grindtime1

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My bad if this has already been asked many times.

From what I've been told, medical schools prefer that you waive your right to see the prof's LOR. Few questions:

1) Just to be sure, am I even allowed to see the letter and if necessary can I decide to not send it? (if yes, how would I do this? just take it off interfolio? am I the one who sends the letters to schools from interfolio?)

2) If your pre-med committee already has two science profs and one non-science profs and the single letter takes care of all the LOR requirements for medical schools, should you still look for LOR's from other profs if you can get one?

3) How bad does it look if you don't waive your right to see LOR?

Input appreciated
 

apumic

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My bad if this has already been asked many times.

From what I've been told, medical schools prefer that you waive your right to see the prof's LOR. Few questions:

1) Just to be sure, am I even allowed to see the letter and if necessary can I decide to not send it? (if yes, how would I do this? just take it off interfolio? am I the one who sends the letters to schools from interfolio?)

2) If your pre-med committee already has two science profs and one non-science profs and the single letter takes care of all the LOR requirements for medical schools, should you still look for LOR's from other profs if you can get one?

3) How bad does it look if you don't waive your right to see LOR?

Input appreciated
1) I suppose (if someone shows it to you despite waiving your right), but why would you get a less-than-stellar LOR in the 1st place?
2) Yes.
3) It basically nullifies that LOR.
 
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grindtime1

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Apr 22, 2009
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1) I suppose (if someone shows it to you despite waiving your right), but why would you get a less-than-stellar LOR in the 1st place?
2) Yes.
3) It basically nullifies that LOR.
Re: 2), what if I'm not convinced the non-committee profs will write killer LORs.

Can I choose not to waive my right JUST FOR THE PROFS OUTSIDE THE COMMITTEE and then decide if I want to send their letters after I look at it.

(I don't plan on seeing the premed committee letter though)
 

edozie007

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Re: 2), what if I'm not convinced the non-committee profs will write killer LORs.

Can I choose not to waive my right JUST FOR THE PROFS OUTSIDE THE COMMITTEE and then decide if I want to send their letters after I look at it.

(I don't plan on seeing the premed committee letter though)
(2) I collected 8 letters and the committee made it 9. 5 were from professors (All science, including my P.I and the head of the biochem lab for whom I TA'd) while the remaining 3 were from a nonscience professor/employer, a doctor and head of the volunteer dept at a hospital. In summary, I felt that each letter would address my different strengths since these people all knew me in different ways. Some people might consider this excessive but i felt that these people would contribute in different ways to making me a strong applicant. However, if you are not sure that you can get a killer LOR from anyone, don't ask them because a lukewarm LOR can def hurt your chances at a school.

(3) I don't know the details about right-waiving but if you're choosing not to waive your right, that will raise some concerns as adcoms question how truthful the letter is about you. I would say simply ask the people if they can write a strong, supportive LOR for you but I would def waive my right to see the letter if they agree to do so. At my school, we gave each profesor a form on which we indicated whether we waived our right or not. I waived for all but I know some people who were shown their letter before it was sent so some people don't really mind
 

jm192

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Re: 2), what if I'm not convinced the non-committee profs will write killer LORs.

Can I choose not to waive my right JUST FOR THE PROFS OUTSIDE THE COMMITTEE and then decide if I want to send their letters after I look at it.

(I don't plan on seeing the premed committee letter though)
If you don't waive the right, the letter is dead to them. It doesn't matter if they write the best letter in the world, and say you are the second coming of Jesus Christ himself, it adds NOTHING to your application. If there is an extra letter requirement on top of the committee letter, it will likely hurt your application.

EVERYONE waives the right to view it. EVERYONE. Why are you so special that you can't? Unless you gave someone a reason to write a bad letter for/about you, they won't. If you believe you did, and you're worried they did...just don't send it. You'll look like way less of a flake.

Lastly, the side letters often don't add alot to your application. It's nice to have a doctor or someone say you had great professionalism, and people skills and that you were always punctual...but really it doesn't hold alot of water in regards to getting an interview/acceptance. If you're worried it's half-butt written...it was going to have a half-butt effect anyway. If you're worried they said you killed small children and stole their trick-or-treat candy...just don't send it.
 
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grindtime1

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Apr 22, 2009
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Appreciate all the replies.

One more question:

Does it hurt your application to have only the committee letter (even if it meets all the requirements)?

Is it necessary to have letters from professors outside of a premed committee or does it just look better (or have no effect at all)?
 

jm192

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Appreciate all the replies.

One more question:

Does it hurt your application to have only the committee letter (even if it meets all the requirements)?

Is it necessary to have letters from professors outside of a premed committee or does it just look better (or have no effect at all)?
If the committe letter meets the requirements, it will not hurt you at all. Professors outside aren't going to make a difference, unless you've got a professor that has really gotten to know you over the years and can write a genuine letter about YOU. If it's that sociology professor that knows you always come to to class on time and always participate and always turn your papers in on time...you're wasting your time and theirs. It does not hurt you at all to not have that letter though. Countless applicants have only the required letters and are accepted.
 
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grindtime1

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Apr 22, 2009
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If the committe letter meets the requirements, it will not hurt you at all. Professors outside aren't going to make a difference, unless you've got a professor that has really gotten to know you over the years and can write a genuine letter about YOU. If it's that sociology professor that knows you always come to to class on time and always participate and always turn your papers in on time...you're wasting your time and theirs. It does not hurt you at all to not have that letter though. Countless applicants have only the required letters and are accepted.
So why is it then that some applicants send up to 5-6 LORs excluding the pre-med committee letter?

If those letters from the 5-6 profs outside the committee mean nothing (as you said), why bother? (just curious)
 

jm192

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So why is it then that some applicants send up to 5-6 LORs excluding the pre-med committee letter?

If those letters from the 5-6 profs outside the committee mean nothing (as you said), why bother? (just curious)
1. Pre-Meds are neurotic.
2. Pre-Meds are neurotic.
3. The rare exception: Some have people that know them well enough to write a real letter. If you shadow a physician through all of college, or research with the same professor for multiple years, or volunteer at the local hospice dating back to high school, then people can write you a letter with substance. That helps a tad. But, again, countless applicants are accepted each year with just the required stuff.

I'd say 90% fall in the first category. Admissions committees no doubt get tons of letters every year that they don't give a second thought to.