I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

Letters of Interest - Tell Me What You Think!

Monday, September 16, 2013

As you all know from my last post I am incredibly excited to have received an interview invitation from Rush Medical College(!), but that doesn't mean that I'm not still constantly checking the status of all my other applications online and wondering what the next step is for all the schools that I haven't yet heard from. After I finished the long and arduous process of submitting all of my secondaries I realized that I don't know a whole lot about what to do next. As in, what happens after your submit your apps? I feel like there are really two ways you can go - you can breathe a huge sigh of relief and immediately take a brain-vacation from thinking about anything medical school related until you start getting interiew invitations/rejections or you can be an "active" applicant. Basically it's like when you apply to a job - some people just send out apps and then never follow up. I've always belonged to the school of thought that you should at least email or call the hiring manager of the company where you applied because this helps you to stand out and might give you a better chance of getting the job. This approach has always worked well for me and I'm wondering if it's something that applies to med school as well. Of course, this is entirely a theory I've developed on my own but I feel like it's something I've applied everywhere else in my life with relative degrees of success. Applying to medical school is a competition to show the admissions committees not only WHY you are well-suited to become a successful student at their school but also HOW MUCH you want to attend their specific school. With this in mind, I wonder how important it is to send out letters of interest. I know it is recommended to send updates to schools you are waiting on and there are definitely those people who feel that sending out an LOI was what got them an interview or off a wait list but then there are many others who feel that they don't help at all. So this post is to ask all of you - what do you think? I'd love to hear of any experiences writing letters to admissions during the application process - positive or negative! Please feel free to comment, tweet at me or message me on Google+. I hope to gather some advice and later share what I find in a Part II post. Thanks in advance, all of you wonderful readers (and current applicants/med students). And if you're still filling out apps, keep slogging, it'll feel amazing to be done!

Medical School, Admissions, LOI

5 comments:

Kristen L said...

Did you ever find out any more information about sending letters of interest to schools pre-interview? I've been thinking about it more seriously recently and so far have seen pretty much mixed responses, although they seem to generally lean toward it being viewed unfavorably.

Kristen L said...

Oh, and I was only considering sending it to the schools I've been small pooled at, if that affects my original question!

Chantal Mendes said...

This is a great question Kristen, thanks for asking it! I realize now that I should have followed up on this a while ago but unfortunately like you I got very mixed responses. Ultimately I think it depends on the school. For example, some schools are very clear that they do not accept updates in which case I think sending them a letter would be viewed unfavorably. On the other hand, some schools are very accepting of any additional updates you want to send in and these are the schools that I would say you should be sending an LOI to. I was also told by several students that you should save your update letter until after your interview although I emailed UVM pre-interview and got an interview invite shortly after (not sure if it helped or not but it definitely didn't hurt). Hope that clears things up a bit for you, please let me know if you have any other questions!!

Solo-mon said...

Chantal, just wondering but who did you address that pre-interview email to? I wasn't sure an email simply to the office of admissions would do much good if read by a secretary or something of that sort.

Chantal Mendes said...

I think the first time I just sent it to the office of admissions. UVM adds any updates to your file so when the admissions committee reviews your file they'll see everything you've sent in. Hope that helps!

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