echosensei

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Feb 3, 2006
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As a clinical faculty member at 2 medical schools, I have never been contacted by phone by an admissions committee member (from my institution or others) for a reference for any of the students for whom I have written LORs. So, I was a bit surprised by the following.

My offspring (somehow the word "child" doesn't fit anymore) is applying in this cycle for MD-PhD/MSTP programs and was told by a current research mentor yesterday that he had been contacted by adcoms from several programs for verbal references with specific questions about the work. This is important for applicants to know. Choose your references thoughtfully.
 
Jan 13, 2010
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well that's interesting - would you mind sharing what kind of questions they asked? more about personal character or about the specific work that the applicant has conducted?
 
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echosensei

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I'm going to try to maintain my child's confidentiality, but, as filtered through my child from comments from the PI: they asked specifics about participation in the work in the current lab and level of knowledge of the lab's overall projects, asked specifics about the PI's knowledge of work in other labs, asked work ethic, etc. So, a bit of both. I'm sure there's much the mentor didn't share, but was surprised that he even spoke about the call. I wouldn't have to my students.