Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Letters of rec ethical problem

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MacGyver, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hello,

    I recently found out from a school that one of my letters was missing. So I thought, no problem, I'll just ask my person to send his letter again.

    The only problem is that I just found out he is going to be gone for the next month! By then, the deadline will have passed and the school will throw out my application because of that one letter.

    OK, well I do have a way to avoid this situation, but its an ethically gray area. At one of my previous interviews, somehow somebody in the admissions office put a copy of my complete application in a folder for me that contained info about the school. Its one of those schools that gives out the embossed folders with info about financial aid, etc. I dont know how in the world my app ended up in there, but I was even more surprised to see that my letters of rec were in there too!

    I didnt notice that my app was in the folder (it was buried in the back behind a bunch of other stuff) until I got home.

    I was thinking that I could take this letter of rec (which is from the professor whose letter is missing at the other school) and just send it to the school.

    I know this is an ethical area which is better left alone but I dont know what else to do. I've already seen the letter and its a good one. If I dont send this letter to the school, they will cancel my app.

    What would you do in this situation? The school whose letter is missing is one of my top choices or else I would just have let this go.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. UCMonkey

    UCMonkey Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    511
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple things to think about:

    1) Is the school going to know that you, and not the author, sent the letter? If they do, then they'll probably toss it anyway, and you'll be no better off.

    2) Also, does your school have a letter service? If they do, can they help at all?
     
  4. Dr. Kermit

    Dr. Kermit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    1
    I can't give you any advice about the letter, but I would make certain that the school which inadvertantly gave you a copy of your app + letters didn't give you the only copy of your letters.

    Also, I didn't have to send letters to my school as my UGrad had a preprofessional committee, but I'm almost positive there had to be a "real" signature at the bottom of the letter and that the envelope had to be signed across the seal when my rec letters went to my preprofessional committee.

    I would call the school that is your number one choice because you don't want them rescinding their offer later down the line b/c of something that you did. Schools have ways of talking to other schools. I can give you the story in a private e-mail if you want, I'd rather not post it. But let's just say an applicant made a fool of himself and the dean of a certain med school contacted not only the applicant's undergrad, but also every medical school to which he applied!
     
  5. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    4
    monkeyrunner,

    I dont think the school will know. I gave my recommenders envelopes with my handwriting on it to send to each school. I dont see how the school could know that I was the one who put it in the mailbox. I know for a fact that I gave this particular recommender an envelope for this school; so its not like if the school contacts him about it he wont know what they are talking about. In short, there is really no way I can think of that the school will know that I sent it vs my professor. That is, unless they have a camera at the mailbox or something. I'm not altering the letter or anything. I'm just sending it exactly as he wrote it.

    My school does not have a premed/preprofessional committee or letter service. The only person with the letter is me and my prof. He's off in South America somewhere so I cant contact him.

    kermit,

    Can you private message me about the situation you are talking about? thanks.
     
  6. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
    Physician Faculty

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,787
    Likes Received:
    817
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    As far as the ethics go, I don't really see that big of a problem. The point of a closed letter file/confidentiality is so the writer can feel free to write honestly in his evaluation of you. If the letter is already written, what's the difference?
     
  7. none

    none 1K Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah, it's not really an ethical issue. The thing is, will the school accept it coming from you?
     
  8. watto

    watto Sleek White Pantsuit

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    861
    Likes Received:
    43
    Call 'em and explain the situation. They will see you in a positive light for having the guts to consider it an ethical issue and bring the problem to light.

    Tell them that if they have any qualms about its "authenticity," give them the names of some other schools that have the unseen letter on file and ask them to compare.

    You are in an unusual situation and I bet they will accomodate you.
     
  9. TechMan

    TechMan Dreams Stuff are Made of.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2001
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    2
    Just send the letter.
     

Share This Page