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Reference letters?

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Hi everybody, just a quick question probably stemming from my paranoia-- can a bad reference letter in one application cycle affect one's chances for the following application cycle at other schools? I didn't get an interview invite this cycle and I have one referee who may not have written a *glowing* letter. It was my research supervisor, with whom I interacted with regularly but it was hard for me to read whether she was expression-less with everybody or if she didn't like me.. the grad students in the lab say that she's just like that, but in the event that she wrote a bad reference letter, will this information be distributed to schools across Canada? 

I'm hoping to apply more broadly this upcoming cycle, but cannot shake off the idea of being rejected pre-interview from all because of this.

P.S. I only applied to Mac and Ottawa and rejected pre-interview, are reference letters even looked at before the interview?


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Everything is tossed. Every application cycle is a new beginning. Never use a referee whom you are not sure about. When in doubt, do not use. I had found the best way to judge back in the day was to approach a particular person, give such person your transcript, CV, a motivational letter explaining your path to medicine, look him/her straight in the eye and request a strong reference in support of your application. Watch the body language of the potential referee, which is more important than an af&irmstive answer, and use your best judgment and gut to determine if this person will really support you. A bad reference can be the kiss of death. I wish you every success in the future. In addition to having a competitive profile, persistence and luck is also required.

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