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Committee Letter and Role of HPAC


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. Although not required for admission to medical or dental school, it is considered an advantage in the application process. At Hamilton, the Committee Letter is a composite letter that includes:
  • a two-page narrative letter written by Leslie Bell with input from the Health Professions Advisory Committee; and
  • your letters of recommendation (LOR's)

The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) will prepare a Committee Letter for all students who apply to medical or dental school as long as they have taken at least four semesters of science at Hamilton and follow the suggested process. Medical and dental schools value a Committee Letter and they expect to receive one from Hamilton College. Candidates are not pre-screened and there is no minimum gpa required for consideration by the committee. Alumni of Hamilton College who decide to pursue medical or dental school after graduation may also get assistance from the Health Professions Advisor and, if they have completed half of the required science classes at Hamilton, they may also request a Committee Letter.

Role of HPAC:
The Health Professions Advisory Committee meets 5-6 times between March and July to evaluate roughly six candidates per meeting. In advance of each meeting, members of HPAC review candidate materials and, using a rating rubric, evaluate candidate’s readiness and suitability for medical/dental school and form a tentative rating. Criteria on the rating rubric for dental school include:

Academic achievement
Leadership
Service
Dental experience
Interpersonal competencies (depth and breadth of relationships, oral communication)
Research (not required)

At the meeting, the committee will briefly discuss each candidate, identifying highlights, key experiences, etc. and will vote how strongly to recommend the candidate as follows:

“Recommended with enthusiasm” (about 10-20% of candidates)
“Recommended with confidence” (about 70-80% of candidates)
“Recommended” (about 2% of candidates)
“Recommended with reservation” (seldom used); student will be advised to postpone application if this is the vote
“Not recommended” (seldom used); student will be advised to postpone application if this is the vote

Following the HPAC candidate review meeting, the health professions advisor, Leslie Bell, will draft a Committee Letter, a two-page executive summary of your experiences/strengths which is intended to paint a positive portrait of your personal characteristics that will distinguish you from other candidates with similar credentials. Two members of HPAC then provide editorial feedback before the letter is finalized and uploaded to the appropriate application service (AADSAS/TMDSAS).

Current HPAC members:
Timothy Kelly, Mathematics
Max Majireck, Chemistry
Brian Collett, Physics
Jeff Pliskin, Economics
Leslie Bell, Health Professions Advisor & Chair of Committee

Contact Information


Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising
315-859-4338 lbell@hamilton.edu
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