Aug 4, 2015
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I have an interview scheduled for late September, and wanted to clarify a couple things about the post-interview process:

Are thank you letters helpful, necessary?
If I interview at my top choice school, should I send them a letter of intent prior to hearing back/before the Oct 15 early deadline?
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance besides obviously, interviewing well?
 

snowpea28

ASA Member
Mar 9, 2014
45
23
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have an interview scheduled for late September, and wanted to clarify a couple things about the post-interview process:

Are thank you letters helpful, necessary?
If I interview at my top choice school, should I send them a letter of intent prior to hearing back/before the Oct 15 early deadline?
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance besides obviously, interviewing well?
Thank you letters differ in how helpful they are based on institution. Some institutions don't care, some will put them in your file. I would send one thank you letter per institution and if you connect with a particular interviewer, you can also send them a thank you email. At my medical school they were neither helpful nor necessary.

Sure, send a letter of intent. It can't hurt.

No, other than interviewing well and performing well on the day of there is little else that you can do to control acceptance.
 

Stagg737

5+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2013
7,469
9,473
Decapod 10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Agree with snowpea on everything except the Thank you letter part. I'm sure he's got more experience than I do, but you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS send a thank you note to both the institution and your interviewers if you only had 1 or 2 of them. This goes for school interviews as well as job interviews. If the interview was an MMI format, it would be difficult to send thank you letters to 6+ individuals, but I don't think it would hurt either. Some institutions might not care, but I've heard more than one adcom member say that a student was accepted over another applicant because they took the time to send a meaningful thank you note. To them it showed that the student was willing to take that extra step and actually cared, something that most med schools will want out of their students. It might not matter at some places, but it certainly does at others.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Glazedonutlove

Glazedonutlove

2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
3,728
2,993
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Agree with snowpea on everything except the Thank you letter part. I'm sure he's got more experience than I do, but you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS send a thank you note to both the institution and your interviewers if you only had 1 or 2 of them. This goes for school interviews as well as job interviews. If the interview was an MMI format, it would be difficult to send thank you letters to 6+ individuals, but I don't think it would hurt either. Some institutions might not care, but I've heard more than one adcom member say that a student was accepted over another applicant because they took the time to send a meaningful thank you note. To them it showed that the student was willing to take that extra step and actually cared, something that most med schools will want out of their students. It might not matter at some places, but it certainly does at others.
Would you just ask for their contact info during the interview or something?
 

Stagg737

5+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2013
7,469
9,473
Decapod 10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Would you just ask for their contact info during the interview or something?
You can ask for their card, or you can just send the letter to the school with Attention: Professor X. You can also ask whoever is running the interview day for the interviewer's contact information and say you want to send them a thank you letter. I found all of those methods to be acceptable during my interviews. It is also helpful to personalize the letter to the interviewer. You can easily do this by mentioning something you talked about or something they taught you and serves as a way to keep your face fresh in their mind when they go to their committee meeting or write their recommendation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Glazedonutlove

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,604
78,821
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
No and no.


Are thank you letters helpful, necessary?

How would you interpret a non-binding contract from a desperate applicant?
If I interview at my top choice school, should I send them a letter of intent prior to hearing back/before the Oct 15 early deadline?

No, other than giving the school a 7 figure donation check.
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance besides obviously, interviewing well?[/QUOTE]
 

Glazedonutlove

2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
3,728
2,993
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
no and no.
Are thank you letters helpful, necessary?
How would you interpret a non-binding contract from a desperate applicant?
If I interview at my top choice school, should I send them a letter of intent prior to hearing back/before the Oct 15 early deadline?
No, other than giving the school a 7 figure donation check.
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance besides obviously, interviewing well?
Now I know what people mean by meaningful thank you cards...
 
  • Like
Reactions: werunthis

NotASerialKiller

2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
1,457
6,866
Status
Medical Student
No and no.


Are thank you letters helpful, necessary?

How would you interpret a non-binding contract from a desperate applicant?
If I interview at my top choice school, should I send them a letter of intent prior to hearing back/before the Oct 15 early deadline?

No, other than giving the school a 7 figure donation check.
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance besides obviously, interviewing well?
[/QUOTE]

Thank God. No offence to Stagg737 but it seemed really weird that schools would expect you to flood them and their interviewers with thank you notes after you thank them in person after the interview.

"Thank you so much for interviewing me, if you don't accept me I have your address ;) haha j/k!! ;);)"
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
Thank you notes are polite, but won't impact you chances. LOIs are sometimes helpful to show a program you have interest, but rarely change your odds. In fact if you go into this process with the attitude "how do I increase my chances", you're doing it all wrong. Just be polite, show interest where you have interest, and otherwise chill out.
 

TaroBubbleTea

2+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2015
249
445
USA
Status
Medical Student
I have an interview scheduled for late September, and wanted to clarify a couple things about the post-interview process:

Are thank you letters helpful, necessary?
If I interview at my top choice school, should I send them a letter of intent prior to hearing back/before the Oct 15 early deadline?
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance besides obviously, interviewing well?
When I interviewed, a lot of schools encouraged interviewees NOT to send thank you cards. They were adamant that they had no bearing on the decision whatsoever. However, knowing how neurotic premeds typically are, they still provided contact information for who the cards should go to. So no, thank you cards are definitely not required.

As for LOIs, I think one so early in the game is meaningless. If you are going to use LOIs, use them more judiciously, like after a waitlist.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,604
78,821
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student

Azete

2+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2015
774
1,254
Status
Medical Student
I'm curious to know this too! Any thoughts @Goro @gyngyn?

Anecdote: my roommate interviewed at Stanford last year and got waitlisted. Tried to take all desperate measures and utilize all resources he could. Got his PI (who did his residency at Stanford approx. 5 years prior) to ring up the admissions committee and put in a good word for him. PI was told "we literally have our own tenured med school professors trying to vouch for their own CHILDREN (who themselves already have competitive stats to begin with), and we still don't give them preferential treatment, sorry." Seems that pretty much no amount of money could have bought his way into Stanford!
Let's be real for a minute -- everybody has a price. Maybe a great endorsement or even a $1 million check may not have changed much in this instance, but if you drop $1 billion in front of the admissions committee they'll literally accept a blind dog.
 

Azete

2+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2015
774
1,254
Status
Medical Student
Well a million is actually realistic, there's no point in even discussing a billion because its not even remotely plausible.
Well yeah, obviously -- unless Zuckerberg's kids want to go to med school. The point was everybody has a price; just curious where that line actually is for most schools.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,604
78,821
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
My school did to one sub-par candidate because a relative promised a donation to another school in our University.

@gyngyn probably has a better sense of what goes on.


Out of curiosity, how many schools (if any) would actually give a seat to a below average student for a ~$3 million donation?
 

Maruko

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
1,178
244
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
My school did to one sub-par candidate because a relative promised a donation to another school in our University
o_O not really news but still amazes me every time I hear you can buy your way into pretty much everything these days :angelic:
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,475
31,153
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student