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to nag, or not to nag

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sweet Tea, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    I need some help with my LORs.

    I'm still waiting on 2 people to finish up their letters for me, and I need them soon b/c I've finished with most of my secondaries and I want to get my applications completed soon. How should I nag these people? One of them is my boss, and the other is on an adcom. They've had a little over a month to write the letters. My LORs are being sent by my undergrad's reference service as one big package, so I can't start sending them out until ALL my LORs are on file. What should I do?

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  3. Wahoo07

    Wahoo07 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Well, you said yourself that they can't go out until they're all done, so you've got to nag away! :D Just go up to them and give them a polite reminder and mention how important they are and how you can't send them out until they're all done. I had someone who took two months but still didn't start writing it. I nagged and it was done by the end of the week. :D
  4. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    good question.... ;)
    sweet tea. someone else asked this before. my tactic:
    send a thank you card to the writers, if you haven't already done this before. it's a polite yet obvious indication that it's something they need to do. i ended up getting in two of the missing letters in by the end of that week with that tactic, and the rest in by two weeks later.

    good luck! i'll see if i can find the other thread
  5. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    You're on the threshold of "time to get annoying". i'd say for now, try to drop some subtle hints, like making passing references in conversations with them about how you're doing with secondaries. If this fails for a few days, it might be time to just politely say you understand there are busy but you've given them enough time to write them and you need them to come through very soon (with puppy dog eyes of course)

    btw, its going to be a little while with MCG for us regular decision people I hear from students there.
  6. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    good idea, chop suey! i think i'll try that!!
  7. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    thanks for the MCG update, DW... maybe my LORs will be in when (if) I get the MCG secondary! :rolleyes:

    It's going to be awhile for the regular decision UNC people, too.
  8. jalan2

    jalan2 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    Sweet Tea,

    I can totally symphatize with you. It drives me nuts that all I haven't started getting interviews, when I started out very early, but almost all of my LORs haven't reached the schools yet. (My last recommender just sent it in last week. They're still "in transit" at my undergrad institution now, hopefully.)

    I'm guessing you're like me-- feeling bad for nagging them, feeling that you've already "owed" them something for their giving a recommendation for you. All my professors told me not to feel bad reminding them. They understand how important it LORs are. So don't feel bad! I'm sure your boss knows that med school is important for you, so don't feel bad reminding him/her either. The key is to be politely direct. I would stay away from dropping subtle hints or beating around the bush, for unfortunately some people are immune to hints.

    Next time (hopefully there's no "next time" for you, as you'll get in this year :) ) when you ask them to give you LORs, always set a "target date" with your recommenders, after which that you would contact and remind them. That way you can always politely quote that agreement when you remind them.

    Good luck!
  9. doepug

    doepug Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Send thank you notes!

    chopsuey gave you excellent advice. I tried this trick a few years back with great results. Definitely take this approach.
  10. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    Thanks Y'all!

    I took your advice and wrote thank you notes last night. Hopefully I'll get a response soon. Unfortunately, my boss is at a conference in Montreal this week and I doubt she'll be working on my LOR while she's there! Oh well. Gotta get used to waiting, right?
  11. WISC-ite

    WISC-ite Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Left Coast
    What I did was kinda different. I happen to know my prof very well and know he has a really good sense of I wrote this funny letter of reference for myself. It described how I can walk on water, heal the blind, and how the city is erecting a statue in my honor.

    I told my advisor with a big smile that if he was in a pinch he could just sign the one I wrote and mail it. He found it very amusing and showed it to a lot of people for a laugh.

    That day he wrote a letter for me and mailed it.

    You just have to motivate some people in different ways. Good luck as I know it is a pain.

  12. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2001
    First of all, I don't think that it is inappropriate to give a gentle reminder. All of your recommendors, especially the professors, have been throught this process in their academic training (Ph.D., PostDoc, Med School, etc.).

    Secondly, Wash U's letter service offers an option of them contacting the letter writer. Basically they send a letter/postcard to the letter directly from Wash U saying that their application is awaiting the letter. It is a more direct approach, but the University is the bad guy. I plan on using it as a last resort. They report that they have received good success from this method, so you might see if your university has something like this.
  13. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    good question.... ;)
    yeah...JBJ has a point. my pre-med office told me that if i still didn't get letters by a certain date, to just send an e-mail to my recommenders (or call, or a letter....this part s up to you!) saying that the pre-med office has been insistent that i get the letters in NOW and just apologize for rushing them since you know they're busy, blah blah blah. basically, drop a not-subtle hint without pinning the demanding attitude on yourself!
  14. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    awesome suggestion!
  15. Mr. H

    Mr. H 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2001
    I was in the same bind. I had my secondaries sent over 1.5 weeks ago, but I'm still waiting on two letters. So after 3 emails over the span of a 1.5 weeks I got responses and they are sending them to the rec. service today. I simply made the 2nd and 3rd emails like there was something wrong with the first emails. "I think my first email wasn't sent, so I'm going to try it again"
    stuff like that. Just be polite and you'll get your letters, we are still relatively early, so relax :)


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