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Reference Letters

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by MonkeyJunction, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. MonkeyJunction

    MonkeyJunction Junior Member
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    In another thread I have inquired about internships for my wife. Now I have a question about using a reference letter from someone other than a veterinarian. I have read in other places that it can be an advantage to send 1 extra reference (4 instead of 3). If the extra reference letter came from someone who is somewhat nationally known in the business/political arena. Who my wife worked directly for for 3 years prior to persuing a veterinary career and had previously written a reference letter upon vet school application. And how much does previous life experiences before vet school apply to intern/residency matches. My wife says I am beginning to be too focused or involved in this, but I realize that we may have to live in separate areas of the country for 1-4 years depending on where and if matched in the intern/residency programs. I would just like her to be able to have the best shot at getting one of her more favorable locations/positions
     
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  3. Bill59

    Bill59 Member
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    There are 2 thoughts on submitting more letters than required. One is it may help if the extra letter provides some additional information not in the other letters. On the other hand, the folks reviewing the applications have limited time to review many (often >100) applications and they can get a little grumpy at anything that adds to this. So I would say one (but only one) extra letter is OK if it isn’t redundant to the others.

    The most important aspect of the reference letter is that it helps predict whether the applicant will be a successful intern. In addition to clinical skills and medical knowledge, other factors that are important are interpersonal skills, drive, ability to handle stress and high ethical/moral standards. Also important are the fact that the writer worked with the applicant and how well the person reading the letter knows the writer.

    So if the person writing the letter worked with the candidate in a non-clinical position but can still address things like interpersonal skills and ability to handle stress, that would probably be OK. Just make sure the letter doesn’t sound like “My dad knows President Bush so I got him to write me a letter,” or something like that.

    If you haven’t already, see:
    Davidson HJ. Selection methods and criteria for choosing veterinary interns. JAVMA Jul 2005, Vol. 227, No. 1: 55-60.
     
  4. MonkeyJunction

    MonkeyJunction Junior Member
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    Bill59, thanks for your reply and insights. Yes I have read the Davidson article. Just to clarify my wife did work directly for the person who I would like for her to use, but I doubt she will because she does not like being a name dropper(unlike me,ha-ha) or using her past access to get special treatment. The only reason she had used this person in the past as a reference was because they were her direct supervisor and knew of her multi-tasking and organizational skills as well as her work ethic and ability to complete projects in an international arena just prior to appling to Vet School. But like I stated earlier I probably need to step back and stop "spazzing" over this selection process. I am lucky enough in my career where I have my pick of opportunities if I desire and find it difficult to have to rely on an unseen clinician's reference letter as the determining factor in your future career choice being given so much weight.

    I wonder how other spouses/significant others deal with the wait
     

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