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If a school permits thank you letters to be sent to the interviewers, obviously it's probably a good idea to send them. But I'm just curious, does it increase chances at all - do they take thank you letters into consideration? (especially since most adcoms review applicants and make decisions the day of the interview)
 

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No, because by the time they are received, your fate has been decided. There are always some SDNers who will claim that it had an effect on their fate, but I suspect these are people who have trouble understanding the concept of cause and effect.
 
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M&L

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This is not what they are for . They are to thank those who interviewed you for their time . It’s a matter of politeness .
 
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gonnif

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No, because by the time they are received, your fate has been decided. There are always some SDNers who will claim that it had an effect on their fate, but I suspect these are people who have trouble understanding the concept of cause and effect.

The only discernible advantage that I have seen applicants get from this is developing a contact at the school who at least you may be able to ask questions and get answers from on perhaps a more timely basis. Even so, it will not have any effect on your ultimate fate
 
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No, because by the time they are received, your fate has been decided. There are always some SDNers who will claim that it had an effect on their fate, but I suspect these are people who have trouble understanding the concept of cause and effect.
Aren't they part of the file at some schools?
 
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So adcoms decide the fate of applicants BEFORE the interview?
NO!!!!!!! The interview is scored and added to the file immediately AFTER it is complete, which is BEFORE a thank you note would be received (unless you literally hand the thank you note to the interviewer as you are leaving the room, which you cannot do virtually :laugh: ), which is why thank you notes do not have an impact.

What I LOVE about SDN is that nobody wants to waste an ounce of energy doing anything that isn't going to help an application. :cool: The purpose of thank you notes is NOT to advance an application. Where they are not discouraged, it is to provide evidence that you were not raised by a pack of wolves. :cool: Nothing more, nothing less.
 
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But what if the interview was with an AdCom member? Couldn't it potentially help in those cases, since they will decide your fate after the interview?
 

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But what if the interview was with an AdCom member? Couldn't it potentially help in those cases, since they will decide your fate after the interview?

As far as I know, this doesn't happen. I know that the ADCOM at my school tries very hard to eliminate any personal bias that may be conceived during the interview. They rely solely on the interviewers' comments and interpretation of the applicant. Contrary to popular belief, you as an applicant are very unlikely to meet anybody on the ADCOM at the interview.
 

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Some things are done because they are polite and decent. Not everything is game theory.
 
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As far as I know, this doesn't happen. I know that the ADCOM at my school tries very hard to eliminate any personal bias that may be conceived during the interview. They rely solely on the interviewers' comments and interpretation of the applicant. Contrary to popular belief, you as an applicant are very unlikely to meet anybody on the ADCOM at the interview.

n=1 I actually had an interview with a physician who sits on the adcom and they were clear about that fact - she would present me to the adcom when they meet and she is a full voting member. I know for a fact they meet this week which is long after I submitted a thank you note as well. All that being said, I wrote it solely to be polite and to thank her for her time because that's how I was raised and not to gain some kind of advantage.
 
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Thanks to all repliers above, and yes I fully agree about writing the letters out of niceties, politeness etc. - I was just curious if med schools actually take those into account when reviewing an applicant. I, and most applicants, will probably still plan on writing and sending them regardless. Hopefully my original post didn't come off as being too crude.

Some things are done because they are polite and decent. Not everything is game theory.

Agreed, although sometimes pre-med admissions processes can be so cryptic that it feels like game theory. We gotta play chess, not checkers, here.
 
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Thanks to all repliers above, and yes I fully agree about writing the letters out of niceties, politeness etc. - I was just curious if med schools actually take those into account when reviewing an applicant. I, and most applicants, will probably still plan on writing and sending them regardless. Hopefully my original post didn't come off as being too crude.



Agreed, although sometimes pre-med admissions processes can be so cryptic that it feels like game theory. We gotta play chess, not checkers, here.
Great, so we're all playing chess here. No, they don't matter. So, now you're not going to send thank yous when they are not discouraged? What level chess is that?
 
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I disagree. They matter. See, SDN'ers are part of the chess game. They will say it doesn't matter because they don't want competition. AKA, they will write one, but say to others that they don't matter in the hopes that you don't write one. I find that depending on the person, erotic thank you letters might come off as strong, yet it does show your interest a little more than general thank you cards.
 
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Great, so we're all playing chess here. No, it doesn't matter. So, now you're not going to send thank yous when they are not discouraged? What level chess is that?

Sheesh, I don't know how I upset you so much when I clearly mentioned that I would still send thank you notes regardless. My original question was just one that stemmed from curiosity, not from whether or not I should write the letter. I don't even know where we're disagreeing. Please don't take it personally; you send your thank yous, and I'll send mine. As premeds, we share a common goal at the end of the day...and it's not feeling warm and fuzzy about ourselves for sending letters.
 
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Contrary to popular belief, you as an applicant are very unlikely to meet anybody on the ADCOM at the interview.
But what if the school literally emails us telling us that one of the interviewers is on the Admissions Committee? Are they lying to us lol. I mean although it won't make-up for a bad interview, couldn't it potentially sway the vote between a waitlist and acceptance?
 
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Sheesh, I don't know how I upset you so much when I clearly mentioned that I would still send thank you notes regardless. My original question was just one that stemmed from curiosity, not from whether or not I should write the letter. I don't even know where we're disagreeing. Please don't take it personally; you send your thank yous, and I'll send mine. As premeds, we share a common goal at the end of the day...and it's not feeling warm and fuzzy about ourselves for sending letters.
You're right -- I'm sorry if I'm coming on too strong. We are definitely not disagreeing. It's just that, to me, the OP seemed kind of pointless, because you know it's the right thing to do, so of course you are going to do it anyway, so what difference does the answer to your question make??
 
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But what if the school literally emails us telling us that one of the interviewers is on the Admissions Committee? Are they lying to us lol. I mean although it won't make-up for a bad interview, couldn't it potentially sway the vote between a waitlist and acceptance?
Highly unlikely that your decision is going to come down to a thank you note, no matter who you write it to. That said, why not just do it anyway? It takes two minutes and it's just the right thing to do. But no, given all the data points they have on you and each of the literally hundreds of other people they will be interviewing, your thank you note is statistically very highly extremely unlikely to potentially sway the vote.
 
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I understand about thank you letters, but find it very hard to believe that interview scores / comments are added "immediately"
What do you think, they sit around thinking about you for a few days before jotting down their impressions and scoring you, before moving on with their lives??? :laugh: :laugh::laugh::laugh:
 
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Highly unlikely that your decision is going to come down to a thank you note, no matter who you write it to. That said, why not just do it anyway? It takes two minutes and it's just the right thing to do. But no, given all the data points they have on you and each of the literally hundreds of other people they will be interviewing, your thank you note is statistically very highly extremely unlikely to potentially sway the vote.
Yeah I'm writing it regardless lol, but I just don't understand the argument that it's "very highly extremely unlikely" to help, especially if you have two identical applicants in every way and one writes a thank you note while the other doesn't. Given how many people are applying with identical apps and interview performance, I see it as a feasible tiebreaker. Making a decision based on that rather than just flipping a coin seems like a better option to me lol
 

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But what if the school literally emails us telling us that one of the interviewers is on the Admissions Committee? Are they lying to us lol. I mean although it won't make-up for a bad interview, couldn't it potentially sway the vote between a waitlist and acceptance?
Oh, fer cryin' out loud, no it won't. Do you honestly believe that in interviewer is going to say "let's accept this kid, s/he wrote me a nice TY letter."???????

In my 20 years on the Adcom, a TY letter hasn't moved a needle even a femtometer.
 
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Oh, fer cryin' out loud, no it won't. Do you honestly believe that in interviewer is going to say "let's accept this kid, s/he wrote me a nice TY letter."???????

In my 20 years on the Adcom, a TY letter hasn't moved a needle even a femtometer.

Not even if I throw in some extra hearts and emojis???
 
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Goro

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I understand about thank you letters, but find it very hard to believe that interview scores / comments are added "immediately"
And your experience with admissions is exactly, what?

You have three people who are involved with admissions telling you how it works. At my school, scores are mandated to be submitted to Admissions within two days. But by the time we leave the interview room, we have your score ready.

The thread is starting to become soggy with cognitive dissonance.
 
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Yeah I'm writing it regardless lol, but I just don't understand the argument that it's "very highly extremely unlikely" to help, especially if you have two identical applicants in every way and one writes a thank you note while the other doesn't. Given how many people are applying with identical apps and interview performance, I see it as a feasible tiebreaker. Making a decision based on that rather than just flipping a coin seems like a better option to me lol
Again, you're going to do it anyway, as you should, so believe whatever makes you happy. But no, your app is NOT identical to anyone else's.

At the end of the day, someone you are being compared to wrote better or worse essays, had a GPA that is 0.01 higher or lower than yours, a MCAT score that is 1 point higher or lower than yours, or has 5 more or less hours at some EC. The thank you letter is not going to be the tie breaker, because everyone with any manners at all will be writing one. :cool: In fact, the only thing identical between applications will be the thank you letter!!!
 
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Yeah I'm writing it regardless lol, but I just don't understand the argument that it's "very highly extremely unlikely" to help, especially if you have two identical applicants in every way and one writes a thank you note while the other doesn't. Given how many people are applying with identical apps and interview performance, I see it as a feasible tiebreaker. Making a decision based on that rather than just flipping a coin seems like a better option to me lol

Why does there have to be a tiebreaker? If there are two identical candidates, why not admit or pass on both? From what I understand, admissions does not work this way. It doesn't come down to two candidates and one seat.
 
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Why does there have to be a tiebreaker? If there are two identical candidates, why not admit or pass on both? From what I understand, admissions does not work this way. It doesn't come down to two candidates and one seat.
Correct, because there are really, at any given adcom meeting, a dozen or more seats being filled and several dozen candidates being voted on. Until the very end, when people are being pulled from the WL, no one is competing for a single seat. Rather, we are being judged "holistically" (whatever that means :)) against the entire pool.
 
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Goro

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Why does there have to be a tiebreaker? If there are two identical candidates, why not admit or pass on both? From what I understand, admissions does not work this way. It doesn't come down to two candidates and one seat.
1000% true.

And a borderline candidate isn't going to Accept from wait list just because they sent in a TY note.
 
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gonnif

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But what if the school literally emails us telling us that one of the interviewers is on the Admissions Committee? Are they lying to us lol. I mean although it won't make-up for a bad interview, couldn't it potentially sway the vote between a waitlist and acceptance?
According to LCME every person who reads a file or interviews you must be a member of the admissions committee. That does not mean they are a full voting member or their role is at review meetings. At most school, at least one person who interviews you is a voting member. Typically they are the "lead" so to speak of the team for interviews that day and will chair/facilitate meeting to make sure that all notes/comments from all candidates are in the file. They may put together the info from MMI and regular interview into summary, discuss candidates who interviewers had wildly differing impressions, and make sure all is complete so file can be reviewed.
 
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gonnif

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Correct, because there are really, at any given adcom meeting, a dozen or more seats being filled and several dozen candidates being voted on. Until the very end, when people are being pulled from the WL, no one is competing for a single seat. Rather, we are being judged "holistically" (whatever that means :)) against the entire pool.
Lets just clarify this. An adcom votes to accept you. Once you have been admitted, it is typically your application "score/priority/level" that determines if you will be offered a seat or be an alternate. A committee doesnt vote somehow saying "well this applicant was so-so lets just put him on the WL." Ultimately the committee must answer 2 or 3 foundational questions: 1) will this candidate be successful in medical school and subsequent medical training; 2) will this candidate make a good physician; 3) will this person add to and serve the community of physicians and patients. Whether someone is offered a seat immediately or give an alternate spot, these questions remain the same
 
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Angus Avagadro

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n=1 I actually had an interview with a physician who sits on the adcom and they were clear about that fact - she would present me to the adcom when they meet and she is a full voting member. I know for a fact they meet this week which is long after I submitted a thank you note as well. All that being said, I wrote it solely to be polite and to thank her for her time because that's how I was raised and not to gain some kind of advantage.
I'm very surprised she told you that. They are not supposed to reveal any information like that.
 
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I'm very surprised she told you that. They are not supposed to reveal any information like that.

It was actually the Dean of Admissions that told us how the interviewers are set up! I was surprised too that we were told directly she served on the adcom
 
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Hzreio

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Thanks to all repliers above, and yes I fully agree about writing the letters out of niceties, politeness etc. - I was just curious if med schools actually take those into account when reviewing an applicant. I, and most applicants, will probably still plan on writing and sending them regardless. Hopefully my original post didn't come off as being too crude.



Agreed, although sometimes pre-med admissions processes can be so cryptic that it feels like game theory. We gotta play chess, not checkers, here.

You think sending thank you notes elevates you to playing chess over checkers? Lol
 
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You think sending thank you notes elevates you to playing chess over checkers? Lol

No, I was implying that overthinking details within these admission processes in order to gain an advantage is more along the lines of chess than just blindly following the steps and requirements. I'm really not trying to stir the pot here, just trying to get some further insight on how adcoms think, so... "Lol" all you want but I'm just trying to get an A at the end of the day here.
 

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