help on update letter - unique circumstances, advice needed!

mmcnam

10+ Year Member
May 28, 2007
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so below, i have copied an update letter that i just wrote to my top school (where i am waitlisted). i left a job recently that entailed a pretty bad situation. it gave me excellent opportunties to work with patients, but i was basically in charge of running a physical therapy clinic with no license while the doctor who owned the practice ignored my pleas for him to hire a therapist. this all unfolded within a month of my beginning the job and while i don't want to come across as having sour grapes, i want to make sure that this school knows that i left my job for the right reasons and that i'm still very interested in attending. your feedback is very much appreciated - it's hard to get a third party opinion on this as everyone close to me knows how hard this situation was for me.
___________________________________
May 19, 2008

To the Admissions Committee at (school):

I am writing to update the committee on my activities since our last communication. In my last letter, I spoke of working as a physical therapy aide at an orthopedic rehabilitation clinic. My position involved many responsibilities, including the complete management of all aspects of therapy sessions, office maintenance and side research projects. I quickly became the most experienced aide as other aides and physical therapists left the practice. I found this evolving role exciting and rewarding. This was a rare opportunity to work closely with patients despite a lack of training. I cared deeply for their recovery and we formed strong relationships that guided them through rehabilitation. However, I gradually began to feel unequal to the task. My responsibilities were not appropriate for my limited knowledge of physical therapy. With no formal education in physical therapy, I felt uncomfortable treating patients for several hours in the day without supervision. Though I was needed in the practice, I did not feel comfortable with what was expected of me nor did my role adhere to the guidelines set forth by California law. While my concerns and those of patients were known to the doctor who owned the practice, action was not taken to alleviate this situation. Several weeks passed without word of a hiring a therapist and I felt compelled to leave my position. The situation was not fair to the patients, who deserved the quality care that could be given by a licensed therapist. Regrettably I could not give them this, but I made a decision not to participate in the practice any longer. I hope that in sharing this story with the Committee, I demonstrate that my ultimate concern was for the well-being of the patients I once treated. My first letter detailed my enthusiasm for working with these patients and I look forward to similar experiences in better circumstances.

Life is much simpler now, but enjoyable all the same. I will stay in Los Angeles until early June, working at a bakery. This is a weekend job that I held since September of 2007, but I have expanded my hours in the past six weeks. I will move back home soon to spend my last few months with family. One of the benefits of attending (school) is proximity to home, but I must plan for other outcomes to the application process. As such, I will spend June and July simply being with family and getting reacquainted with life on the East Coast.

Once again, I would like to reiterate my commitment to (school). If accepted, I would be proud to attend. Many thanks for your consideration thus far.
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
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Why does the school need to know you left the job? An update letter, which is voluntary, tends to/should dwell on positive aspects only. Including that information isn't going to help you. Hopefully, it won't hurt you either (but who knows). I feel a briefer letter expanding on your last paragraph is all you need to send, and being briefer, is more likely to be read. JMO.
 

Jolie South

is invoking Domo. . .
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Jun 4, 2007
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i agree with the previous poster. do not bring up something negative in an update letter. the purpose of this letter is to get you off the waitlist right?

i don't think that your story about your job will help that happen. focus on something positive and reiterate your interest in the school and how you would be a great addition there.
 

DoctorDreamer

In a far away land...
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Dec 10, 2007
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I left my job, as well, because my bosses were being very abusive, and I wanted a new experience before med school. In my update letter, I simply said what a rewarding experience it had been, what I learned, and how it changed my view of and commitment to medicine. Then I discussed the other things going on in my life. I left the country after quitting, though, so they had a good reason in mind for me to leave my job.

I wouldn't talk about anything negative in your letter.
 
OP
M

mmcnam

10+ Year Member
May 28, 2007
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Medical Student
thanks everyone - you're all very right. it's amazing what kinds of mindsets you get yourself into when you stay up too late. although in my defense i am on pacific time :)
 

Textuality

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May 16, 2007
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Yeah, I don't think you have to tell them when you leave a job. It's one thing if you fail/drop a class that gets in the way of your graduating or tanks your GPA because that goes into their "school stats" type things, but I don't think they'd really care that much if you left your job a little earlier than anticipated. I mean, life and circumstances happen. I had to leave me job early due to family emergency, but didn't update schools about it because I figured it didn't really add anything to my application, it was just an unfortunate family story that required my leaving the country awhile.