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Question about Reference


Wish_Med

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Hi everybody

 

I am just wondering if it is okay to use a reference that you have worked/volunteered for but he/she also happens to be a family friend, how would med school even know if he/she is even a family friend in the first place?

 

Thanks in advance

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I thought there was a "how do you know this applicant?" section of the reference form. Seeing as they know you as an employee, I can't see how it is a problem. Like, say for example the one person in the university that you're interested in a research summer project happens to be your next door neighbour you knew since you were a kid. I think it would be pretty unfair to NOT have this person as a reference.

 

I bet the problem with that comes when they ONLY know you as a family friend

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I guess it would depend on your age right? If you are 30 then someone who knew and worked with you for 10 years would be great insight on your personality, etc. whereas if you are 20 someone who knew you for 10 years knew you when you were 10-20 years old, thus did not know you as a professional for the entire time, so there might be issues surrounding the reliability of this individual if they did not state that they knew you both personally and professionally. If they only knew you personally then they have no direct knowledge of you as a professional and thus this might be considered a problem.

 

I would assume that would be the rationale, whether Admissions Committees would interpret it this way I have no idea.

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Just curious but why not? You would almost think someone that knows you for a long time would know your character infinitely better than a proff who you barely talked to in 1 semester.

 

Why not what? :P I don't know if it's good or bad to have known your referee for half your life. Personally I agree with Atreides and I feel that if someone has known me as a "family friend" more than anything else, it might be the equivalent of getting a family member to be a reference, which holds less value since they might fudge the facts more than some other professional. But if you have been heavily involved with this person in a professional setting, then it's probably fine. It's tricky to know how the admissions committees will view the number of years someone has known you, especially if you are young as Atreides said.

$0.02

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Using a family friend is considered to be of questionable ethics, but they would likely never find out. Even if they did, it's unlikely that there would be any adverse consequences because these policies aren't written down anywhere; you can't be penalized for what you could reasonable claim to not know.

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