Writing a letter to my doctor -- Advice..

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by agent, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    I'm writing this letter to my doctor to ask him for some advice. I'm hoping he responds. I haven't sent it yet and was wondering if there's anything you guys would ask.



    =================================
    Dear Dr. Dam,

    I am a 25-year-old full-time student, husband, father, and computer technician. I have been going to school at night for quite some time now. I'm finally coming to a point to where I must select my major and my direction of focus.

    Since my intestinal resection surgery due to Crohn's and the birth of my baby, I have developed a large interest in medicine. I have been talking with all sorts of people from all walks of life over the past six months and have come to the realization that it is possible for a non-traditional student such as myself to get accepted to a medical school and become an M.D. So a few months ago, I changed my focus and started down the pre-med track. I have quite awhile to go, as I haven't taken many of the pre-requisites yet.

    I had heard from my wife that you might have not been such a traditional medical student as well. I am writing you to hopefully get some insight from a real doctor and someone who I respect. I have been mostly getting a lot of my information from student members of an online community at www.studentdoctor.net. Some of the discussion there has concerned me. Many people are posting about how the price of malpractice insurance is so high right now that in some places it's not even worth going to med school. Obviously, I don't just want to do it for the money, although that is a factor. I want to do it because I feel like it is a wonderful opportunity to employ myself in a field of lifelong education and to where I can share the benefits of my education with many people.

    People have also said that they hear talk that doctors aren't respected as much anymore and many doctors who have "been in it for awhile" are disenchanted. Again, I'm sure most of this is just talk meant to discourage some, so that others may benefit, but they are still legitimate concerns. I do not want to put my family through medical school if it will do more harm than good.

    Regardless, I would hope that you have some time in your busy schedule to write or email back to me. My email address is listed at the top of the letter. Thanks again for reading this, I hope anything you have to say will be heartfelt and helpful.

    Sincerely,




    Josh P.
    {address removed}

    ===========================================
     
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  3. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Nice letter, but I would remove the last sentence. You shouldn't tell him how to respond. You might also ask if he would meet with you to discuss your questions and concerns. Doctors are so busy, and a request for a letter might get lost in the shuffle, whereas if he could simply make an appointment for you to come in, you might hear back sooner. Plus, if he likes you, you might have a mentor, someone to shadow, LOR writer. I would definitely try to meet with him.
     
  4. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    thanks for the advice.

    are there any other questions/issues you think that pre-meds should be concerned with?
     
  5. Tweetie_bird

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    I agree with SMW. Do not ask the person to email you back, unless it is to schedule an appointment where you have to meet. Hey, better yet.....if you call him/email him, offer to take him out for lunch/coffee. A LOT of docs do this, because that is the only free time they have. Personally, I wouldn't even send them this letter via snail mail. What are you going to do if he doesn't respond back in a while??? Just call em up or email them...this way they have to respond back to you either way. I hardly doubt a doc would say no to an offer of coffee or tea, and have his opinion be heard.
     
  6. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    How to balance profession and family life. How different specialties impact lifestyle/family life. HMO's. The high number of uninsureds. The state of medical education (see the thread on the 3rd year of med school). The hours that residents work.
     
  7. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    wow lots of great suggestions!

    thanks guys.. im sure at this point my ignorance is glowing..

    *embarrassed*

    the reason im sending a snail mail is:

    1. shows I respect him by taking the time to type something up.

    2. i work and go to school FT so I have limited time resources.
     
  8. the*mess

    the*mess Junior Member
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    I have to agree with Tweetie... the docs that I have connected with have all taken the invitation for lunch or coffee. And those that weren't interested in just said, "No, thanks."

    I once had the misfortune of a doctor who, because of his status as a 'family friend', thought he was obligated to answer my questions. It was the most miserable experience... 20 minutes bad enough to make me seriously question my goals (which isn't a bad thing, I guess... with the unexamined life not being worth living and all that...).

    Also, I'd suggest cutting out a lot of info in the letter. Let it just serve the purpose: hooking up you and Dr. Darn on a novice/mentor level. Tell him that you're interested in medicine and, more specifically, his experiences and history. Offer lunch or coffee at his convenience and see what happens. I'm not suggesting he won't be interested in where you are in the decision process or your goals, but leave that for when you get together and talk. Follow up with a phone call in a week or so if you haven't heard anything. And if for some reason (and he may have a good one) he won't help, ask him for a referral to a colleague that can. Just my $.02...

    (BTW... I got your non-trad back. I'll be (at least) 32 when I get accepted. There's just something surreal about being in a lecture hall of 300 and being almost the only person without a hand up when the prof asks, "So, who here is a freshman?" Hang in there, bro.)
     
  9. hannacanna

    hannacanna Addicted
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    agent, i agree with the comments about telling him how to respond. i think an invitation to lunch or coffee sounds good. i don't think that you should cut out the detail in your letter--if he is interested in writing you back or meeting with you, he should be interested in reading a bit about who you are and what you need from him. the letter is a good length. i really like the letter.

    but i would suggest changing this sentence: "I had heard from my wife that you might have not been such a traditional medical student as well." the first time i read it i had to go back again to figure out what you were saying. How about, "I hear from my wife that you might have been a non-traditional medical student as well."

    also, i think your "...person who I respect" should be "...person whom I respect." but I'm not sure about that. "I respect him/whom I respect" is the rule, right? i don't really remember, but i think it should be "whom."

    great letter! good luck!
     
  10. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    no you are correct, i had not proofread it yet.
     
  11. Tweetie_bird

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    I agree, I thought it should be "whom" also, but I don't trust my own English skills. Double check to make sure.
     

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