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This is a great question and got me thinking about med school application references. As Matthew mentioned during the discussion, and something I've seen through helping some undergrads apply, OMSAS has applied a standardized form for references to fill out. This includes rating skills of the individual and justifying your rating with real-life examples. Although I do believe this will aid in better comparisons of individuals, since all these sets of skills are being ranked in each individual applying, I also see where there may be some faults. The problem of boosting a rating of individual in the fear of "ruining" an individuals chances of getting an interview, still could occur. This isn't really a problem with the standardized references but rather an issue of using reference letters in general, and being afraid to put your honest opinion down. So while I think standardizing will improve references slightly, there are still will be some issues surrounding it.

Spencer Finn

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