recommendations extra?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by shelsikemon, Dec 10, 2000.

  1. shelsikemon

    shelsikemon Junior Member

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    any wisdom on having friendly letters of recommendation written from alums of schools to admissions committees. It would only be one to a school and only those I have already interviewed at. How do they decide at that point anyway? would another letter tip the balance or be a turn off. Thanks for any insights.
     
  2. Becket

    Becket Senior Member
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    Definitely not. It won't help and only makes you look desperate.
     
  3. In certain situations I respectively disagree with the previous poster. IMHO, a last minute letter (or even better, a phone call) to your program of choice might help your application if:

    the letter writer/caller actually knows you; thus, this hsouldn't be some alum you've ferreted out just for the occasion but someone who can really attest to your potential

    thus, in reference to the last statement above, the person should be a medical alum from the school. If its simply someone who graduated from the school but in another discipline I doubt it will make a significant difference in your application

    Of course, if the above conditions were met, I might have assumed that you would already possess a letter from that person. If this is so and they have something new to ad to their previous letter, then perhaps an update might be in order, althouhg I tend to favor the chatty phone call (this is said to work especially well if the parties involved know each other and the caller can tell the callee that "Joe has just returned from his interview at your program and was quite impressed...blah blah blah".

    If you can't meet the above conditions (letter writer who knows you well and is a medical alum of the school) I would say that a letter is not likely to help your application any at this point.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
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    When a friend of mine was applying to medical school, he happened to shadow a doctor who was an alum.

    He got to know the doctor on a personal level, spending a greta deal of time in his office shadowing and discussing medicine.

    The doctor called the president of the university to put in a good word. This call, of course, was forwarded to the dean of admissions.

    It can't hurt to know people and to have people pull for you.

    However, if you get some alum calling on your behalf, basically begging to let you in or saying what a great doctor you would make if you have obvious "holes" in your application...then you're wasting your time and will look very bad.

    Be smart about it.
    Don't look desperate.

    Best of luck to you.



    ------------------
    Joshua Paul Hazelton, CNA, EMT-B
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (2002)
    "D.O. Wannabe"
     
  5. shelsikemon

    shelsikemon Junior Member

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    Sorry I wasn't clear enough. The letter would be from a med alum in practice who does know me well and whom I have actually shadowed at work several times. I didn't include a rec from him in the first place becasue I stuck to the professor rule. I do feel qualified for the schoo as I have been interviewed and seem to fit the stats. So far the "preponderance of the evidence" (too much legal stuff around now?) seems to say have him write (or call) If he calls to whom shoud it be? THanks for your support and helpful responses.
     
  6. Since it sounds as if this physician does know you well, then go ahead and have him case his vote for your candidacy (no hangin' chads, though! [​IMG] ).

    The call/letter is best directed to:

    1) someone he actually knows, met during med school, practice, etc.

    2) someone on the admissions committee

    3) someone who wields some power on the admissions committee

    The obvious choice is usually the Dean or Program Director; barring that the highest ranked professor. IMHO, it would be better if he spoke with someone he knows well and trusts will forward his information on during Ad Com meetings.

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
     
  7. Becket

    Becket Senior Member
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    Taking into account the previous posts, I respectfully ask that you reconsider my previous advice. If the doctor/alum does know you well and you've actually worked together, then why not? (Forget about all that "it looks desperate" stuff)
     
  8. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    How would you go about asking that person to make a call/write a letter for you? I'm in a similar situation to the original poster -- I interviewed at my supervisor's alma mater in September (he also did residency and fellowship there as well). Since I got the interview, I feel like I'm probably a competitive applicant for the school, and I got positive feedback from my interviewers; but still no word yet. Should I ask my boss if he feels comfortable making a call on my behalf? Could this be the extra push I need (by the way, he did write a letter of rec for me, but he has a lot more info. now, b/c I began a new position in the office after the letter was written.)
     
  9. "How would you go about asking that person to make a call/write a letter for you? ...Should I ask my boss if he feels comfortable making a call on my behalf? Could this be the extra push I need (by the way, he did write a letter of rec for me, but he has a lot more info. now, b/c I began a new position in the office after the letter was written.)"

    You've provided yourself an excellent reason to ask for his additional help - "I began a new position at his office..." The procedure is simple: set aside a time when you can talk with him at least more than in passing, explain how interested you are in his alma mater (be prepared to say why) and ask if he would be able to make a phone call updating them on your activities and supporting your application? Have the phone numbers available for him and be ready to suggest what he can add in the way of an update - have you supervised or done well on any projects since getting your new position? Any good grades come in for the fall semester which don't appear on your application?

    The worst he can do is say "no" which I doubt he'll do. So go ahead and ask; it might not help your application substantially but unless he's really disliked at his alma mater I'm sure they'll take a phone call from him in a positive light. Heck, it got me a residency interview I'm not sure I would have gotten otherwise.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. rikkitikki

    rikkitikki Member
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    just in follow up. I did get accepted to the school the extra rec was sent to. It turned out he emailed it to an med alumni rep who knew admissions people so whether coincidence or not I don't know! (shelsikemon was my user name then somehow it got lost in the shuffle and I'm now rikkitikki) Anyway thanks for advice!
     

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