Unless you waive the right to see it, the program has to assume (1) that you don't trust your letter writer to say positive things otherwise, (2) that the writer is going to be less candid because he knows you are going to read the letter, and (3) that you may be reviewing and not submitting less flattering letters, and that the ones they see are only the ones you didn't screen. All bad things for them to have to assume. Better to ask people you trust to write strong letters, and waive the right to see them. If you don't trust folks you asked to write letters to say nice things, that says volumes about you. And a program ought not overlook that.Does it really matter to a program director, if a candidate waive his/her right to see the lor? Is it taken as a plus point?
That there may be loopholes doesn't mean that the overall system isn't expected to be applied. sort of like taxes.Law2doc: From a purely legal standpoint, if you "waive" your "right" to "see" the "letter", this implies that you will never see the actual letter that the recommender wrote. If you happen to see, even a copy, you have not seen the letter. There are other words in that sentence that can be scrutinized for loopholes. Many US med schools have their Dean's offices "screen" their letters by saying which ones to send to ERAS based upon what was written about them. My international med school will not do this -- and this is based upon their ethical standpoint. Do the US students need this sort of an edge? Fine by me. When I am in a position to screen residency candidates, the US students will go second (after the IMGs).
Actually in most other fields a LOR is unimportant, because the potential employer is really just going to ask for references, not letters, and is going to call up the reference and talk to him/her in person. Thus they will get the scoop in a way that the reference is most likely to be candid, and you are least likely to be privy to what is said.I have heard that in other fields that it is customary for the LOR writer to show you the LOR before it is submitted.
It's not about trust. I just wanted to have it back through the return of document service, in case I needed it.The standard is to waive your right to see them. There is no real reason to do otherwise. If you don't trust a person to write you a good letter, then don't ask them to do it.
I was thinking about asking him for a copy, coz I might need it, if I have to scramble.Oh I see what you are getting at. However, I do think that it may hurt you if you don't waive your right to see the letter. I had one letter write who sent me a copy of the LOR he wrote for me, even though I'd waived my right to see it. I think he wanted me to have a copy just in case I needed it, which was nice. However, by waiving my right to see it I was telling him that he should feel free to be candid and I'm not going to be looking over his shoulder to see what he is writing. Maybe if you are worried about needing a copy of the letter later, you could ask that the LOR writer send an extra copy to your school's career office. My medical school was really good about this, offering to hold the LOR's and our ERAS application for 3 years I think.