Dentist want me to write my own recommendation letter - can somebody lead me in the right direction?

Nappygirl

5+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2013
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Pre-Dental
One of the dentists I shadowed agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on my behalf (for summer 2018 - I am collecting letters on Interfolio). However, he wants me to write it, as he said that he does not have time.

I guess he will just read it, approve/edit it, sign it, and submit it.

I have no idea where to begin in order to make it sound like a dentist wrote the letter. I don’t know what dentists even write in strong letters of recommendation.

Can somebody point me in the write direction?

Thanks!
 

cooliyak

Established Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
698
672
Colorado
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Dentist
One of the dentists I shadowed agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on my behalf (for summer 2018 - I am collecting letters on Interfolio). However, he wants me to write it, as he said that he does not have time.

I guess he will just read it, approve/edit it, sign it, and submit it.

I have no idea where to begin in order to make it sound like a dentist wrote the letter. I don’t know what dentists even write in strong letters of recommendation.

Can somebody point me in the write direction?

Thanks!
Point you in the "write" direction? Haha pun intended?
I actually consider writing your own letter to be unethical. I would suggest you find a different dentist to write one. Easier said than done, I know. If I were you, I would give him your personal statement, resume and maybe even your transcripts and tell him that you value his time, but it would make you uncomfortable to write your own letter and that you hope the additional materials you provided would help him so it wouldn't take so long.
I know others have different opinions and many people don't have a problem writing their own letters, but that is my suggestion. Take it or leave it.
 
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predental21250

2+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2015
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Pre-Dental
I had the same issue with my dentist boss. He made me write his emails at work all the time, so it didn't come to a surprise when he made me write my own LOR. I absolutely hated it, but he told me to think of it as a way to really think about myself and what matters to me. In the end, I wrote it and he made me do adjustments to his liking. He did sign which ultimately must mean that he agreed with what I said, which is how I morally got over it. You aren't the first one to do it, you won't be the last one, and the dental schools won't ask.

Ask some of your coworkers or friends for suggestions on what you should write about yourself. Sometimes it's hard to be humble when doing so, but asking others for help can be a great starting point
 

2TH MVR

Orthodontist
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Aug 3, 2017
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Seriously .... no one knows you or your qualifications better than YOU do. How is the dentist going to know everything abut YOU. A dentist who writes your LOR will probably miss half of your accomplishments. When students ask me for a LOR .... I always have them write a letter. As mentioned above .... I will edit and add to the letter. Win-win. Not unethical. I'm pretty sure YOU will spend more time writing a good LOR than the busy dentist.
 

Kurk

2+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2016
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I don't think it's unethical at all. Go for it.
 
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IMO, it seems like the entire thing of you writing an LOR the doctor should be writing is kind of a big whole lie when you think about it. An LOR is not a personal statement where you state everything which would make you successful dentist. However, a LOR is, in fact, a letter which a 3rd party writes advocating for what they noticed in you and why that could translate into you being a good dentist and dental student. When I applied, I gave my PS and my transcript to the dentist. I told them WELL in advance to start writing the LOR so that if they were really busy, they would have a minimum of 2 1/2 weeks to write. I personally didn't have a dentist I shadowed who didn't know how to write an LOR, but if your dentist simply doesn't know, then give him/her a template like the one in the thread posted by @sjv above. ^^

Merely having your dentist edit it won't translate into what they really think of your abilities. Changing some words, honestly won't make much of a difference IMO and the core message of what the LOR is about will stay as you wrote it: a PS from a 3rd person perspective (which is not, by any means an, LOR)

Now if your dentist takes the letter you wrote and cuts a few paragraphs, changes the wording and changes the core message into whatever they want to have the reader perceive about you, then I believe it would be morally and ethically just fine. But, then, I believe the dentist would have just wrote the LOR himself.

-Fyz
 
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