending but is now a community doctor). We currently have an abstract accepted together. Does a letter have to be from academia?
     
  14. footcramp

    footcramp Senior Member
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    my guess is...

    ideal letters:
    famous surgeon who knows you well and is supportive
    chairman who knows you well and is supportive
    chair of dept who knows you well and is supportive
    associate prof who knows you well and is supportive
    famous surgeon who writes a form letter on your behalf
    chairman who writes a form letter on your behalf
    chair of dept who writes a form letter on your behalf
    asst prof who knows you well and is supportive
    associate prof who writes a form letter on your behalf
    asst prof who writes a form letter on your behalf
    ...
    non-academic MD who knows you well and is supportive
    ...
    your mom who knows you well and is supportive
    chief resident who knows you well and is supportive
    chief resident who writes a form letter lol

    roughly in that order.

    personally i would much rather have a nice form letter from a famous surgeon that everyone knows than a good letter from someone nobody knows. but i might be wrong in my calculation.
     
  15. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    I think that is fine - everyone makes a big deal about academia, or the "famous surgeon" writing your LOR, but if this guy knows you well (and has had some experience in academia teaching residents) then I see no reason why a LOR from him shouldn't suffice.
     
  16. jocg27

    jocg27 Senior Member
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    I disagree...but I think this is really pretty dependent on your interests. Some specialties place a much higher value on prestige than others.
     
  17. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    Is it okay for private preceptors to write letters of recs for you?
     
  18. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Depends. What is a "private preceptor"?

    If its someone who has spent some time with you and is in a position to judge your capability to be a house officer, then its probably alright provided the person isn't your mother.
     
  19. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member
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    In private practice (it's still qualified as a school rotation). I guess this person is gratis faculty.
     
  20. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Pox, it sounds like you're doing an IM month with one of the IM chiefs as an attending. The reason I want to clarify is that most of the folks who replied to you are not in IM, and instead are likely thinking about what the situation is like in their specialty. In IM, the chief resident is completely different than chief residents in any other specialty -- IM chiefs are attendings, and have attending priveleges. The only difference is that they've committed themselves to the education of the IM residents for a year (and they usually don't get paid as well as regular attendings). This is an important distinction, because IM chiefs often have either been attendings for a few years before their jobs, or they've completed a fellowship and then came back to do a chief year -- so they're not "just another resident". Usually when the chiefs write letters of recs, they will say "I was so-and-so's attending" in their letter in order to clarify their role.

    If you are applying in IM, most IM programs will understand what the position of the chief resident is, so it's not a terrible thing to get a letter from the chief. That said, it's still better to get a letter from a tenured or more senior faculty member. If you can, try to do other rotations where you are working with someone more senior. If you can't get that scheduled, talk with your PD and see what he/she thinks. The PDs are often pretty in tune with how certain letters may come across, since they read these things all the time when they review apps.
     

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