obgyny

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Sorry, I know it's been asked before, but I have a few specific questions:

Just learned a research paper that I am third author on has been accepted to a major scientific journal in our field, pending some very minor revisions. I had only mentioned that I had a manuscript in submission on my primary application, and then mentioned the paper was being reviewed in a few secondary applications.

A few questions:

1. Is this worth sending update letters to schools?
2. I know it depends on the school, but in general, do you typically send update letters to schools you are complete at, but have not yet received an interview offer (or any decision)?
3. What is the format of the update letter? Should I email or mail it?
4. The paper is accepted, but not yet published, do I say it's "in press?" And do I need to put in a full, proper citation in the letter (i.e. MLA/APA style)? Or can I just list the title and journal (there are so many authors on it)?
5. Should I include an abstract on a separate page? Do I need to describe the research at all in the letter?
6. Any other tips/things to include?

Thanks, I'm really confused about this, I would appreciate any advice!!
 

Richardh

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Sorry, I know it's been asked before, but I have a few specific questions:

Just learned a research paper that I am third author on has been accepted to a major scientific journal in our field, pending some very minor revisions. I had only mentioned that I had a manuscript in submission on my primary application, and then mentioned the paper was being reviewed in a few secondary applications.

A few questions:

1. Is this worth sending update letters to schools?
yes; it's worth sending the update letters! make the schools know that you're still interested in attending their institution!

2. I know it depends on the school, but in general, do you typically send update letters to schools you are complete at, but have not yet received an interview offer (or any decision)?
i think it doesn't matter when you send your update letters as long as it's after the fact that you submitted the school's secondary application.

3. What is the format of the update letter? Should I email or mail it?
i would recommend writing a formal update letter addressed to the dean of admin. you can e-mail the admin office letting them know that you will be sending the update letter.

4. The paper is accepted, but not yet published, do I say it's "in press?" And do I need to put in a full, proper citation in the letter (i.e. MLA/APA style)? Or can I just list the title and journal (there are so many authors on it)?
im not sure about this but i think you can say the paper will be published. as for the citation, i would list the title, the name of the journal with the volume number, and the lead investigator's name. (the best thing will be to check with your research professor for advice).

5. Should I include an abstract on a separate page? Do I need to describe the research at all in the letter?
if you didn't mention previously what your research was about in either your personal statement or the school's secondary application, it would be best to describe the research and your role. i don't think it's necessary to include the abstract.

6. Any other tips/things to include?
congrats for the future publication :D

Thanks, I'm really confused about this, I would appreciate any advice!!
hope you get some feedback from the schools soon!!!
 
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obgyny

obgyny

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Thanks Richardh!!!

I feel silly, I don't even know how to start the letter, can anyone point to any useful threads on how to write an update letter or know where I can see a sample one? I've been searching for a while...
 

Catalystik

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A few questions:

1. Is this worth sending update letters to schools?
2. I know it depends on the school, but in general, do you typically send update letters to schools you are complete at, but have not yet received an interview offer (or any decision)?
3. What is the format of the update letter? Should I email or mail it?
4. The paper is accepted, but not yet published, do I say it's "in press?" And do I need to put in a full, proper citation in the letter (i.e. MLA/APA style)? Or can I just list the title and journal (there are so many authors on it)?
5. Should I include an abstract on a separate page? Do I need to describe the research at all in the letter?
6. Any other tips/things to include?
1) Yes.
2) They may be sent before or after the interview.
3,4,6) For an Update Letter format, I suggest something like this:
Should not exceed one page. I would address it to the Admissions Committee. I feel a snail-mail letter is more formal, and thus preferred, but either will do the job. Don't do a simultaneous e-mail. Include AAMC ID #.

(If appropriate, start with expressing appreciation for the honor of your recent interview.)

Say you want them to be aware of updates pertinent to your application in case it may help them make a decision on your file:
a. You might give your fall/spring GPA depending on the time of year, perhaps mentioning some classes relevant to med school.
b. Tell them any newly begun activities and any ongoing activity since you submitted (only the important stuff).
c. A publication is very important; give the full citation saying "in press." If it's too long, use et al to shorten the author list.

You might close with why their school is perfect for you, trying to mesh with the school's mission statement. Say you look forward to hearing from them in the future regarding interview or acceptance as appropriate.

Then sign your name.
5) No. You've described the research on the primary. The title of the article should be enough.
 
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obgyny

obgyny

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1) Yes.
2) They may be sent before or after the interview.
3,4,6) For an Update Letter format, I suggest something like this:
Should not exceed one page. I would address it to the Admissions Committee. I feel a snail-mail letter is more formal, and thus preferred, but either will do the job. Don't do a simultaneous e-mail.

(If appropriate, start with expressing appreciation for the honor of your recent interview.)

Say you want them to be aware of updates pertinent to your application in case it may help them make a decision on your file:
a. You might give your fall/spring GPA depending on the time of year, perhaps mentioning some classes relevant to med school.
b. Tell them any newly begun activities and any ongoing activity since you submitted (only the important stuff).
c. A publication is very important; give the full citation saying "in press." If it's too long, use et al to shorten the author list.

You might close with why their school is perfect for you, trying to mesh with the school's mission statement. Say you look forward to hearing from them in the future regarding interview or acceptance as appropriate.

Then sign your name.
5) No. You've described the research on the primary. The title of the article should be enough.
Wow, thank you so much Catalystik!! That was enormously helpful!! :)
 
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obgyny

obgyny

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Another question:

Some schools specifically request for update letters to be emailed. Is it better to write the letter in the body of the email itself or email an attachment (such as PDF or doc)?

Thanks!

I've seen posts recommending that you attach the letter to an email as a PDF, but I guess I'm paranoid sending attachments (the school might see the attachment and automatically delete the email or something... I don't know lol).
 
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obgyny

obgyny

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Another question:

Some schools specifically request for update letters to be emailed. Is it better to write the letter in the body of the email itself or email an attachment (such as PDF or doc)?

Thanks!

I've seen posts recommending that you attach the letter to an email as a PDF, but I guess I'm paranoid sending attachments (the school might see the attachment and automatically delete the email or something... I don't know lol).
Bump :)
 

Catalystik

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-JMO, but I think it would too easily happen that the letter would be printed and the attached PDF would be missed completely by the secretary whose job doesn't include reading the letters. I would either have the letter be the main body of the email (no attachment) or send snail mail.
 
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obgyny

obgyny

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-JMO, but I think it would too easily happen that the letter would be printed and the attached PDF would be missed completely by the secretary whose job doesn't include reading the letters. I would either have the letter be the main body of the email (no attachment) or send snail mail.
That's exactly what I was afraid of. Thanks again!!! :)
 

Longshanks

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That's exactly what I was afraid of. Thanks again!!! :)
When I sent my updates recently I put the letter in the body of the text and then had an attachment as well, in case they preferred printing it in that manner. Seemed to go fine, since I received replies saying thank you for my interest and it'll be added to my file. I agree with Catalysik though that you don't want to risk having the person reading the e-mail miss the attachment, which is why I also put it in the body of the e-mail.

Snail mail is always an option too, which is what I did if the school didn't explicitly say they prefer e-mail.
 

ronaldo23

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To maximize the one page, can we just start the letter at the top with "Dear Admissions Committee:" or is there some proper business format of information that should come before this?
 
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To maximize the one page, can we just start the letter at the top with "Dear Admissions Committee:" or is there some proper business format of information that should come before this?
Business format goes

[your address]

[their address]

dear _____:

[letter]

signature

but if it's email, the address might be awkward and redundant...
 

Ruhroh

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Business format goes

[your address]

[their address]

dear _____:

[letter]

signature

but if it's email, the address might be awkward and redundant...
Bumping an old thread. Has anyone who sent an update letter used the above business format, or do you typically just put your letter on the page? I am sending it snail mail.
 
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obgyny

obgyny

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Bumping an old thread. Has anyone who sent an update letter used the above business format, or do you typically just put your letter on the page? I am sending it snail mail.
Wow, this was a while ago. Yes, use the business format if you're sending the letter via snail mail.