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got milk?
09-12-2007, 06:48 PM
i don't know how your cores are set up, but at my clerkship site, they've designed it so that there isn't much interaction with the preceptors.

i have looked around at other groups, and some of them just follow the attending around without saying much, if anything at all.
of course, that is not good if you want to get a rec letter.

although I was able to interact with my attending, we did nothing but scutwork and stuff that doesn't sound flattering.
Imagine: "Mr. xxx was really good at fetching charts. He was really good at paging the residents......... If you have a secretary job opening available, Mr. XXX would be perfect for it.":rolleyes:


How do you go about getting the best letter possible?

Do any of you write your own letters and just have the attending sign it?

Some of them straight up can't write well.
Some of them take the lazy way out and just copy stuff off your CV.
I wasn't a superstar in college. (That's why i'm in the caribbean...)
My CV hardly has anything on it. I don't want them to use it for my recommendation. I don't want to be known for what little I did in college 7 years ago.

mbergwal
09-12-2007, 07:10 PM
hope you don't mind a 1st semester chiming in as I obviously haven't reached your point yet. But about whether to write it yourself is that having worked in the corporate world for over 10 years I was always told that when you ask for a letter of reference that you offer to write it for the individual you want it to come from (unless they are a huge fan of yours and you know they will write a spectacular one). Two things: 1)They are happy they don't have to spend time figuring out what to say about you, and 2) You get to write exactly what you want to come across to others who will be eventually be reading it. Good luck!

Future MD | DM erutuF
09-12-2007, 09:24 PM
hope you don't mind a 1st semester chiming in as I obviously haven't reached your point yet. But about whether to write it yourself is that having worked in the corporate world for over 10 years I was always told that when you ask for a letter of reference that you offer to write it for the individual you want it to come from (unless they are a huge fan of yours and you know they will write a spectacular one). Two things: 1)They are happy they don't have to spend time figuring out what to say about you, and 2) You get to write exactly what you want to come across to others who will be eventually be reading it. Good luck!

Hmm, so "Dr. ___, I would like to write a letter of rec from you to _____. I would really appreciate your OK."

Something like that?

mbergwal
09-12-2007, 09:38 PM
Hmm, so "Dr. ___, I would like to write a letter of rec from you to _____. I would really appreciate your OK."

Something like that?



Wow, really? That's what you got from my response to his post? I think any reasonable person would probably go about a little differently, say, maybe "I wanted to know if you would be able to give me a letter of recomendation, I understand you are very busy so if you'd like I would be happy to draft something for you to take a look at and revise as you see fit." ................But no, you go ahead and try your way though.

UFTim
09-12-2007, 10:46 PM
i don't know how your cores are set up, but at my clerkship site, they've designed it so that there isn't much interaction with the preceptors.

i have looked around at other groups, and some of them just follow the attending around without saying much, if anything at all.
of course, that is not good if you want to get a rec letter.

although I was able to interact with my attending, we did nothing but scutwork and stuff that doesn't sound flattering.
Imagine: "Mr. xxx was really good at fetching charts. He was really good at paging the residents......... If you have a secretary job opening available, Mr. XXX would be perfect for it.":rolleyes:


How do you go about getting the best letter possible?

Do any of you write your own letters and just have the attending sign it?

Some of them straight up can't write well.
Some of them take the lazy way out and just copy stuff off your CV.
I wasn't a superstar in college. (That's why i'm in the caribbean...)
My CV hardly has anything on it. I don't want them to use it for my recommendation. I don't want to be known for what little I did in college 7 years ago.

We only saw our last preceptor when there was free food at noon conference. I got on the program director's teaching rounds and he pimped me to death. He liked that I took a beating and kept coming back for more. He then volunteered to write me a letter, especially since I never really saw the preceptor.

The director recommended us Carib students to find the movers and shakers wherever we go and try to get on their teaching rounds in order to get letters.

Soon2B-MD
09-13-2007, 11:55 AM
The answer to your question "got milk?" is rather simple.

It really doesn't matter that you were like a secretary in the rotation some rotations at some institutions are like that. If the Preceptor is well known or has the “horsepower” to be a preceptor the letter will be worth having.

Ask for the letter.

He/She may have letters in their computer that they simply put your name onto in order to make it easy for themselves. Others will write letters describing what you did as part of the team (of note, they won't say he paged the resident well).

If they say to you, “write your own letter and I will sign it” that is a bonus. Now you can make the letter sound great for you, it becomes a personalized letter describing your stengths specifically not in general. If this is what is offered to you then be sure to go to his or her secretary and get institution letterhead to print your letter upon so it is official.

Get some examples of good letters from your friends or from the internet and write your letter. Make 3 copies get them all signed in blue ink, get them stammped by the institution, and start a file for your collection.

The key is that you ask for the letter - you won't get it if you don't ask in many instances. I too have had offers from preceptors to write letters, I also aksed for several too. I was asked to write only one but have had friends that have written several of their own.

Future MD | DM erutuF
09-13-2007, 02:20 PM
Wow, really? That's what you got from my response to his post? I think any reasonable person would probably go about a little differently, say, maybe "I wanted to know if you would be able to give me a letter of recomendation, I understand you are very busy so if you'd like I would be happy to draft something for you to take a look at and revise as you see fit." ................But no, you go ahead and try your way though.

Sorry, didn't mean to sound sarcastic there, but after reading my post it did seem like that.

I was just trying to to see what kind of approach works, like being straight forward or not. Of course being too forward comes across as rude, I guess some of the 1st semester class attitude is rubbing of on me ;)

mbergwal
09-13-2007, 03:27 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to sound sarcastic there, but after reading my post it did seem like that.

I was just trying to to see what kind of approach works, like being straight forward or not. Of course being too forward comes across as rude, I guess some of the 1st semester class attitude is rubbing of on me ;)

Hey, no sweat! And being a 1st semester I can tell you that most of us are as irritated at the rude people as much as you guys are. Just realize we're not all bad eggs!

But as far as the approach I can only tell you what has worked for me in the past with physicians and that is just being straight forward and as blunt as possible. You don't have to be rude but they seem to appreciate you just getting to the point. Time literally is money for them and they hate when people beat around the bush. I'm sure this is common knowledge to most as you have probably experienced this during rotations.

AmericanIMG
09-13-2007, 06:42 PM
your best bet is to get a letter of rec from a physician that you DO interact with.
out of my cores/electives that i have completed, i can only think of one doctor with which i would ask for a LOR. this is out of 5 mind you.

also remember that power is what matters. if you have an attending that holds sway with other medical institutions, ride that pony as much as you can. show up, outshine your colleagues (can be by hard work and a caring attitude as much as correct pimping), try your best to establish a relationship with the attending, etc.

got milk?
09-14-2007, 01:28 AM
your best bet is to get a letter of rec from a physician that you DO interact with.
out of my cores/electives that i have completed, i can only think of one doctor with which i would ask for a LOR. this is out of 5 mind you.

also remember that power is what matters. if you have an attending that holds sway with other medical institutions, ride that pony as much as you can. show up, outshine your colleagues (can be by hard work and a caring attitude as much as correct pimping), try your best to establish a relationship with the attending, etc.



too bad these attendings are little peons.

what is the likelyhood that you'd get a high-power attending at our affiliated hospital sites....... :rolleyes:
The top level directors don't teach or round with students.

hopefully i'll have a better experience in my next rotation. but i doubt it.
Guess i'll have to keep a log of all the good things I do, and then write my own letter.

AmericanIMG
09-14-2007, 12:37 PM
double post...

:shock:

AmericanIMG
09-14-2007, 12:42 PM
too bad these attendings are little peons.

what is the likelyhood that you'd get a high-power attending at our affiliated hospital sites....... :rolleyes:

the likelihood is minimal, but it is there. my IM attending sits on the board w/ Emory AND Morehouse. he is a BIG SHOT, but you would never know by talking to him. very humble, intelligent and caring. i am going to do my best to earn his respect and hopefully he will help me out.

that being said i have had some nobody attendings for sure, but you don't need LORs from EVERYONE, just the ones that matter.

good luck!

acetre
09-14-2007, 06:22 PM
mbergwal (http://www.valuemd.com/../members/mbergwal.html), Your original post actually made perfect sense!!! It tried that approach today, and the idea was highly effective and well-received by the attending. I realize this attending is extremely busy (Working the CCU, Teaching Fellows, and running 4 private clinics/week!!!! The only thing she asked is that she be allowed to proofread the letter, before I share it with anyone else. If anyone wants any particulars on my approach, please feel free to PM me---acetre

mbergwal
09-14-2007, 06:25 PM
mbergwal (http://www.valuemd.com/../members/mbergwal.html), Your original post actually made perfect sense!!! It tried that approach today, and the idea was highly effective and well-received by the attending. I realize this attending is extremely busy (Working the CCU, Teaching Fellows, and running 4 private clinics/week!!!! The only thing she asked is that she be allowed to proofread the letter, before I share it with anyone else. If anyone wants any particulars on my approach, please feel free to PM me---acetre

Right on! Glad to hear you were successful!!

got milk?
09-15-2007, 04:55 AM
mbergwal (http://www.valuemd.com/../members/mbergwal.html), Your original post actually made perfect sense!!! It tried that approach today, and the idea was highly effective and well-received by the attending. I realize this attending is extremely busy (Working the CCU, Teaching Fellows, and running 4 private clinics/week!!!! The only thing she asked is that she be allowed to proofread the letter, before I share it with anyone else. If anyone wants any particulars on my approach, please feel free to PM me---acetre

awesome.
sure beats giving them your CV and having them scratch their head trying to figure out what to write.

My CV is lousy. and there's nothing on it that is medically related, except some stupid hospital volunteer work many many years ago. And volunteer work is nothing compared to clinical rotations.

Clinicalman
09-15-2007, 05:35 AM
After completing my rotation, I went to one of the "big shot" attendings. I had the confidence to do so because, I made an impression on him from a presentation during rounds and on one occasion looked up something specific he had mentioned during the rounds and discussed this with him and scrubbed in for one OR case with him and casual conversation about what he would do if he won the lottery, total of 4hrs face time with <30hr of conversation time. Initially I went to see him simply and sincerly to ask about how I should get reference letter for my next rotation, should I request one in the begining of the rotation or at the end, he suggested at the end. Then I suggested wouldn't it be better if I ask from the start, that way the referee can assess my progress during the rotation. His suggestion was that I should ask for a reference letter from every rotation for my file and to get them, write a page long summary of what I had done during the rotation attach it to my CV and submit it. He seemed very comfortable in discussing this with me and this gave me the opportunity to ask him right then and there for a reference letter, eventhough I do not plan on going into this specialty at all, it can't hurt.
Long story short, it can't hurt to ASK! and expect to do work for your reference letter, because they aren't going to and you can't expect them to.
I hope, I am fortunate in my future rotations to get someone that is willing to offer a letter.







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