Preparing to Apply to Medical or Dental School in the Summer of 2019

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Deadlines:

February 15th: Complete the letter of Evaluation Planner on AdviseStream. Here you will submit the names of those people who will be writing your letters of recommendation.  The letters of recommendation are due to the committee by May 1st.

February 1st– April 1st:  Schedule an HPC interview with Dr. Gibson. Before the interview, complete the Academics and Engagements calendar on AdviseStream.

April 15th: Check to make sure that letters of recommendation have been sent. If not, send reminder e-mail through AdviseStream by clicking the reminder button.

April 30th:  a.   Complete the “Before requesting a letter” Section of the Committee Letter   Planner on AdviseStream. See below.

  1. Update the Academics and Engagement section on AdviseStream
  2. If you are a senior, send your new e-mail address to prehealth@wfu.edu.

May 1st: The letters of recommendation are due to the committee by May 1st.

Failure to complete materials by the given deadline may results in your materials not being reviewed by the Health Professions Committee for a committee letter.

June 1: Open the AMCAS application. Fill out the letter request form, listing Dr. Gibson as the contact. In Part III of the Committee Letter Planner section on AdviseStream, fill in the application ID number and letter ID number.  Your AAMC Application ID is an 8-digit number.  Your AMCAS Letter Request ID number is a 7-digit number.  Please also upload your AMCAS Letter Request PDF file to Part III of your AdviseStream account.  This must be completed before your letters can be forwarded to AMCAS.  If you are applying TMDSAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, please also list these ID numbers in Part III as well.

What is the Health Professions Committee Letter? Medical and dental schools ask for a letter from the students’ undergraduate institution(s) that expresses the degree of institutional support for the student’s application, and an explanation of that support. This is the Health Professions Committee (HPC) letter.

The HPC is composed of eight faculty from different disciplines. The members of the HPC are listed in the front of the Health Professions Handbook. All the members of the committee have experience in health professions advising.

In May, the committee will review your portfolio, letters of recommendation, and academic record in Degree Works. They will also review your record community service, clinical experiences, shadowing hours, and research experience, as detailed in AdviseStream. A level of support will be assigned by the committee. An HPC letter that reflects that support will be written by the chair of the HPC. The letter will serve as a cover letter attached to your letters of recommendation. The letter will also highlight to the medical or dental schools your qualifications for admission.

The committee will rank all the candidates into one of four categories: highest confidence, high confidence, good confidence and confidence. The committee will not write a letter for a student that it cannot be confident will successfully complete medical school and/or be an excellent physician. Except in exceptional circumstances, the Health Professions Committee cannot write a strong letter for a third-year student with an overall or science GPA below 3.4, or for a fourth-year student whose overall or science GPA falls below 3.3. The Committee puts no restrictions on letters for alumni.

It is important to note that it is not necessary to have an HPC letter to apply to medical or dental school. If your school has a committee process, then the letter is expected but not required. Generally, the lack of a committee letter indicates that your undergraduate institution could not strongly support your application. But it could also simply mean that you made the decision to apply late too late to apply for a committee letter.

To Request an HPC letter (Deadline – April 30th):

In AdviseStream, at the top of the page, go to the Prehealth tab. Under the dropdown menu, go to Committee Letter. In this section you will:

  1. Fill out the Intent to Apply
  2. Complete your AdviseStream profile
  3. Complete the letter of evaluation planner
  4. Record your MCAT or DAT score, or when you plan to take the appropriate test.
  5. Sign the FERPA waiver form.
    1. The Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides individuals access to their educational records. Applicants must indicate whether or not they waive their FERPA rights. Waving your FERPA rights means that your letters of recommendation and committee letter will be confidential. Evaluators will be more likely to write a letter if it is confidential. The evaluators will be notifies as to whether or not you have waived your FERPA rights.
  6. Submit a polished draft of the personal statement.
    1. The personal statement will be a part of your medical or dental school application. The statement is a 5,300 character (including spaces) essay. It is not a summary of the activities that will be detailed in your application. Instead it is an opportunity to let admissions committees know who you are and why you are ideally suited for a career in medicine or dentistry.
  7. Attach a copy of your most recent transcript.
  8. Complete all 8 essays. Please make sure to list the hours spent for all of the experiences you talk about.
  9. Update your Academics & Engagements Planner on AdviseStream. Please make sure to include all your experiences and the hours spent here as well.
  10. Make sure that Part I and Part II of your AdviseStream account are complete. The check boxes marked next to each bullet item must be checked and say “complete” in order for us to be able to access Part III of your account.  See below pictures:

Correct:                                                                                Incorrect:

                                        

  1. Under the Special Circumstances tab in your profile, within Institutional Actions and Legal Actions, please make sure to click the Unlock box so that your response in this section is visible to the committee.

 

The Interview:

Complete your Academics and Engagements Calendar on AdviseStream before the interview.

You can make an appointment for your interview on AdviseStream. Be sure to sign up for an interview, not an advising, slot. The time slot is for one hour, but the interview will generally not take that long.

The interview gives you the opportunity to discuss your accomplishments with the Director of Health Professions Advising. You will be asked to reflect on your relevant experiences, explain your motivation for a health professions career, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your inter- and intra-personal skills. Information from the interview will be used in preparing your HPC letter to the medical or dental schools. This is also a time when your questions about the application process to medical school can be addressed.

If the committee has chosen to write a letter for you, once your committee letter file packet has been submitted to AMCAS or TMDSAS, you will receive an e-mail notification from Virtual Evals letting you know it has been submitted.  The e-mail notification will look like this:

If you click on the link in the e-mail, you will see: