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?
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).
I have heard that in other fields that it is customary for the LOR writer to show you the LOR before it is submitted.
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.
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.