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Now that I'm in, can I look at my LORs?

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

  1. satinsixstring

    satinsixstring Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 25, 2006
    Hey guys,

    Now that I have gotten into school, would I be able to have my letters sent to my employers office or something and read them?

    Curiosity is killin me
     
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  3. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    from what i understand, the answer is no. the waiver that you sign usually says that you are never allowed to see what's written. just take comfort in the fact that if anybody did talk s about you, the adcoms paid them no mind.
     
  4. trudat

    trudat 2+ Year Member

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    but yah, i was seriously wondering this too. how will they know if i have the letters sent to like a friends house? or my job??
     
  5. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master 2+ Year Member

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    You got some pretty uptight people. All 4 of my LoR people sent me a copy via email. Anyways, i see nothing wrong with looking at them. They will never know ;)
     
  6. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate 2+ Year Member

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  7. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master 2+ Year Member

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    Minneapolis
    I think it depends on where you letters are. At my school (i think this is what trudat is talking about) we have a office which keeps your letters. Then they send it to who ever you want, because they get to do official photocopies of the letter. You can just get those letters sent to you or an office you work at. They would never know ... or care.

    If the only copy is with the med school you sent it to, that might be harder to get your hands on.
     
  8. satinsixstring

    satinsixstring Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Mine are at interfolio. I was going to have them sent to the doctor I shadowed in undergrad
     
  9. ms2007plz

    ms2007plz 2+ Year Member

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    I think it depends on your school. At my school's letter service, they will only send letters to official educational programs (no employers, or scholarship applications).
     
  10. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Did you sign the waiver that you give up your right to read them? If so, then what you're proposing is completely unethical (besides the fact that it could get you into trouble if Intefolio catches on to what you're trying to do). Personally, I'd rather "die" of curiosity than murder my integrity. :)
     
  11. CTtarheel

    CTtarheel Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) would guarantee you the right to see all of your application materials (including letters) after matriculating. This is why you had to sign a paper, waiving your right to read them. I don't even think that the school is allowed to show them to you as the agreement is between you and whoever wrote your letter. You'd have to get your recommender to allow you to read them.

    On a more important note . . . if you got in, WHO CARES?
     
  12. Sondra

    Sondra UMC 2010 10+ Year Member

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    MDApps:
    I ask both the premed and medical office to let me read a LOR from a prof who died shortly after writing it for me. Neither would let me see the letter. I was told that I would have to have written permission from the letter writer to view the letter, and in the case, it was never going to happen.
     
  13. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days... 10+ Year Member

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    yeah OP, I'm with the who cares group
     
  14. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    The waiver you sign isn't dismissing your ability to view the letters. It is so an organization can create a file on you and not be forced to disclose its contents because of the freedom of information act. Basically, you say you "won't" view the letters, they create a "confidential" file, and med schools hold trust in the fact that you are honorable enough to pick people to write you letters without your prior review. So in sum, yes you can view them, you could have at any point.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Not so. You are waiving your right to see the letters, period. The whole point is that the only way schools can ensure that they will get someone to write something candid about an applicant is if there is no danger of the applicant finding out (and maybe getting them back). Hence the waiver. You are opting out of the freedom of information process, and contractually agreeing that you have no such rights (CTtarheel is correct on this). Having letters sent to you by your letter collecting service is technically a breach of this contractual waiver-- you don't have the right to do this, even if you have the ability, and there can even be legal consequences. Act professional and steer clear of this kind of stuff. Just be sure to pick people who have good things to say about you. Half the recommenders I used sent me courtesy copies anyhow (but they certainly didn't have to).
     
  16. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree with that.

    The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives enrolled students the right to view the contents of their files. If recommendations are part of your file, you are entitled to see them along with the rest of the information in your file, if you are admitted and enroll as a student at that school.

    Signing the waiver allows them to withhold those letters in disclosing the file. It says nothing of denying you the right, ever, to view them.

    By signing you have no legal right to view them, but you are not breaking your waiver if you are allowed to (by one means or another) view them.
     
  17. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Actually it does -- it generally indicates that you waive your rights of access you may have as provided by law (i.e. FERPA). When you sign a waiver it is this FERPA right of access specifically that you are waiving. So obviously that law no longer helps you.
     
  18. JJMrK

    JJMrK J to the J Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Maybe, but does it give them the right to see material they waived their right to see?
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    It doesn't. The law he cited is precisely the one that gives you the rights you are waiving.
     
  20. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    Right. But the waiver doesn't deny you the right to view the content. Ergo you can not directly request the letters but if they are given to you (as many professors do) you aren't breaking your waiver by viewing them.

    What I'm trying to say is all the waiver is doing is saying you have no legal right to request the file. You can not request it and if you do your request should be denied. You are within your rights to view it, getting it is another matter.

    Edit: It does depend on the wording of the waiver as well.
     
  21. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I think you are arguing semantics and not the substance of my prior post then. If you look at that post you will see that I do acknowledge that some profs do give students courtesy copies. But you have no rights to obtain it otherwise, ever.

    So the answer to the OP is no, you cannot get your LORs now that you are in. And you cannot have your letter service send you a copy either.
     
  22. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master 2+ Year Member

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    Is there a punishment for this? Or can the medical schools find out? Most undergraduates drink under 21... Most med schools applicants look at their letters?
     
  23. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    What?:confused:
     
  24. etsuprinthead

    etsuprinthead 2+ Year Member

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    MDApps:
    that SUCKS. that would be something nice to have...
     

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