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Writing your own LOR

Discussion in 'Ob/Gyn' started by megswinter82, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. megswinter82

    megswinter82 Member
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    Hey all! I am a third year student and I just finished my OB/GYN rotation. My preceptor offered to write an LOR, but he wants me to write it and then he'll look it over and add/subtract from it as needed. Any tips on how to go about writing an LOR about yourself? Thanks!
     
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  3. shamrock13

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    I would strongly advise you to not write the letter yourself. First, there should be a clause to all LORs that you have WAIVED the right to see it yourself and therefore that clause could not be placed in the letter if you write it. Additionally, this is a letter that if the person knows you well should be easy for them to write. It is nice of them to offer to write you a letter, but is unethical to have you write your own letter of recommendation as it should be their own opinion of your skills.

    I would advise you to discuss this with someone you trust in your deans office, or to give the physician your resume or a review of what you percieve as your strengths and weaknesses. Lastly if this person cannot be bothered to take the time to write you a letter themself is this really a letter you want sent out to programs?

    Sorry to be negative, but this seems to be a really big red flag about using this persons letter. I can tell you that the LORs are really important and help differentiate candidates based on the content, so you want them to be as enthusiastic as possible.
     
  4. Global Disrobal

    Global Disrobal Along for the ride
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    Some folks offer this as an option because they are too busy to sit down an draft one from scratch, or have not been asked enough to write one and really don't know what to write... Regardless, he/she has offered to write one and that is what matters. I don't quite see the "ethical" issues raised by Shamrock, although he makes some valid points and I do respect his viewpoint.

    My suggestion would be to put down a rough draft together and send it in with a copy of your CV (resume) to the faculty member. He/she will then edit it based on the information you provided. If you are having a mental block in starting the letter, go back and pull some of your old letters of recommendation, ask residents for their own letters they may have saved, as well as searching for "sample letters of recommendation" on Google. I am not suggesting copying material from these sources, but to rather get an idea as to what goes into a letter.

    Lastly, this is not some criminal unethical endeavor. I have faced similar situation, as have many of my colleagues... so enjoy the fact that your preceptor looks at you so favorably to make this offer.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. pruritis_ani

    pruritis_ani Senior Member
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    unethical? puhhlease! this is simply an effecient way to get you what you need. your preceptor is using your input to write an appropriate LOR, with the information you need.

    look at other letters you have recieved. think of what the person reading the letter needs to know. do not sell yourself short, emphasise your strong points!

    by giving a "draft", you certainly still can waive your right to see the final letter. just giving him your version does not mean this is what he will send, and there will likely be some changes.

    this is a good thing. it sounds like your preceptor trusts you, and thinks you did a good job. congratulations! busy people find different solutions to things.
     
  6. residencycoord

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    Shamrock is right. You should be getting letters from faculty that know you. It is kind of the faculty to offer to write you a letter, but he/she should be the one to write it. You can give them a copy of your cv if they need it, but then most of the time they just repeat what is on your cv. If the faculty knows you well enough, then they should be aware of your strong points. There is a reason why all recommendation letters mention that the student waives their right to see the letter. If the student writes the letter, then that statement goes out the window.
     
  7. Global Disrobal

    Global Disrobal Along for the ride
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    The student is writing the "draft" and not the final version. The "recommender" has the ability to make final edits, including adding negative/positive points as they see fit. I think you folks are making this more complicated than what it is in real life.

    My 2 cents: write the draft, give him the letter with your CV for edits, and good luck in the match.

    Can you honestly tell me that this letter is any worse than half of the generic letters some department chairs have their secretaries put together?
     
  8. pruritis_ani

    pruritis_ani Senior Member
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    agree with global...you can waive your right to see the letter, if you do not see the final letter.

    you are simply helping your letter writer by giving him/her the info you need/want in your letter.

    to assume that a prof asking you to do this doesn't know you well is also ridiculous. i had a prof i worked with for 3 years ask me to do the same. he did it because he wanted to be sure he put what i needed in the letter! i didn't ever see what he actually sent, so i did waive my right to see the letter. fully 1/2 of those i went through the match with had the same experience.
     
  9. residencycoord

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    I have been doing this for over 20 years and I have never had one of our faculty ask a student to write a draft. If a faculty member asks you what you want to be put in your letter, then I don't have much faith in that person writing the letter. They should know what makes a good/great recommendation letter, they should not need to ask you what you want in it. We can go back and forth about this, but will still not agree. The bottom line is if you are comfortable writing a draft for an attending, then do it. I doubt the programs that you will apply to will know the difference.
     

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