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OFFICIAL Letter of Intent/Letter of Interest Tips

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Yogi Bear

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hi,

i've heared bits and pieces here and there about successful letters of intents/letters of interests. however, the posts have been pretty general and nothing specific. if you've written a successful letter, please offer some tips here. it'd be great if you could post your letter here (after taking out any personal info that you don't want online). in particular, address points which a letter of interest should contain, correct word choice/phrasing for a strong letter of interest, etc. thanks.
 
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PrincessCKNY

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Nobody has any advice??? I've never written one before, and I need tons of help! Thanks.
 

Mike59

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Originally posted by patelakshar
same here...would appreciate help...especially on lors...for example if a college sends three letter of recomendation forms with the application...would it be ok to make three extra copies and have a total of six lor's?...also anyone have a sample or template letter of intent?

Uhhhh.....Nevermind, I'll be nice and not say anything. :rolleyes:
 
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relatively prime

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First I'd call or e-mail the directer or admissions and make sure that a letter of intent will actually mean something. I e-mailed the directer of admissions at my top choice school and he said that he would be happy to tell the admissions committee himself that Yale is my top choice. he advised against sending a formal leter of intent b/c they get lots of them and so they don't stand out or mean much.
 

PrincessCKNY

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Here is something I dug up after searching through about a hundred posts. This info was provided thanks to "whoanellie": :clap:

Waitlists
This section covers ways to get in off waitlists. Many applicants these days are waitlisted rather than outright accepted or denied. In an era where applicants apply to over twenty schools, neither the applicants nor the medical schools knows who wants to go where. The solution for the medical schools is the waitlist. Waitlisted applicants are expected to be extremely aggressive if they really want to go to that school. If an applicant does nothing, then it is assumed that he or she has been accepted at another school and doesn't care if he or she gets in or not. So, if you have been waitlisted, don't despair! Usually at least one-half of the class comes in from the waitlist! Just follow the recommendations below, and continue expressing your interest in the school.

Contact Your Interviewers
The first thing to do when you are told you have been waitlisted is to contact your interviewers, especially if your interview went well, and if he or she is a voting member of the admissions committee. At most schools, the interviewer acts as your advocate. This means that he or she is trying to sell you to the rest of the committee, telling them of your strong points and why you would make a good member of that particular school. It is in your best interests to write or e-mail your interviewer to tell him or her that you are genuinely interested in that school, and that you still consider it one of your top choices. Also, you might want to ask what other steps you can take. Some interviewers will ask you to write a letter to the admissions committee, others will ask that you write the dean, and some will tell you not to write at all. The interviewer will know the pulse of the committee best, so use him and ask! Continue contacting your interviewer every two or three weeks, increasing frequency as it gets later in the season.

Write the Dean
At some schools (Columbia), the Dean has total control over who gets in off the waiting list. At others (UCSF), it is completely done by formula, and the Dean doesn't really do much. But, you will really never know who has the real power, so just go straight to the top. This means, write the Dean! Often, the Dean will admit people whenever he or she feels like it. If you write, telling him or her that you are very interested in the school, then you will get more consideration. The Dean will see that his or her school was not simply another school, but one of your favorites. Once again, write and call more as the year progresses. Usually there is no movement off waiting lists until after May 15, the AAMC deadline for final class selection by medical schools. But after that date, get more aggressive and call every one or two weeks. By mid-june and july, some people call or write every day! This may be too much, but it shows that people are really showing their interest.

Get Extra Letters of Recommendation
Another avenue of attack you might try is getting extra letters of recommendation. You should always run things by your interviewer or call anonymously to the admissions office (stating that you are "A waitlisted student") before doing anything, but this has been recommended to me before. These extra rec letters should not be for things you did before applying. Those should have been sent with your secondaries. These rec letters should only be about things you have been doing in the time after turning in your AMCAS application in June. For instance, if you started volunteering in a hospice or working in a lab this year, you probably didn't get an opportunity to get a rec because you started after you handed in the AMCAS Primary. Well, now is your chance to get a rec in.

Ask for Another Interview
I have also heard of applicants requesting another interview. This is more irregular than the usual write/call method, but you might want to try it. I have heard it works especially well at Columbia. Schools will be impressed that you are ready to fly or drive back to the school to get reevaulated.

Use the Phone
May 15 is a universal deadline for the AAMC. By that date, each medical school should have accepted a number of students at least as large as the class. And, that is the day you must renounce all acceptances save one. After May 15, you may only hold one spot at a time, although you may remain waitlisted at as many as you wish. After this deadline, you should step up your attack and begin calling as well as writing. Call your interviewer, and start calling the Dean. Don't call the admissions office because they're just a bunch of administrators with no real power. As mid-June rolls around, start calling more often. Perhaps once every week or every three days, to see if there has been movement off the waiting list. And if you still haven't heard by mid-July, you can even start calling every day. There is the story of a student from San Diego who was on a three day drive to Chicago to start medical school, and every day of the trip, she called UCSD to see if there was a spot for her. On the second day of the trip, she was accepted! She turned around and drove home. One more day, and she would have been a student at the University of Chicago! So keep calling. People do get in!

Write a Letter of Intent
The ultimate expression of desire to attend a medical school is the "Letter of Intent." This letter essentially goes something like this.
Dear Dean Bigguy,
I would like to reaffirm that your medical school is my unequivocal number one choice. If accepted for entrance this fall, I guarantee that I will attend. I can think of no place I would rather spend the next four years of my life than at your medical school.

Sincerely,

Wana Gedin

There are many variations of this letter, but if you state you will go, and you get in, you must go! It is bad form not to mention immoral to lie about something like this. If a medical school finds out you wrote a letter such as the one above to more than one school, you may lose all of your acceptances! So DON'T LIE! You can change the letter to state "your medical school is one of my top choices" or something similar. This leaves you some recourse. But, if you say "I will attend if accepted," then you must go. If you don't, then don't ever think about going there for residency or a job in the future. Your credibility was shot when you lied to the Dean.
You can also get your premed advisor or another person to write a letter of intent for you. This is essentially the same, but it attaches a more important name (and larger credibility) to your desire. Same rules apply regarding lying. But, now the stakes are higher. If you destroy the credibility of your premed advisor, that is a serious problem. Be sure of your desires before you write a strong letter of intent.
 
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biojunky

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[QUOTE/]
And if you still haven't heard by mid-July, you can even start calling every day. There is the story of a student from San Diego who was on a three day drive to Chicago to start medical school, and every day of the trip, she called UCSD to see if there was a spot for her. On the second day of the trip, she was accepted! She turned around and drove home. One more day, and she would have been a student at the University of Chicago! So keep calling. People do get in! [/QUOTE]

What are you supposed to say? "I want in, damn it!!!"? :smuggrin:
Note: This is a serious question :confused:
Should you do this for all schools that you are waitlisted at (should the situation arise)?
 
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Practitioner

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Letter of Intent sounds like it expresses the exact feelings I have about a school, but is it really wise to be so forthright and candid if I were to send one?

It may be naive to ask, but it is exactly the kind of way I would say something until someone tells me "that's too candid!"
 

PhiAlpha

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Post being waitlisted, I would like to write a combined update letter / letter of interest to a school. Does it make sense just to write to the dean or also to my interviewers. Or should I send the same letter to each interviewer and the dean. Or should I address, the dean and my two interviewers in the same letter and send them all a copy. Or should I send each an individual letter?

Thanks
 

MiniMoo

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Post being waitlisted, I would like to write a combined update letter / letter of interest to a school. Does it make sense just to write to the dean or also to my interviewers. Or should I send the same letter to each interviewer and the dean. Or should I address, the dean and my two interviewers in the same letter and send them all a copy. Or should I send each an individual letter?

Thanks

Um, did you really have to post this same thing in 3 different threads? :rolleyes:

Just send one copy of your letter to either the dean or just the admissions office is fine too. Address it accordingly.
 

VTBuc

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I wrote one and got accepted less than a week later. Who knows if it actually worked?

I made sure to mention how much I enjoyed the interview, the specifics about the school I enjoyed. I then went on a bit of a rant of what I've been doing...even mentioned how I'm not very good at innertube water polo. I made sure to thank them for their time(this is BIG...keep in mind that no school has an obligation to even interview you so for you to get invited is something to be thankful for). I don't want to make it sound like an interest letter is your ticket in...just let them get to know you a bit better and make sure they know you enjoyed your visit and you're grateful for the opportunity.

Also, I called the school and asked what method they preferred first. That one(and another I'm still WL at) said email was fine.
 
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He2

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Threads like this are what make SDN so friggin awesome. Thank you lord jesus
 
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Naijaba

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Threads like this are what make SDN so friggin awesome. Thank you lord jesus

Yes indeedy! I never thought to contact my interviewers about my waitlist status, but now I know!! C'mon Stanford!
 

uRu

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Would an email be appropriate for a letter of interest to the Dean?
 

Skippygonenuts

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Would an email be appropriate for a letter of interest to the Dean?

Some schools tell you to send it through email (such as WCU) and others ask for it by mail (such as TUNCOM). Call the admissions office and confirm what they prefer.
 

redsquareblack

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For what good they'll do you, prooooooobably not really worth worrying this much about.

Trust me, getting into a medical school because of a letter of intent is like winning the lottery. Yeah, it happens, but I wouldn't make it my retirement plan.
 

jturkel

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regarding updates and such...

is it better to send a letter of intent/interest or update directly to the dean OR send it to the admissions office with an ATTN: Committee on Admissions addressed either/both on the envelope and letter within?
 

jturkel

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regarding updates and such...

is it better to send a letter of intent/interest or update directly to the dean OR send it to the admissions office with an ATTN: Committee on Admissions addressed either/both on the envelope and letter within?

bump!
 

xtekian

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I just ran across an interesting situation: let's say I send a letter intent to school A. Then, sometime after May 15, school B accepts me off the waitlist. Would it look unethical if I pulled my application from school A, even though I sent a letter of intent to them?

If the answer is yes, then there seems to be a loophole here, namely, you can send a letter of intent to more than one school after May 15 and get away with it by pulling your application from the school you didn't get accepted to.
 

VTBuc

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I just ran across an interesting situation: let's say I send a letter intent to school A. Then, sometime after May 15, school B accepts me off the waitlist. Would it look unethical if I pulled my application from school A, even though I sent a letter of intent to them?

If the answer is yes, then there seems to be a loophole here, namely, you can send a letter of intent to more than one school after May 15 and get away with it by pulling your application from the school you didn't get accepted to.

I'd say no. After May 15th you've already been looking for apartments and setting your plans. You can't be waiting to get off a waitlist come August when you already have an acceptance.
 
I

Ilvcurst

I just ran across an interesting situation: let's say I send a letter intent to school A. Then, sometime after May 15, school B accepts me off the waitlist. Would it look unethical if I pulled my application from school A, even though I sent a letter of intent to them?

If the answer is yes, then there seems to be a loophole here, namely, you can send a letter of intent to more than one school after May 15 and get away with it by pulling your application from the school you didn't get accepted to.

I think it looks bad if you have one acceptance let say, you write a letter of intent to another school and they accept you off the list, then you decline and go with your original offer. But who would do that anyways?

I don't think it's unethical because schools know we have to relocate you know? Also you don't know if you can get off the list at the other school anyways and they understand that you want in period!

Let's be honest, if you don't have an acceptance already, you are most likely writing a letter of intent to the school you think you have the highest chance of getting of their list. I am wait listed at 2 schools and I have sent both of them a letter of intent. Which ever one pulls me off first I'm going. It is honest, I mean I would go to which ever one takes me. Worst case is that I get pulled from both lists at the same time which is just highly unlikely.

But if you are on like 4 wait lists, it's probably not a good idea to send everyone a letter of intent. Med schools play games with us and we have to play games back.
 
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Ilvcurst

regarding updates and such...

is it better to send a letter of intent/interest or update directly to the dean OR send it to the admissions office with an ATTN: Committee on Admissions addressed either/both on the envelope and letter within?

The only good answer is CALL ADMISSIONS AND ASK!

Everyone schools is different. One school, I just attach my letter via email and they add it to my file. At another, I just email the Dean like 2x a week expressing interest and that is what they want. The school will let you know what is best.

Oh and don't expect admissions to just give you all the inside scoop if you haven't been contacting them. Try calling once a week, give them your name and make sure they start to recognize you. Then they are more likely to give you the best advice then just some generic answer.:thumbup::thumbup:
 

xtekian

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Let's be honest, if you don't have an acceptance already, you are most likely writing a letter of intent to the school you think you have the highest chance of getting of their list. I am wait listed at 2 schools and I have sent both of them a letter of intent. Which ever one pulls me off first I'm going. It is honest, I mean I would go to which ever one takes me. Worst case is that I get pulled from both lists at the same time which is just highly unlikely.

I was thinking about going this route -- sending two letters of intent after May 15, and then when a school accepts me, removing my application from the other since it's past May 15 and I have a good reason to pull my application. However, does anyone have a different opinion on this? I'm quite conflicted. As of now, I'll just send my one letter of intent and see how it goes..
 

tpham1030

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If the school says,

"Please note that further updates will not reopen your file or change the committee's decision." (OHSU)
or
"
In fact, things that are sent in will not be considered in our evaluation of your application." (UCSD)

Does this mean that they wouldn't even look at a letter of intent? Is it worth it to send one in anyways after May 15th or would it hurt me?
 
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Ilvcurst

I was thinking about going this route -- sending two letters of intent after May 15, and then when a school accepts me, removing my application from the other since it's past May 15 and I have a good reason to pull my application. However, does anyone have a different opinion on this? I'm quite conflicted. As of now, I'll just send my one letter of intent and see how it goes..

ASK THE SCHOOL!

It just all depends on the school. My too examples are at Meharry, if you write in a letter of intent after May 15 it's too late...!! They like people to show initiative so I have actually been emailing them at least once a week showing interest and expressing intent. Currently I'm emailing them 3x a week to try to boost my spot on the wait list. If I waited until 5/15 it would be useless.

My other wait list Wayne doesn't even look at your file after the committee meets. I sent in a letter of interest and a letter of intent and they are not going to look at either. I found this out by calling them and they basically said we'll put it in our files but honestly they rank you after and that's that, just wait.

Some schools like proactive waitlister which means you should have been calling, emailling, writing FREQUENTLY right after you are waitlisted. Some schools don't go this route and basically give you a number and nothing you send in will help. There are schools that have a middle ground.

So just call admissions and ask!!!!!!!!
 

gnu

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So I'm not sure if this would help, but I'm sitting on waitlists for some schools and I've sent a letter of intent to my top choice and interest letters to the others. Since I'm only on waitlists I'm getting a new personal statement ready to go, would it be worth anything to send that to my top choice school (obviously before they read it in a new primary)? They are incredibly open to any addition to your file. Part of me says it will help (and since I'm putting a lot of effort into it), but part of me says it may be a little weird.

Any advice?
 

Swagster

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Sorry to be naive, but what's the difference between a letter of intent and a letter of interest? In a letter of intent, do you say for sure you'll be going and it's binding, while a letter of interest implies you'd like to go but aren't committed?
 

gnu

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I guess what I mean by letters of intent is, if you accept me, I will go. And interest letters I just let the dean know I'm still interested in the school, here is what I liked, and here is what I've been doing. I guess its more of an update.

Some of my interviews were back in early September so I just wanted them to know that while it's been a while I'm still interested in your school.
 

louisxiv

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Hey guys I have a question:

So I just got accepted to one of the waitlisted school. I sent them a letter saying that among all my other waitlisted school, this school is my top choice. (nothing else)

would that mean that I have to attend this school?

One of the reason I wrote that is because I thought I was rejected by my top choice because they told me that if I don't hear anything for awhile, it probably means rejection but ironically, a waitlist came a day after I sent the letter to my second choice school. And now I am in a dilemma.

Any help is appreciated!

louisxiv
 

smashweights

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With regards to what to write about in a letter of intent, is there really anything that ISN'T good to inform them of? I'm in a predicament now because my fiancee was accepted to Wright State this year and I'm in the bottom of the wait list and I'm at the end of my 3 years of valid MCAT scores. Also, we were both planning on going the Air Force route and i'm dreading that a year difference in acceptances will drastically increase the chances of us being split up once we're finished with residencies. Should I include stuff like that? I'm kinda in desperation mode and the moment she got accepted there and no where else, there wasn't another option for me, even applying next year I'd probably only apply there early decision...

thoughts?
 

smashweights

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Would it be a bad idea to bring up the fact that my fiancee is accepted and we both really want to be in the same class?
 

smashweights

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Lady at the admissions office said to send her the LOI directly but "[FONT='PrimaSans BT,Verdana,sans-serif']Bear in mind the admissions committee will not see any updates or re-evaluate your file at this time."

Should I still send out copies to the dean of admissions anyway? I mean, i'm in the bottom third of their waitlist anyway so odds are it can't really hurt me.
.
 

jpgarcia22

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Lady at the admissions office said to send her the LOI directly but "[FONT=PrimaSans BT,Verdana,sans-serif]Bear in mind the admissions committee will not see any updates or re-evaluate your file at this time.".

[FONT=PrimaSans BT,Verdana,sans-serif]Should I still send out copies to the dean of admissions anyway? I mean, i'm in the bottom third of their waitlist anyway so odds are it can't really hurt me..

It looks like you might have already answered this yourself. Sure, just try it ... what could it hurt? Even if they do not re-evaluate "at this time", they may at some point.
 
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jpgarcia22

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Now I am in need of some advice.

I am working on another letter of intent/continued interest that I hope to send on Monday. I recently finished my 1st semester of graduate level classes for a Masters in Clinical Psychology, but I am not formally in the program. I wanted to take some courses in something I liked (I have a B.A. in Psych) but I decided not to formally enter the program b.c of the need to finish, in the event I do get into a medical school ... and that was not something I wanted to risk.

The question I have is since these classes are not pre-requisites for med school, nor are they considered, "pre-med'/post-bac type-of-classes might it be something I should include in the letter? I took Psychopathology, Tests and Measurements, and Psychological Development and received a 4.0 for the semester. What do y'all think?

Another question ... should I also explain my reasoning for taking the courses, but not formally being in the program in the letter as well?

Now that I've typed too much ... any help would be greatly appreciated.

- Thanks.
 

smashweights

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It looks like you might have already answered this yourself. Sure, just try it ... what could it hurt? Even if they do not re-evaluate "at this time", they may at some point.

agreed. i guess i just wanted a bit of reassurance. so monday morning i'm gonna send my LOI out to both of the assoc. deans of admission and the dean of the school. and i guess to the sec. of the admissions office anyway, since she said to send it to her.

as far as your question, in my totally uninformed opinion, if you can word it in a way that shows how those classes may benefit you as a physician or work in how they might benefit you from a patient interaction/bed side manner perspective, it seems to be a good idea.
 

Nafis64

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I still do not understand when people say you call everyday, like what do you say or ask. When I called once to ask if they received an update, admissions seemed to get annoyed, like i would call, but i don't want them to be annoyed.
 
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smashweights

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sent out LOI to the deans of admission. wait list ranking wise, it's unlikely i'd be accepted this year so getting in this year will certainly validate the LOI. keep you all posted.

edit: sent a copy to the dean of the med school under the "can't hurt anything" recommendation of my premed advisor, though she didnt feel he has a lot to do with the admissions process.
 
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NobodyHere115

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Would it be advisable to send letters of intent and/or contacting med school adcom through other means if you're not given interviews after submitting 2ndary and basically shelved? Essentially contacting med schools for interview invite?

Please advise: reapplicant but only interview from one school and none from Cali schools, where I am in-state and would like to attend med school.

Stats: traditional pathway, bio major UCB undergrad, 3.68 cum gpa, 3.65 sci gpa, 39 mcat, 2 research positions, currently working in ortho research lab, volunteering in hospital and ortho lab done this year between 1st and 2nd time applying to med school. Also did protein crystalography research, volunteered in homeless shelter, vaccinated folks for hepb. applied pretty early.
 

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I also have a similar question (above). Can you send letters to schools you have applied to but received no interview? I want these schools to know that I have a desire to attend (ie: I have my top choices). Thanks for any help!
 
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girlinthegarden

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I have some updates (2 publications, taking a class) that I want to send the schools I've applied to, but I'm not sure what the timing should be. I have an interview in late November at one of my top choice schools, so should I send the update letter before the interview, or wait until after the interview and make it a combo update letter/letter of interest?
 

turkaglew

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I want to write my interviewer at a school, but I dont want to be pushy. If the interviewer gave me his business card and contact information, is that an invite to contact him?
 

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I'm going to do this Letter Of Intent too. Thanks for the advice guys. This might be a little different -- When I initially sent in my recs to my school's committee to send to AMCAS, my professor that wrote me a rec was merely my professor. Now I research with him...How / Can I send an updated recommendation??
 

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Great thread! I just interviewed on Feb 3 at a school that I absolutely loved, and would like to write a letter of intent there. I applied to both D.O. and M.D. programs since my stats are borderline. Right now I have no acceptances to M.D. programs but one for a D.O. program. Is it too early/not the right situation for me to write a letter of intent. I truly would attend if accepted (by the way, this interview was for an M.D. program). I am weighing sending in the letter earlier, before the next AdCom meeting, or waiting to see if they maybe make a waitlist decision.

Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Thanks for the info...I need to start working on one now!!
 

ceasefire

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[QUOTE/]
What are you supposed to say? "I want in, damn it!!!"? :smuggrin:
Note: This is a serious question :confused:

This may not be effective. Perhaps maintain the security in your desire, but lose the profanity and make it sound more eloquent.
 
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