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Do Adcoms give letters of rec a benefit of a doubt?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by relentless11, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Ya know, my research professor today sent me the draft of the letter he is writing me, and it is strong indeed. He's just one of those people who writes very well, and stuff. Since i've been working with him for over 4 years, he had a lot to say. All VERY positive, and nothing is made up or what not.

    BUt this is what i'm wondering about. If letters of rec are all extraordinary, or at least someone says something really profoundly positive, do the adcom's take it seriously? Do they give the writers a benefit of a doubt? I know that the adcom's know that all these people should say something positive about the person since these are letters of recommendation, but how much weight would 1, 2 or even 3 letters of rec that says profound things have on one's prospects on getting an interview?
     
  2. CaptainJack02

    CaptainJack02 let's stir and shake
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    Why do you say "benefit of the doubt?" Is there something about your app that is weak? I think you are right that they expect positive letters. A negative letter raises red flags, I'm sure. But positive letters seem to be reinforcements of your personality, drive, motivation, etc. So I guess it adds one more dimension to your app. Basically, I don't think having incredible rec's would guarantee you an interview - you need other things to back it up.

    My 2c.
     
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  3. OP
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    relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Actually quote the opposite, it my letters sound outstanding, just afraid there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing" could be bad.
     
  4. jhk43

    jhk43 Senior Member
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    adcoms have spent their lives reading these things. they can smell authenticity, as this letter is merely 1 component of your file
     
  5. omarsaleh66

    omarsaleh66 Senior Member
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    suprisingly, letters of rec can help out

    At the school I am at now, the interviewer was so impressed with one of the rec letters that he read it out and I think that letter is one of the main reasons I got in!

    gluck

    Omar
     
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  6. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    ahh, although it's not good to have letters of rec that are too good, what will really screw you is having an mcat that is too high. that's obvious proof that you're a cheat.
     
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  7. jhk43

    jhk43 Senior Member
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    anyone's recommenders make you write your own letter?
     
  8. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    :laugh: :laugh:
     
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  9. OP
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    relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    Even though my letter of rec seems really great, I am glad that each and every claim he made is supported by some hard evidence. (ie: transcripts, publications, etc) So hopefully the adcoms can add 1 + 1 together to see that this guy isn't pulling this out the backside:).

    But yea, its just worrisome that such a good letter of rec may be looked at in a wrong way. I guess if other letters of rec have the same theme, then that flags the adcom in a good way.

    In regards to if anyone (I myself) helped write any letters. Answer is no. My research professor told me to draft any main points I would want him to include though. But ultimately the input I had contributed to 15-20% of the letter. The remaining 80% or so was a culmination of working with him for 4 years, and making a name for myself through publications. All he had to do was write a letter of rec that was about a page and a quarter, then slapped on all of my publications at the end.

    Is it just me or as time gets close to applying, one starts to get more paranoid about the strangest things:S
     
  10. Eyesore

    Eyesore Member
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    What!!!+pissed+ +pissed+ +pissed+ Trying to pat yourself on the back!!! No soup for you!!! Get out of the line!!!
     
  11. OP
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    relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    But i like soup:(

    Anyway though, so anyone here have experience with their letters helping htem majorly? Could always use some nice stories:)
     
  12. Wahooali

    Wahooali The Real Sydney Bristow
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    jhk43, I had one recommender that made me do that. Now that is an interesting and challenging experience. Oi!
     
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  13. mashel

    mashel Junior Member

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    Getting a letter with hard evidence supporting the positive comments about the applicant are the best kind, IMO. In my experience applying for residency, interviewers have complimented letters which gave specific examples of things I had done (and they also seem to pick up on the same specific comments over and over). It makes sense - if I were on the adcom, I would give this kind of letter a lot more weight than one which made only vague generalizations.

    Would it ever be bad to have such a letter in your package? Well, I suppose if it were inconsistent with your other letters and the rest of your application, then it would just seem like the writer was partial to you and may have been exaggerating some positive comments (so the adcom wouldn't give as much credibility to the writer). In that sense, I agree with one of the above posters who said the adcom can tell if a letter is "authentic".

    Otherwise (and especially given that the adcom members are extremely busy people), I think that this type of letter will likely work strongly in your favor by making your application more memorable and more concrete. It's a nice thing to have, and congrats on the work you did to deserve it.
     

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