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Letter Of Reference Venting!


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In July, I asked for a letter of reference from the supervisor at a hospital that I have volunteered at for 3 years. She knows me well, so I thought she would be an excellence reference. She gave me no reason to think otherwise.

 

It turns out that, despite a couple emails to simply placate me, she procrastinated until the last week of September. At that point, she decided she was too busy and passed on the letter writing to her coworker, who I don't know at all. OMSAS is still missing the letter, too.

 

I found out about all of this from the coworker now. I'm feeling furious and betrayed, really. This is the worst.

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In July, I asked for a letter of reference from the supervisor at a hospital that I have volunteered at for 3 years. She knows me well, so I thought she would be an excellence reference. She gave me no reason to think otherwise.

 

It turns out that, despite a couple emails to simply placate me, she procrastinated until the last week of September. At that point, she decided she was too busy and passed on the letter writing to her coworker, who I don't know at all. OMSAS is still missing the letter, too.

 

I found out about all of this from the coworker now. I'm feeling furious and betrayed, really. This is the worst.

Sorry mate! It's unfortunate when this happens. 

 

First, figure out why the letter is missing. Did the co-worker submit it late? Contact OMSAS and let them know your situation. Maybe even get the coworker to send a note to OMSAS explaining the situation so that he/she accepts responsibility for it; as furious as you may be, you really need to be gentle about this until it gets resolved, otherwise he/she won't want to help resolve this dilemma.

 

After it's sorted out, I would go and have a serious talk with this supervisor of yours that was supposed to write the letter in the first place. As a responsible professional, it's her duty to tell you outright if she didn't have the time to write the recommendation and your career is at stake. It's highly irresponsible to do what she has done and personally, I would let her know exactly how you feel (like you posted here) so that at least she feels guilty about it.  However, just be careful to not get her furious too...in which case she might be troublesome if the med schools call for verification purposes of your volunteer activity. 

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I felt your pain, my friend. We all assumed everyone will help us just like the way we help others, we all assumed everyone will do their jobs just like the way we did our jobs, but things just NOT ALWAYS LIKE THAT.

 

OK, what you can do:

 

1. Accept you're in the pickle, don't do anything stupid to make things worse.

2. Do not blame anyone, including yourself, blaming never make things better, only make things worse.

3. Contact OMSAS, find a way to solve this problem.

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I felt your pain, my friend. We all assumed everyone will help us just like the way we help others, we all assumed everyone will do their jobs just like the way we did our jobs, but things just NOT ALWAYS LIKE THAT.

 

OK, what you can do:

 

1. Accept you're in the pickle, don't do anything stupid to make things worse.

2. Do not blame anyone, including yourself, blaming never make things better, only make things worse.

3. Contact OMSAS, find a way to solve this problem.

 

Great advice,

 

IMO, do not approach her. This can only make your situation worse, not better. Only do that if OMSAS requires that your referee needs to clarify matters.

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I think there is a pretty easy way to start proceedings here. OMSAS hasn't received your letter and it is past the technical due date. What I would do is contact your supervisor stating that OMSAS had not received her reference letter and that you would like to know if she knew why this was the case. Then see what she answers, she will either be honest and tell you she delegated to another person, or she will tell make up a story or she will ignore you. If she ignores you, then contact OMSAS and tell them that your referee is unable to be contacted and try to see if you can change referee's, I think for extenuation circumstances, this has been done before. If she tells you that she delegated it to someone else, I would let her know how you feel about this and explain to her that you had specifically picked her for this letter because you thought she could be portray your qualities. I would also let her know that you think that if she was too busy, it would have been better her to tell you that she would not be able to write the letter. Finally if she tells you that she sent it etc. then I would just leave it at that. The reference letters are important, but I don't think it will make or break you this cycle since most schools just use it as a flag, so as long as the other person writing it didn't write anything stupid, you should be fine.

 

Finally, you still have time to get the letter in, some people have had nightmare stories about reference letters and have gotten them in in december, so I wouldn't worry about not getting an interview because of the missing letter just yet.

 

I hope everything works out for you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Finally, you still have time to get the letter in, some people have had nightmare stories about reference letters and have gotten them in in december, so I wouldn't worry about not getting an interview because of the missing letter just yet.

 

Wouldn't this be a problem for certain schools like UofT though? They specifically state that they will not consider your application if OMSAS does not receive it by Nov. 1st (probably more likely Oct. 31st since Nov 1st is a Saturday and I dont think they work on weekends).

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