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sox5186

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Both my uncles are MD (one an ENT, and the other an Orthopedic Surgeon), and I plan on shadowing them at some point in the near future. Is it bad to have an extended family member write one of your recs?? I would of course include professors and a non-family MD as well. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Stolenspatulas

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Both my uncles are MD (one an ENT, and the other an Orthopedic Surgeon), and I plan on shadowing them at some point in the near future. Is it bad to have an extended family member write one of your recs?? I would of course include professors and a non-family MD as well. Any advice would be appreciated.

if they dont share your last name, there is no way adcomm's would gather that they are related to you.

However, if they do share your last name, i'd personally not ask them for one (just too obvious of a conflict of interest on their part...)
 

armybound

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ask both of them if they can get one of their colleagues to let you shadow. letters from family members are usually not looked highly upon, I believe.

unless they don't share your last name, as mentioned already.
 

brianmartin

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Would you be shadowing them, or just getting a letter? If you shadow them, I would for sure get a letter, otherwise it just seems pointless.

My uncle is a urologist and I plan on shadowing him and getting a letter too. Of anybody I could shadow, he is probably the most qualified to write about my intelligence and interest in medicine.

The entire point of shadowing is to spend time around a doctor. Whether it is a family member or not should not matter. And conflict of interest? If I was going to shadow my uncle, but failed to show up, and acted bored and pissed off during the shadow....he wouldn't give me a letter. He'd tell me to get my act together and figure out if I really want to practice medicine!
 

Doc Henry

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I think letters from family are not accepted but I agree that if your uncle doesn't share the same last name, then go for it!

As far as your dad goes...wouldn't bother, but try someone else in his office
 
W

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Don't you have a premed committee or something?

OOS--go for it. In-state? I hope that they aren't well known or they'll bring up "Oh how'd you find this doc to shadow?" at the interview. Kinda looks tacky IMO.

LOR's--not as important as people think anyway as long as they don't trash you.
 

Funky

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ask both of them if they can get one of their colleagues to let you shadow. letters from family members are usually not looked highly upon, I believe.

unless they don't share your last name, as mentioned already.
i agree with this post. maybe also after shadowing what your uncle does, you can shadow another field of medicine to broaden your horizons. i'm sure you'll get a killer LOR anyway
 

mr burrito

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interestingly, i got an uncle to write an extra letter to his med school that i was applying to.... i have recieved a bunch of interview invites, sadly i have still not heard from this single school.
 

BellyDancingDoc

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This is epic advice.

And to clarify, make sure when they write you your letter that (1) they discuss the shadowing you did, and (2) they do not mention that they are related to you.

I was under the impression that, when writing a rec letter, it is an ethical standard to divulge an familial relationship with the applicant in question. Thus, while getting your relation to "leave out" the part about your family connection would probably work, it wouldn't be right. And really, why start your career on a false note?

Better idea: as someone else suggested, ask if you can shadow the parters of one of your relatives. That should clear up the issue. :thumbup:
 

Tired

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I was under the impression that, when writing a rec letter, it is an ethical standard to divulge an familial relationship with the applicant in question. Thus, while getting your relation to "leave out" the part about your family connection would probably work, it wouldn't be right. And really, why start your career on a false note?

Better idea: as someone else suggested, ask if you can shadow the parters of one of your relatives. That should clear up the issue. :thumbup:

Your suggestion is excellent.

That being said, I'm not aware of any such ethical standard in writing LoRs, and don't particularly see a problem with it.
 

move2west

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I was under the impression that, when writing a rec letter, it is an ethical standard to divulge an familial relationship with the applicant in question. Thus, while getting your relation to "leave out" the part about your family connection would probably work, it wouldn't be right. And really, why start your career on a false note?

Better idea: as someone else suggested, ask if you can shadow the parters of one of your relatives. That should clear up the issue. :thumbup:

I would agree that is not the wisest thing to do. People are commonly asked at interviews if you have family members that are doctors, so I imagine it could be difficult to hide in the long run.

Ask your uncles to set up shadowing with one of their partners or another physician they know, and get them to right you a rec. From my experience, family members are harder to please any way, so you may get a better rec from someone that is not related anyway.
 

PeripateticMD

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Hey there - my family (bunch of docs) recommended themselves to NOT write letters. And I shadowed a bunch of their partners, and got letters from them - most were family friends, so they knew me well, plus were NOT related to me. I'd say, as others, ask if you can shadow their partners, and get letters from there. I'd stay away from family member recs.
 

sox5186

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Thanks for all the help, i wish i got a more agreeable answer lol... but both my uncles are out of state and we don't share the same last name. so i think i will still continue with my visits, get a recommendation from one of them, but also branch out to one of my family's friend doctors who are in-state or possibly one of the physicians i see and get a rec from them too.
 

armybound

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as long as we're on the topic of borderline LORs, anyone want to give an opinion on mine?

my girlfriend and I met freshman year of college. turns out her dad is a doctor. he let me shadow him and sit in on some of his lectures. we get along great, he believes in me, and has written some glaring recommendations for me.

is it "bad" that it's my girlfriend's dad? should I just not mention our relationship? I always feel like the letters would be worth less because of our relationship, but he honestly wouldn't write those things unless he believed them.
 

foofish

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Would you be shadowing them, or just getting a letter? If you shadow them, I would for sure get a letter, otherwise it just seems pointless.

My uncle is a urologist and I plan on shadowing him and getting a letter too. Of anybody I could shadow, he is probably the most qualified to write about my intelligence and interest in medicine.

The entire point of shadowing is to spend time around a doctor. Whether it is a family member or not should not matter. And conflict of interest? If I was going to shadow my uncle, but failed to show up, and acted bored and pissed off during the shadow....he wouldn't give me a letter. He'd tell me to get my act together and figure out if I really want to practice medicine!

...and he's probably the most biased to write about your intelligence and interest in medicine, too. Even if he's not, it can be interpreted that way by med schools.

I (like BellyDancingDoc) was also under the impression that letter writers are supposed to disclose special relationships that could give rise to bias, too....and often even if it's not explicitly stated, it's often easy to read between the lines in terms of familiarity of tone, etc.

For all of those posting who are only shadowing family members....what's so wrong with shadowing someone you don't know, with a fresh and different opinion? I'm not saying not to shadow your uncle/whoever, but....this has been coming up recently and there seems to be resistance of shadowing someone who isn't a family member.
 

armybound

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...and he's probably the most biased to write about your intelligence and interest in medicine, too. Even if he's not, it can be interpreted that way by med schools.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I expected to hear.

Here's a free lesson to all of you: Don't date your mentor's daughter.
 

foofish

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Yeah, that's pretty much what I expected to hear.

Here's a free lesson to all of you: Don't date your mentor's daughter.

I was responding more to the person shadowing their uncle....I think girlfriend's dad is a bit fuzzier territory, especially if you knew the father before the girlfriend (read: it'd probably be fine, and is less of an ethical dilemma)....but I'm sure someone else has a stronger opinion on it.
 

armybound

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I was responding more to the person shadowing their uncle....I think girlfriend's dad is a bit fuzzier territory, especially if you knew the father before the girlfriend (read: it'd probably be fine, and is less of an ethical dilemma)....but I'm sure someone else has a stronger opinion on it.
wow, I totally thought you had quoted me and not someone else. whooooops.
 
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