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writing your own rec?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by tnt3, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. tnt3

    tnt3 Member

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    Do you guys think it's unethical to write your own LOR? I asked a doctor and he told me to write it and he'll sign it.
     
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  3. PainMan

    PainMan Senior Member

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    Unfortunately(or fortunately) this is common practice. This is not limited to your situation. I work in engineering in the private sector and my wife is in human resource management. It is definitely common in corporate america. especially if you need a letter from a V.P. or such. I think a good quote for writing one is "first do no harm" do not write anything you or your signatory will regret(falsifications..ect). But look at it from their perspective. They really dont know you well, but they can assume from what interaction they have had you probably are not nuts or worthless. Otherwise they would simply reject the offer to write one, or worse write a bad one to keep you out. The person you are referring to is expecting you to write a good letter about yourself, will believe it to be honest ,and will probably learn more about your from the letter than (s)he knows already. They do not want to write one for a few basic reasons. 1 busy. 2 wants to write specifics, but doesn't know enough about you. 3 standard practice....

    Dont think this is a negative sign. It is a positive one. They want a good letter to go on your behalf, but simply not enough specific info to make it glow.

    Write it well...you are putting words in the mouth of a physician. Most important-be honest.

    my2cents
     
  4. rpames

    rpames Optometrist

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    I can see the points made by Keller BUT, ethics do play a roll. Being a philosophy minor, I would say, yes it is unethical. Kant said, (more or less) "Acts are only ethical if you wish to make them a universal law." Meaning, only do things that you wish every one will do. So basicly, do this if you are ok if all applicants do it.

    What I plan to do is shadow/work with doc long enough that they know me well enough to write a honest rec.

    Hope that helped.
     
  5. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    I don't think it's unethical - simply because they don't have to sign anything they don't agree with. It would be unethical if you held a gun to their head...

    The fact is this is pretty common in all realms. My usual approach when asked to do this is to write one, then give it to the person in an email or on a computer disk (it helps that everyone that has asked me to do this has been computer literate). People have often made slight alterations (always so far for the better!) before they have printed and signed it.

    I have had this experience more often with people that do not know what I want in the letter (eg a chemistry professor is not always familiar with the qualities med schools like stressed).

    The only time I think this would be unethical is if the reason the person doesn't want to write you a letter in the first place is that they don't know you well enough. In that case you shouldn't have asked and they shouldn't agree....
     
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member

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    How appropriate is it to ask the prof/boss/doc if you can see a LOR he wrote for you? assuming he really wrote it, not had you write. How do you approach asking such?
     
  7. Amra

    Amra A Quiet Voice of Reason

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    I had a few of the Docs that wrote for me send me a copy of it. It's funny... I gave a copy to my premed committee advisor, and she was freakin' out .. "You not supposed to have them... the confidentiality of your folder..." blah blah blah.

    Do I think that it ok to see one's LORs? Yes I do. I think it is unethical for someone to write a letter than makes you look like an a$$ (instead, that person should opt out of the letter). With that in mind, what is the point of confidentiality? I'm lost on that one...

    BTW, I think it is ethical to write your own letter. Two points: (1) Bascially, it is a CV with some character traits [which could be considered common knowledge] (2) the professional signs off on it thereby approving its content. Only prob from my perspective is I don't think I'd know what to write about myself... unless it be a novel! :rolleyes:

    On the record, all mine where written by the peep's that offered to write them.

    -A
     

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