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Choice of Referees

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Your academics are reflected in your transcript and any Awards received. Accordingly, one should be sufficient whereas your character is a matter of importance adcom should know. In the last two weeks, I posted a list of characteristics that are of importance and these should be addressed by your referees in a credible manner, backed up ny stories where possible.

You need credible strong advocates no matter how you slice it.

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where would this list be found at?


The 2008 McGill Confidential Referee Report covered the following attributes to be measured from exceptional - superior - strong - average to weak:


a. Compassion, empathy, caring

b. insight, judgment, common sense

c. Honesty, integrity

d. Adaptability, tolerance, flexibility

e. Respect for others

f. Reliability, rersponsibility, dependability

g. Creativity, innovation, intellectual curiosity

h. Notable experiences and interests

1. assurance in ambiguity, dealing with uncertainty

j. Autonomy, leadership, initiative

k. Teamwork, dealing with others

l. Dealing with conflict

m. Community involvement, dedication, professionalism


They had to state their relationship, how long they have known you, what is their primary source of knowldege (personal experience, 3rd party sources or objective/measured sources) AND had to say which phrase best described their level of knowledge from:

very well informed

well informed

informed enough


best guess


In terms of assessing your detailed above attributes, they were asked to place a mark to indicate for each characteristic if you were exceptional (top 2-3%), superior (top 10%) etc...In my view if you are not in top 20% for some and most top 10%, you are given the kiss of death.


I recall, they wanted to know how many similar students they have rated or experienced. In other words, if you are judged in the top 2% froma pool of 5-10 students, it is meaningless, whereas if they are udging you based upon 100 or more, then their value is greater, like a prof who has seen thousands of students, as opposed to a horse riding instructor who perhaps has had no more than 25 students of your age group


They want to know how long the referee has known you..and there was a space for comments for each attribute.


They warned the referee they are seeking the candid, honest and fair opinion and seek for the referees to confine their assessment to your suitability for medical practice.

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