Pissed off the Pre-med Office

I have royally pissed off Dr. Wood in the Pre-Health Office at UTD. I found out last Thursday that yet another piece of supporting paperwork had not been mailed. The office claimed not to have received it. Because I had just had a conversation about this a few weeks ago, and the blame had been placed on funding and staffing and the Provost’s office…well…I composed a long email, polite but pointed, and emailed it to the University Provost, and Dean of Undergrad Studies, AND my school’s dean, AND dean of student affairs (you get the picture) Apparently the Pre-Med advisor got a call at home early this morning, so when I was in the pre-med office trying to sort out with the secretary what had actually been sent, he came in yelling at me, telling me I was not “raising my status” with him, etc, etc. I have an appointment with the UGrad Dean tomorrow to register an academic grievance. Three weeks from graduation. What a bunch of crap. Either way, I have been told by my advisor that my email was courteous and I did nothing wrong. She gave me some pointers about going into the meeting tomorrow. I’m like the dinosaur in “Toy Story”. I don’t like confrontation. But I don’t like being jerked around on something I’ve worked my butt off for four years either.
Kathy

Sounds like you just caught someone not doing his job and he’s not happy about it. that’s his problem. Your problem is getting into med school and having the resources that you PAY for working for you!
Chin up, you are in the right. Don’t let anyone bully you!

Now you have to wonder just how good a letter from him will be, even if things were patched up. Can you move beyond this joker and get LORs from science professors sent directly by them on your behalf? This may be a better option if you can swing it.

do you have an asbestos suit handy?

Kathy, I’m sorry you had to go through all that. You are right to complain. Give 'em hell!
Is there a way you can bypass your premed office to get what you need? For example, going to individual profs for letters instead of a committee? I think someone else mentioned that.
It’s ridiculous that the people in the office at your school didn’t do their jobs. Everyone is suffering from budget cuts these days but come on, there has to a minimum level of competency–esp. at a university!!
Love,
Stacy

In response to several posts about my pre-med office: I am not receiving a composite letter of recommendation from my school. After going through the health profession advisory committee seminars in prep for applying, I quickly got 5 LORs; 3 from science faculty at UTD, and two that are work-related in my job as a pediatric home health nurse. Rather than contacting me, the pre-health advisor called my academic advisor and told HER that they would not write me a letter and I should consider graduate school. So there’s nothing to patch up there. Since my first conversation with the pre-med advisor, I have been asked (more than once) about my health, do I have diabetes, etc (as I am overweight), and he told me in the first meeting that a previous student, aged 35, with “a great academic record, previous military experience, etc” he referred to a Caribbean school due to age. I’m 41. I didn’t expect support or encouragement from the beginning, but I did expect them to do their job. I have a log of unreturned phone calls, emails, dates I requested paperwork sent, etc. I will be writing the formal grievance this week as I am preparing for finals and graduation. A total crock.

Quote:

In response to several posts about my pre-med office: I am not receiving a composite letter of recommendation from my school. After going through the health profession advisory committee seminars in prep for applying, I quickly got 5 LORs; 3 from science faculty at UTD, and two that are work-related in my job as a pediatric home health nurse. Rather than contacting me, the pre-health advisor called my academic advisor and told HER that they would not write me a letter and I should consider graduate school. So there’s nothing to patch up there. Since my first conversation with the pre-med advisor, I have been asked (more than once) about my health, do I have diabetes, etc (as I am overweight), and he told me in the first meeting that a previous student, aged 35, with “a great academic record, previous military experience, etc” he referred to a Caribbean school due to age. I’m 41. I didn’t expect support or encouragement from the beginning, but I did expect them to do their job. I have a log of unreturned phone calls, emails, dates I requested paperwork sent, etc. I will be writing the formal grievance this week as I am preparing for finals and graduation. A total crock.


what a big jerk!!! His prejudices are offensive and he is completely wrong if he believes your age should keep you from applying. I feel so sorry for the other person he sent to the carribean schools. Lucky for us we have OPM to set things straight!
I’m pulling for you, Kathy. Hope everything gets worked out.

Good for you Kathy, and bad for UTD. Forge ahead! Don’t let minor shortcomings or the
poor behavior of others stand in your way of achieving your goals; after all, you have to
live with yourself (and your accomplishments or failures), they do not. Separate LORs
are fine.
~D.-
Shooting for the moon and the stars: entering 2008 MD/MPH/PhD

Hi Kathy,
What reason did this pre-med advisor give for not giving you a composite letter of recommendation? You need to find out and if possible get something in writing. Since this person is not a physician, he can’t make a determination about your health one way or the other.(Being of ideal body weight is not a pre-requisite for medical school) Since you have passed your courses and done well, he can’t say that you do not have the academic ability. You may have the makings of a discrimination suit against this office but you need a paper trail. I would also go outside and try to get individual letters. Beware that many medical schools will only take composite letters from undergraduates but as soon as you take one graduate course, that rule goes out the window. Keep this in mind. (I hope you kept copies of your LORs)
If you are not on academic probation, I don’t think that the committee can lawfully refuse to write a composite letter. Look into this and if possible, appeal to the Dean of Student Affairs.
Good luck!
Natalie

Nat,
UTD has a requirement for a 3.2 OVERALL gpa. While I have a 3.34 at UTD, my overall with grades factored in from 10 years previously, is 2.9. I am in the process right now of gathering my notes for a formal complaint. It is fortunate that I noted when I made calls, etc, so that I do have a paper trail. I will be submitting it to the Pre-Health office (as instructed by the UGrad Dean) within 10 days and they have 10 days to reply.
Kathy

Kathy, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this works out well for you!

Gosh this is so awful. I really hope things work out for you. Nobody should deciede on their own that somebody shouldn’t go to med school. That should totally be left up to the med school you apply to. Keep fighting and don’t give up!!!

Yikes!!! Good Luck, Kathy:)

I appreciate all of the letters of support in my little “situation” at UTD. Just an update, for those interested. After submitting my apps in June last year, I found that my paperwork wasn’t getting sent out of the Pre-Health Office in a timely matter. As we speak, I had to contact them again to fax the papers just before deadline to a school that had not received anything. No news on the grievance. I doubt anything of substance will happen, and it certainly will not help my applications at this point. I am just now getting secondaries from some of the DO schools (NOVA and KCOM) though WVSOM rejected me already. Lesson learned from all of this?? If there was one, perhaps I should have gone with my gut and driven the one hour each way to UT Arlington, where the Pre-Advisor was much more open and encouraging. Other than that, it may just be re-application for me!
Kathy

Can Puh-leeze can this thread? Tired of seeing my whiny troubles here!
Kathy