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Question about LORs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medhopeful02, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. medhopeful02

    medhopeful02 Junior Member

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    This is probably just my paranoia and self-consciousness speaking here. :p I'm in a quandary about asking for letters of references. Not a very BIG quandary, mind you... Two of the ones that I'm thinking of asking have already given me letters of reference twice for two other previous occasions (a job and grad school, both of which I got into successfully), and I was wondering whether it would be somehow too annoying or imposing to ask them a THIRD time for letters of reference to med school. I know that they are both too polite to refuse and they'll probably say that they'll be happy to write me letters, but for some reason I'm hung up on the "social grace" of it all. (Can you imagine?!)

    As for the third, "non-academic" reference, she's another very nice female physician for whom I worked, and she and her parents are actually friends of the family. I'm pretty sure that she wouldn't refuse a LOR for me, either, but here's my worry. Although I did complete all the work for her as required, we had agreed that I could "continue the research" during the school-year for my benefit, so that I could write a paper about it. Note that this was ONLY for me, not her. Unfortunately, I never did get back to that research, because classes, and later the MCAT, among other things (like work) took up my time. I haven't spoken to her yet about that (only contacted her once since last summer), even though I'm sure that she would *say* that she understood. Do you think that this would affect my LOR, or am I worrying pointlessly?

    (By the way, they're all female referees. That won't make for any bias against me, will it?)
     
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  3. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    If you think they would write you a good LOR, then for heaven's sake, stop worrying about social graces and ask them. Most people don't have a host of people they can ask. And btw, you will probably need another academic rec -- most schools ask for 2 science and 1 non-science. As far as the non-academic rec -- you'd better speak to her and ask you if she can write you a strong LOR. If she brings up the research you didn't finish, she might not be the best person to be writing a LOR for you. Just make sure she says she will write you a very positive rec. I would hope that the fact that they're all female would not work against you -- it shouldn't, but we all know that that's no guarantee. The most important thing is that whoever you ask says they will write you a strong, individualized LOR. And welcome to SDN!!:)
     
  4. medhopeful02

    medhopeful02 Junior Member

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    Thanks for your advice!

    One more question, and again more "paranoia" talking... If you were to apply to two completely different areas - say med school and grad school, or med school and law school (this is what I'm considering at the moment) - would it be advisable to use different referees for the two? I'm Canadian, by the way, and the med school referee forms are mainly a bunch of check-boxes asking questions about character, commitment and motivation to medicine, with some space for additional comments. The law school form just provides space for comments.

    My theory is that in all good conscience, the one academic reference who would be referring me to both medicine and law might have to say something about my "motivation" and "commitment", if I'm applying to both.

    I really want to apply to med school first and foremost, of course. But my Dad keeps pressuring me to apply to at least one law school as a "back-up plan", since my chances are pretty good. I'll be completing my Master's in one year. I understand that a lot of people *do* apply to more than one area, since obviously not everyone is going to be accepted to medicine the first time.

    So, long-winded message finally coming to a close: Do you think the referee would be influenced negatively if I told her that I needed her reference for both medicine and law? Or should I get another reference altogether (it's not like that's not "doable" - just maybe not as convenient)?
     
  5. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    I'm not sure I'm really qualified to be giving advice re Canadian schools. If you didn't get into med school, you wouldn't reapply? Would you really be happy in law? I'm not aware of any U.S. applicants who apply at the same time to med and law school (although I';m sure it has happened). Anyway, if I were you and I really wanted that LOR to be great and without reservation, I wouldn't ask the same person to write the med and law LOR's unless you can be certain that they'd be equally enthusiastic about your qualifications and suitability for both professions.
     

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