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LOR question

gonnif

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Jul 26, 2009
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The Big Bad Apple
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Hey guys! So I'm not sure what to do about this situation: My family is in health care and owns a medical private practice. Growing up, I worked at the "family business" always by helping around the office during summers or after school, and when I was old enough, began working as a medical assistant. There are a few PA's that work in the office but the sole physician is my mom and she's who I assisted. Now the problem is: this is a notable chunk of my clinical experience on my application and I even mention it in my personal statement. I didn't submit a LOR from it last cycle because, well the physician I worked with is my mom and the practice is owned by her and my dad so I thought obviously it was a conflict of interest and basically a non-option to have a family member submit a LOR.

I'm preparing my re-application in case I don't get off a waitlist and I'm wondering if this is a huge red flag that I don't have an LOR from this? Where do I disclaim that since my mother was the physician I didn't think it was appropriate to have an LOR? Do I ask one of my coworkers (another, much older/experienced MA) to write one? I don't mention in my PS or experience description that my mother was the physician because I was saving characters to convey more how it affirmed I want to be a physician. Should I just mention it in my PS/work section so it's obvious why I didn't submit an LOR? Any help is appreciated as I'm clearly lost on this one!
1) Dont get a letter from your Mom even if a physician
2) I presume this is an EC on your application and therefore your Doctor Mom is the contact? I believe in being transparent so there should be AT MOST a passing phrase "worked as scribe/MA in private practice owned by my physician parents" even that I am not sure of
@Catalystik @gyngyn your thoughts please
3) do not mention it in your PS. Do not highlight something that you perceive as weakness in a negative way. All you do with is insure it will be seen in as a weakness in a negative way.
3
 
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Shego

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Apr 28, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
1) Dont get a letter from your Mom even if a physician
2) I presume this is an EC on your application and therefore your Doctor Mom is the contact? I believe in being transparent so there should be AT MOST a passing phrase "worked as scribe/MA in private practice owned by my physician parents" even that I am not sure of
@Catalystik @gyngyn your thoughts please
3) do not mention it in your PS. Do not highlight something that you perceive as weakness in a negative way. All you do with is insure it will be seen in as a weakness in a negative way.
3
Thank you! I was/am leaning towards having the type of "passive phrase" you described in my personal statement. In my personal statement I talk about how being an MA was the first time my desire to become a physician was really reinforced, and then go on to discuss 3 other experiences that continued to reinforce this. I was going to introduce the MA bit describing how I worked at the practice alongside my mother. My intention with this is to be transparent and make it obvious why then there would not be an LOR (and why there wasn't one last year). Do you think this would suffice to show adcoms "ahh yes very clear why there is no LOR from this"?
 

Shego

Full Member
Apr 28, 2020
114
361
66
  1. Pre-Medical
1) Dont get a letter from your Mom even if a physician
2) I presume this is an EC on your application and therefore your Doctor Mom is the contact? I believe in being transparent so there should be AT MOST a passing phrase "worked as scribe/MA in private practice owned by my physician parents" even that I am not sure of
@Catalystik @gyngyn your thoughts please
3) do not mention it in your PS. Do not highlight something that you perceive as weakness in a negative way. All you do with is insure it will be seen in as a weakness in a negative way.
3
@gonnif Also, one more thing! What do you mean "do not mention it in your PS. Do not highlight something that you perceive as weakness in a negative way"? Do you mean A) do not mention my medical assistant experience at all? Or B) do not mention that I was a medical assistant in my family's business? Or C) mention that I was an MA in my family's business but not in a negative way that's trying to disclaim why I don't have an LOR? I would like to talk about my MA experience because it was extremely formative for my decision to pursue medical school and really the thing that continually has shown me I want to be a physician. I think without mention of it, it would be unclear why I first started out on this path.

Thank you so much for your help, I appreciate it beyond words!
 

gyngyn

Alta California
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  1. Attending Physician
No one wants (or expects) a letter from your Mom or Dad.
You can use the office manager as the contact in your EC's
There is nothing inherently wrong with using content from your experience there in your PS.
After all, you do have other experiences as well. Right?
 
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  1. Attending Physician
My family is in health care and owns a medical private practice. Growing up, I worked at the "family business" always by helping around the office during summers or after school, and when I was old enough, began working as a medical assistant. There are a few PA's that work in the office but the sole physician is my mom and she's who I assisted. Now the problem is: this is a notable chunk of my clinical experience on my application and I even mention it in my personal statement. I didn't submit a LOR from it last cycle because, well the physician I worked with is my mom and the practice is owned by her and my dad so I thought obviously it was a conflict of interest and basically a non-option to have a family member submit a LOR.

I'm preparing my re-application in case I don't get off a waitlist and I'm wondering if this is a huge red flag that I don't have an LOR from this? Where do I disclaim that since my mother was the physician I didn't think it was appropriate to have an LOR? Do I ask one of my coworkers (another, much older/experienced MA) to write one? I don't mention in my PS or experience description that my mother was the physician because I was saving characters to convey more how it affirmed I want to be a physician. Should I just mention it in my PS/work section so it's obvious why I didn't submit an LOR? Any help is appreciated as I'm clearly lost on this one!
You don't need a clinical LOR except for five med schools that ask for one (and not necessarily a physician). Either avoid those schools or get a letter from the office manager, lead nurse, or PA.

In the Activities section where you list this experience, it's fine to state that it's a family business. There's no need to make an excuse for the lack of an LOR.
 
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gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
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The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
@gonnif Also, one more thing! What do you mean "do not mention it in your PS. Do not highlight something that you perceive as weakness in a negative way"? Do you mean A) do not mention my medical assistant experience at all? Or B) do not mention that I was a medical assistant in my family's business? Or C) mention that I was an MA in my family's business but not in a negative way that's trying to disclaim why I don't have an LOR? I would like to talk about my MA experience because it was extremely formative for my decision to pursue medical school and really the thing that continually has shown me I want to be a physician. I think without mention of it, it would be unclear why I first started out on this path.

Thank you so much for your help, I appreciate it beyond words!
Dont mention your fear of not having a letter cause your mom was physician
 
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