Quantcast

Implications of a bad LoR and/or PS

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

TxC

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
454
Reaction score
569

Members don't see this ad.
Just wondering: if someone has a bad LoR and/or PS but everything else looks really good, is he or she likely to receive IIs or not? I figured that the LoR and PS are the aspects of an app that sets the applicant apart from others, so I am guessing they probably play big roles in the process. Thanks!
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
69,085
Reaction score
107,297
It depends upon how seriously the school pre-screens. I would surmise that bad PS's will lead to an auto-reject, but bad LORs, lead to rejections after the interview.

At my school, it's after the interviews that both are lethal.

Learned colleagues @gyngyn and @LizzyM, what say you?

Just wondering: if someone has a bad LoR and/or PS but everything else looks really good, is he or she likely to receive IIs or not? I figured that the LoR and PS are the aspects of an app that sets the applicant apart from others, so I am guessing they probably play big roles in the process. Thanks!
 

nicmar22

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
168
Reaction score
112
It depends upon how seriously the school pre-screens. I would surmise that bad PS's will lead to an auto-reject, but bad LORs, lead to rejections after the interview.

At my school, it's after the interviews that both are lethal.

If a person has a bad LOR or PS, how would they end up at an interview in the first place? This just makes me confused about the factors that go into extending someone an II.
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
69,085
Reaction score
107,297
Some schools pre-screen seriously, others do it more superficially, like only culling out people whose GPAs and MCAT scores are below the desired floors, or who have overt felonies in their backgrounds.

If a person has a bad LOR or PS, how would they end up at an interview in the first place? This just makes me confused about the factors that go into extending someone an II.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
26,347
Reaction score
46,737
My school should have at least 3 pairs of eyeballs on an application before an II is made. If people are thorough, and if they concur with the opinion that the LOR and/or PS is problematic, then no II will be made. It can happen that someone picks up something during the interview that prompts a re-reading of the LOR & PS and if confirmation of a problem behavior (e.g. very shy and quiet) is found in the letters, then the hammer could drop after the interview on the basis of the interview and LOR.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

csx

Full Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
1,074
Reaction score
204
To avoid potentially bad LOR's what's to stop premed's from sending themselves the LOR's to verify their quality? I've heard some people say that they're just too lazy but not everyone's THAT lazy. I can totally see premeds doing this but have never herad anyone doing it.
 
Last edited:

frodo25

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
151
Reaction score
36
My school should have at least 3 pairs of eyeballs on an application before an II is made. If people are thorough, and if they concur with the opinion that the LOR and/or PS is problematic, then no II will be made. It can happen that someone picks up something during the interview that prompts a re-reading of the LOR & PS and if confirmation of a problem behavior (e.g. very shy and quiet) is found in the letters, then the hammer could drop after the interview on the basis of the interview and LOR.
So, is it not likely that a shy/quiet person will be successful during the application process?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
26,347
Reaction score
46,737
So, is it not likely that a shy/quiet person will be successful during the application process?
Someone who fails to make eye contact, who answers in monosyllables and fails to engage during the interview is not likely to be a good fit at my school. There may be schools where that behavior is acceptable but it is hard to imagine a person with such a withdrawn personality being able to engage a stranger in a question and answer session about their health habits, sexual history, bowel habits, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Afford

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
604
Reaction score
269
Is it common to get bad LOR's? I thought most letter writers would say that they're not comfortable writing one rather than write a bad one.
 

csx

Full Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
1,074
Reaction score
204
Is it common to get bad LOR's? I thought most letter writers would say that they're not comfortable writing one rather than write a bad one.
some letter writing committees contact the people you work with/organizations you volunteer at. If someone doesn't like you there, the committee may mention it in the letter.
 

Afford

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
604
Reaction score
269
some letter writing committees contact the people you work with/organizations you volunteer at. If someone doesn't like you there, the committee may mention it in the letter.

Really? I thought the committee letter was supposed to increase our chance to get into medical school lol.
 

csx

Full Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
1,074
Reaction score
204
Really? I thought the committee letter was supposed to increase our chance to get into medical school lol.
idk about all schools but i know at my school and schools that i have friends at the committee asks for your EC's and contact information to supplement their letter. Maybe they dont contact any of them; but why would they ask for the contact information then?
 

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
69,085
Reaction score
107,297
My learned colleague is spot on, as usual. We routinely reject people for being shy. This IS a people-oriented profession, after all, and we're not in the business of trying only radiologists or pathologists.

Someone who fails to make eye contact, who answers in monosyllables and fails to engage during the interview is not likely to be a good fit at my school. There may be schools where that behavior is acceptable but it is hard to imagine a person with such a withdrawn personality being able to engage a stranger in a question and answer session about their health habits, sexual history, bowel habits, etc.

These are RARE. I see one maybe once an interview cycle.

Is it common to get bad LOR's? I thought most letter writers would say that they're not comfortable writing one rather than write a bad one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Keladry

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
476
Reaction score
385
So, is it not likely that a shy/quiet person will be successful during the application process?
There's a difference between tending to be shy/quiet, say, in public, versus being that way professionally. I would say that I'm typically a quiet person; I'm definitely an introvert, and need time to recharge after being around people all day. However, I'm also sociable; I enjoy interacting with others, and am certainly capable of holding a conversation. There's a time and a place for being quiet; interview day (or at work as a doctor!) is not one of those places.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Afford

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
604
Reaction score
269
To avoid potentially bad LOR's what's to stop premed's from sending themselves the LOR's to verify their quality? I've heard some people say that they're just too lazy but not everyone's THAT lazy. I can totally see premeds doing this but have never herad anyone doing it.

How would that happen? My professors sent it directly to the health advising office for a committee letter.
 

csx

Full Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
1,074
Reaction score
204
How would that happen? My professors sent it directly to the health advising office for a committee letter.
not all schools have a delivery service. if you're school doesn't you must find a private delivery service.
 

alicebobalice

birdie
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
35
Reaction score
8
There's a difference between tending to be shy/quiet, say, in public, versus being that way professionally. I would say that I'm typically a quiet person; I'm definitely an introvert, and need time to recharge after being around people all day. However, I'm also sociable; I enjoy interacting with others, and am certainly capable of holding a conversation. There's a time and a place for being quiet; interview day (or at work as a doctor!) is not one of those places.

Dude, I dig your tamora pierce referencing profile.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

BeancheBlanco

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
488
Reaction score
275
Remember we talking about relative terms. "Bad" is relative. The follow-up question is "how bad?" If it's completely awful and has red flags all over it, it'll probably be a big issue. If it's just not very interesting, it might not kill you, but it also won't help you. Same thing with shyness/quietness.
 
Top