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Health Professions Advising

Leslie Bell
Interim Health Professions Advisor
315-859-4338

The Health Professions Advising Office is located on the third floor of Bristol Center.

Applying to Medical School
 

Timeline

Event Deadline
Attend "How to Apply to Medical School" Workshop November
Identify Reference Writers and confirm their willingness to support your candidacy December 1st
Submit Declaration of Intent December 1st
Submit Release of Information/Confidentiality Waiver December 1st
Request transcript be sent to Leslie Bell January 23rd
Call Career Center to schedule an Interview for Committee Letter between February-April January 30th
Fill out & submit Self-Assessment for Committee Letter February 1st
Submit Additional Documents (Personal Statement & Resume) February 1st
Contact any reference writers who have not submitted letters of recommendation February 20th
Complete Interview for Committee Letter  February 1st - April 10th
Optional: Schedule a Review of Personal Statement  February 1st - April 10th
Prepare to complete the AMCAS Application May 1st
Complete and Submit the AMCAS Application July 1st
Submit Secondary Applications as early as possible July-September
Prepare for Interviews August-November

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attend "How to Apply to Medical School" Workshop

Students will be notified of workshop dates and times via email. Login to HamNET and go to the Events page in order to RSVP for the workshop. The workshop will review/discuss:

  • the timeline and process for applying to medical school
  • the documents required to obtain a Committee Letter
  • letters of recommendation

A Committee Letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to represent your institution’s evaluation of you. At Hamilton, the Committee Letter is a composite letter that includes your letters of recommendation (LOR's). Although not required for admission to medical school, medical schools prefer to receive a Committee Letter. In fact, they will become suspicious if an applicant doesn't submit such a letter when his/her school offers this service.

Identify Reference Writers and confirm their willingness to support your candidacy

As part of the medical school application process, you will need to solicit letters of recommendation (LORs). A list of your recommenders/reference writers is due as part of the Declaration of Intent by December 1, 2014 for those applying for admission to medical school for fall 2016. You will need to confirm writers' willingness to support you before submitting the Declaration of Intent on December 1st.

Serving as an outside endorsement of your candidacy, a LOR is a letter in which the author will assess your qualities, characteristics, and capabilities as they pertain to medical school. Ideally, a LOR will demonstrate to the admissions committees that you possess the traits and core competencies that they look for in a future physician. Don't underestimate the importance of a strong letter of recommendation. A comprehensive letter from a solid source who knows you well can speak volumes about your integrity and the quality of your work. For tips on soliciting letters of recommendation, you can visit our Letters of Recommendation Page.

Submit Declaration of Intent

The Declaration of Intent survey notifies Leslie Bell (and the Health Professions Advisory Committee) of your intent to apply to medical school for the fall of 2016. Complete this survey no later than December 1st, 2014. It requires you to provide basic identifying information as well as a list of your reference writers and their contact information. In December, Leslie Bell will contact reference writers to request their letters of recommendation by February 1st. If you wish to have a reference letter written later than February 1st (in order to give the writer more time to get to know you and your work/performance), use the optional box on the form to include any special instructions relative to your letters of recommendation.

Submit Release of Information/Confidentiality Waiver

Download and complete the Release of Information/Confidentiality Waiver form. Submit it by December 1st within the Declaration of Intent survey (you will be prompted to upload the waiver at the bottom of the Declaration of Intent). It allows Leslie Bell and the Health Professions Advisory Committee to contact the Dean’s Office in order to determine if there are any sanctions that have been brought against you during your time at Hamilton as well as waives your right to view any letters written on your behalf. While you legally have the right to view any letters written on your behalf, it is best to waive this right for several reasons. Medical schools are wary of applicants who feel they need to see their LORs. Failure to waive this right creates the impression that your LORs may not be candid assessments of your candidacy and that you may have "censored" your letters by including only those that paint a very positive picture of you. Admissions committees want to have assurance that they are receiving a complete, unedited picture of you from those who wrote your LORs, so it is best to remove any appearance of you having a hand in what they say. From the medical schools' perspective, therefore, it is preferable that you have a closed file and that your letters be confidential.

Request transcript be sent to Leslie Bell

Ultimately, you will be responsible for submitting all transcripts in your application to medical school. In addition, you are required to request - by January 23rd, 2015 - that the Registrar send a copy of your Hamilton transcript to Leslie Bell for use by the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) to evaluate your candidacy. 

Process for submitting a transcript request:
  • Download the Transcript Request Form from the Registrar web site
  • Complete and sign the form - a written signature is required by the Registrar for the release of transcripts.
  • Designate that it should be mailed to Leslie Bell.
  • Send form to Registrar (deliver in person, scan and send as an email, or print and fax to Registrar).
  • Allow one week for the registrar to run your transcript and send it through campus mail to Leslie Bell.

Call Career Center to schedule an Interview for a Committee Letter

Call the Career Center at 859-4346 by January 30th to schedule an Interview for a Committee Letter between February 1st and April 10th. The Interview consists of a discussion between you and Leslie Bell, allowing her to get to know you as well as the experiences, passions, academics and extracurricular activities outlined in your Self-Assessment and Resume (due by February 1st). This information will be used to write a comprehensive Committee Letter that will be sent along with your Letters of Recommendation to the medical schools to which you are applying.

Fill out and submit Self-Assessment for Committee Letter

Download and complete the Self-Assessment form. In mid-January, you will be sent an email with a personal link to upload your completed Self-Assessment form and Additional documents by February 1st, 2015. It will be used in combination with the interview to draft your Committee Letter. Please remember to save the “Self-Assessment” document to your “My Documents” folder as LastName_FirstName.pdf before entering any text, as the information you enter into the fillable PDF will be lost if the document is not saved before you start working on it.

Submit Additional Documents (Personal Statement & Resume)

In mid-January, you will be sent an email with a personal link to upload your Self-Assessment, Resume, and Personal Statement - all due by February 1st, 2015. They will be used in combination with the interview to draft your Committee Letter. To have your resume reviewed (optional), please call the Career Center at 859-4346 in order to schedule an appointment with a Peer Advisor by December 12th or between January 20th and January 30th.

A personal statement is required as part of your application to medical school. Drafting it by February 1st will ensure that this part of your application is in its final form when it is time to upload as part of your application (starting in May 2015). The medical school application essay is limited to 5300 characters and the essay for osteopathic schools is limited to 4800 characters. More information on writing a personal statement is forthcoming.

Contact any reference writers who have not submitted letters of recommendation

Leslie Bell will contact you during the week of February 2nd to let you know of any letters not yet received. It will be your responsibility to contact your reference writers. Often a phone call is the best way to touch base with your writer regarding the status of your letter.

Complete Interview for Committee Letter

The interview consists of a discussion between you and Leslie Bell, allowing her to get to know you as well as the experiences, passions, academics and extracurricular activities outlined in your “Self-Assessment” and “Resume” (due by February 1st). This information will be used to write a comprehensive Committee Letter that will be sent along with your Letters of Recommendation through AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) to the medical schools to which you are applying.

Optional: Schedule a review of Personal Statement

A personal statement is required as part of your application to medical school. Drafting it by February 1st and having it reviewed between February 1st and April 10th will ensure that this part of your application is in its final form when it is time to  upload as part of your application (as early as May 2015).

Prepare to complete the AMCAS Application


What is AMCAS and how does it work? 
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), run by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), is a web-based, centralized application service that was developed to simplify and standardize the process of applying to U.S. allopathic (M.D.) medical schools. This means you only need to submit one set of application materials, no matter how many medical schools to which you apply. Once you submit the required information, AMCA will collect, verify, and process your applicant data and transmit it to the schools you designate. Individual medical schools are then free to review your appllication and send you any secondary or supplemental applications that they may require.
Note: In Texas, medical schools have their own separate application service.
 
How to Prepare for the AMCAS Application
  • Watch the Application Overview Prezi on the AMCAS website, including important dates, information on coursework and transcripts, and letters of evaluation.
  • Become aware of Hamilton-specific AMCAS Instructions & Tips before AMCAS becomes available.
  • Check out the AMCAS site to familiarize yourself with other helpful application resources such as:
    1. The key steps in starting an application.
    2. The AMCAS Instruction Manual
    3. An application worksheet that previews the application content
    4. An application timeline/checklist (Note: It is to your advantage to apply as early as possible)
    5. Important FAQs

Complete & Submit AMCAS Application
 

When AMCAS first becomes available (May 1st): 
  • Complete the "Identifying Information" and "Schools Attended" sections first in order to generate a Transcript Request Form. Submit this form as soon as possible to the Registrar offices of the post-secondary schools you have attended, so there is no delay in AMCAS receiving your transcripts.
  • Remind yourself of Hamilton-specific AMCAS Instructions & Tips.

Submit Secondary Applications as early as possible

Most medical schools will send you their own secondary/ supplemental application after receiving your AMCAS application. While some medical schools send applicants secondary/supplemental applications after reviewing their AMCAS application, most send it to every applicant. These applications vary in length and what they ask you to do. Some simply require some additional personal information; others require you to respond to one or more essay prompts. It is important to submit these to the medical schools as soon as possible after receiving them.

Prepare for Interviews

Schedule an interview preparation appointment with Leslie Bell to be conducted in person or via Skype.

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