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Letters of recommendation-someone look them over before?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Daydreamer2008, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Daydreamer2008

    7+ Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I know that some schools premed committees/advisor or whatever looks over all the letters to make sure there isn't a bad one in the batch. Has anyone done this? Neither schools that I went to (UC's in Cali) will do this type of check. I do feel confident that I have good letter writers and I asked them all for positive letters, but I feel that I am at a disadvantage b/c my schools never had a premed committee. Should I just have faith that my letters are good? Or does anyone know how you can get around this? (I am a reapplicant this year-so I guess go to the schools I got rejected from this past year?) Any other way? It is difficult to get ahold of the schools I got rejected from this time of year....
     
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  3. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    The first thing some others may tell you is that you shouldn't be asking for letters from people about whom you'll have any doubts. Medical schools, even if they didn't accept you, will be loathe to tell you anything about your recommendations. They MAY, if you happen to get someone empathetic on the phone, tell you that, "Your recommendations could have been stronger." Of course, that doesn't help you isolate which letter-writer was less than optimistic about your looming career as a -- potentially their -- physician. Schools put so much stock in confidential letters because they believe they're the best way to get a semi-objective assessment of you as a student and/or person. Don't expect them to violate that confidentiality just because you want to know how you can improve.

    Being worried about "getting around" letters being confidential says to me that you have asked people that don't know you well enough, or, God forbid, in whose classes you performed poorly.

    If you did ask for "strong recommendations" and the writers all agreed without expressing any reservations, then that's all you can ask for. My school has a pre-health committee, but your advisor won't tell you anything about your letters. If you ask them in advance of requesting a letter, though, they'll advise you whether that recommender writes "fine" or "exceptionally good" letters. Beyond that, you're out of luck.

    I'd try to sit back and focus on the other anxiety-inducing aspects of the application process, with which you are undoubtedly familiar. Remember, one mediocre letter in a bunch of good ones will not likely kill your application. Keep the faith.


    Best,
    -z
     
  4. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    In addition to zipmedic's excellent comments, there is one other simple way to determine this: refuse to waive your right to see them. I know everyone signs on the line like sheep, but you have a legal right to see those letters if you choose to exercise it.
     
  5. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Membership Revoked
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    I actually had a very well known professor, who knew me well, offer to write a letter for me but write a poor letter :eek: . While this is relatively unlikely to happen to most of you I'd still recommend looking at them first!
     
  6. Dr.Inviz

    Dr.Inviz Membership Revoked
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    I had stellar letters (professor and professional/physician) and the premed advisor wrote a sh!tty composite letter. Well, that's how I ended up at my last school choice. They somehow never received the package and I told the premed advisor (as by then, I was aware of her bullsh!t) that I do not want her composite letter and simply had professor letters sent. 3 days letter, accepted.

    I can only imagine how many more acceptances I would have had, had not for the cursed b!tch.
     
  7. blargh

    blargh Membership Revoked
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