Old Ivy League Observership Letter - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
Home
USMLE Articles
USMLE News
USMLE Polls
USMLE Books
USMLE Apps
Go Back   USMLE Forums > IMG Residency Match Forum

IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-25-2013
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 18
Threads: 2
Thanked 33 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 43
Certificate Old Ivy League Observership Letter

Hi,
I am sorry if this question has already been answered before but I went through a list of similar threads and still felt that my problem was unique enough to warrant a new thread.
So I am looking to apply for residency in IM & Neurology this year. The only USCE I have in Neuro is an observership I did at an ivy league university hospital in 2008. I got an experience letter from my attending at the end of my observership, which basically stated that I had done my rotation during such and such period and also had a few nice words on my general behaviour, knowledge and performance (I gave one or two presentations on various topics of interest which were well received and are praised in the letter).
I have recently written to the attending again, requesting a fresh letter of recommendation but he politely declined, saying that that letter was the best he could give me since observerships do not involve hands on clinical experience, and also wishing me well for the match.

Now the problems I am faced with in using that letter are three-fold:

1) The letter is not addressed "to the program director". Instead it starts with "To whom it may concern"

2) There is no mention of my suitability for residency even though it does state that I was "an active participant in case based discussions and demonstrated an understanding that was impressive for his current position as a medical student"

3) The observership was done when I was still a medical student and now I am 2.5 years post graduation. So basically it's 5 years old.

So what do you guys suggest. Should I use the letter or not? Honestly if it wasn't such a highly ranked university I would have given it a pass. But since it is, and since this is the only USCE in Neurology I have in my hands, I am really confused and double minded. Any help in this regard will be highly appreciated. I would also really appreciate it if Sabio , StepTaker or the other admins here at USMLE forums could chip in with their two cents... THANKS!!

Last edited by Dr.Limple; 06-25-2013 at 08:04 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message


  #2  
Old 06-25-2013
USMLE Forums Master
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 3,317
Threads: 170
Thanked 4,880 Times in 1,808 Posts
Reputation: 4933
Default My 2 cents

I would use it.

But also use other new LoRs that that demonstrate your more recent experiences.

It does not matter "To Whom it may concern", it will still work.
It does not matter that it did not mention your suitability for residency.

LoRs with a letterhead from an Ivy League (which is a symbol of social elitism here in America) goes a long way in getting the attention of program directors even if it was old and even if they don't know the author and even if it was poorly constructed and even if it was just observership.

Check the results of this interesting poll
Writer Reputation versus Letter Content!

So get their attention with this LoR, rest if they have concerns about your current status then they'll see the other "new" LoRs.

-
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr.Limple (06-26-2013)
  #3  
Old 06-26-2013
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 18
Threads: 2
Thanked 33 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 43
Default Thanks

Thank you very much sabio for your prompt and helpful reply. I have another question if you don't mind. My other USCE was an Elective in Pulmonology from a university hospital. I did manage to get a very good elective evaluation in which the attending was kind enough to specifically recommend me for a residency position. Unfortunately for me she has since left that hospital and went to another one. I have written to her on her new email address requesting an LOR but i haven't got any reply yet. I am not very hopeful of receiving a reply from her either because more than 2.5 years have passed since my elective. My question is:

Can I use the evaluation as an LOR? And if not then is there any other way to bring that evaluation to notice of the interviewers?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 12-11-2013
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 8
Threads: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default

@Dr. Limple: Hi! I am in a similar situation. I did electives long back, and got evaluations; but no letters. So I wanted to know if those evaluations could be uploaded somewhere to reflect in my application. Where in ERAS do I upload them? Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 12-11-2013
USMLE Forums Veteran
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 201
Threads: 6
Thanked 109 Times in 81 Posts
Reputation: 119
Default

Use it. It would be great if you can ask the writer just to update the letter for you application, but if it is not possible, I would use it anyway.

GL
__________________
@usmlethree
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 12-12-2013
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 8
Threads: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by @usmlethree View Post
Use it. It would be great if you can ask the writer just to update the letter for you application, but if it is not possible, I would use it anyway.

GL
Do you know if evaluations can be uploaded somewhere in ERAS?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message



Reply

Tags
LoRs-

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Location
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Immunization letter to apply for observership nishaa USCE & Clinical Rotations 2 01-14-2013 01:26 AM
cover letter for observership! heman466s USCE & Clinical Rotations 0 10-07-2011 02:04 AM

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)