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Is this unethical??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BUmiken12, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. BUmiken12

    BUmiken12 Senior Member
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    Okay, well I met a girl interviewing with me at Tulane from Rice. We're both TX residents, and we both applied to all the TX schools. Here's my question: she asked me if I planned to write a letter of intent to whatever may be my first choice. Now I know a lot of you write letters of intent, but TX works on a matching system. I just think that these letters would be an unfair influence to which students the schools would pick. But the girl said that everyone that she knows is doing them. Do you think this is unethical??
     
  2. bujji13

    bujji13 Senior Member
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    Mike:

    Whether it's technically ethical is uncertain. But it's definitely NOT illegal in the Texas app proces, nor is it against AAMC or AMCAS rules to write letters of intent. Many people also mention their intentions in thank you cards, phone calls, etc. It all falls under the category of sucking up, and in the vast majority of cases, it is probably meaningless and has no effect on final decisions. In other words, don't worry about it: these letters probably only matter once an applicant is placed on a waiting list. I sincerely doubt the matching program that TMDSAS uses takes brown-nosing into account. Good Luck!

    P.S. Nice to see a fellow Wacoan on SDN...I think we're the only ones....
     
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  3. Green912

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    I think the above post sums up the answer nicely. I'd wait until if you're placed on a waitlist. Then bring out the back-up ammo.
     
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  4. siempre595

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    I've heard it's actually good to let a school know if it's your first choice. I don't see anything unethical about that, it's just the truth. If you have more desire to be at a school than other applicants, who might just put it down as a back up or for other various reasons, than med schools should know. I don't know how the Texas system works at all, but I know AMCAS applicants from last year who wrote these letters, many got in where they wanted (who knows how related that is).
     
  5. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    What if your second choice is through TMDSAS and your first choice is through AMCAS. Obviously I can't write a letter on intent to the TMDSAS school, but I still want a good shot there since my first choice is a toss up? I think it might be weird to write a letter stating they are my first choice in TMDSAS.
     
  6. siempre595

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    I'd just be careful with the wording. For the Texas school, say something like: "you school is one of my top choices for med schools...yada yada" That is the truth, so it should be fine.
     
  7. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    So why would this be unethical? What's the rationale?

    How is influencing a school one way or another unethical? That's what your application does. :)
     
  8. AegisZero

    AegisZero Senior Member
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    what if you do this for every school though? to make them all think you're their first choice.

    that places people who are being honest at a comparative disadvantage. Maybe this is what hes trying to get at?
     
  9. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Well in an actual letter of intent, you are essentially making a binding commitment to go to the school...or so I've heard...
     
  10. siempre595

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    I've never heard of a binding letter of intent. If you're writing a thank-you for an interview and you mention that it's your first choice school you are not bound by anything formal. I'm unaware of such a thing existing. Certainly don't sign a contract saying a school is your first choice if it is not (now that's unethical!). Obviously if people lie and say every school is their first choice it's a problem for the honest ones, but I feel like that cannot be avoided. Also, admit committees can see where else you apply and interview and get accepted/rejected; it would be stupid to tell certain schools they were a top choice when so clearly others on your list are, and admit people are not stupid.
     
  11. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    A simple thank you note and an actual "letter of intent" are very different.
     
  12. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    So, how binding would a letter of intent be? What if a school offers me a better deal in terms of $$. Say my number 1 school accepts me but I have to pay for everything, but a school I liked nearly as well accepts me with a full ride. I would probably go for the full ride even if it wasn't my first choice. So, I wasn't lying if I said the school I didn't go to was my first choice.
     
  13. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    See this thread:
    http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5411


    You would be looked on as being in bad faith if you sent more than one such letter. And it seems rather unethical.
     
  14. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    I wasn't talking about sending a letter to more than one school. I was just pointing out a possible situation in which one would not go to the school they sent a letter of intent to even though he/she was accepted.
     
  15. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    I guess in answer to my question it depends exactly what you write in the letter. If I said that I would matriculate if they accepted me then I should go, but I think that they should understanding if you simply told the school they were your first choice and if when you call them to decline their acceptance you mention the reason is the money.
     
  16. siempre595

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    I would agree, this is how I interpreted the above messages. I think you have every right to say a school is your first choice and you'd like to be there. However, circumstances make this impossible sometimes, and schools certainly understand that, especially with regards to finances.
     
  17. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    I should have made it more clear that I was replying to AegisZero for that part. Sorry for being unclear.
     
  18. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    No problem. I just assumed that you were talking to me because you quoted me your post. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  19. UCLA2000

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    If it's your top choice then I don't see how it would be unethical.
     
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  20. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    In my opinion, it's not unethical so long as you only tell one school that they are officially your "top choice." Telling more than one school that it is your top choice is obviously wrong.

    I don't think it's unfair since everyone has the same oppertunity... everyone has the oppertunity to tell one school "you're my number one."
     
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