A premedical committee letter is a summary letter that presents a comprehensive synopsis of your academic, extracurricular, and professional accomplishments, your service experiences, and your motivation and commitment to a career in medicine. Many medical schools require or prefer that applicants have a premedical committee letter from their undergraduate institution or postbaccalaureate program. The committee letter serves as a cohesive narrative of your background and experiences.
The prehealth advisor in collaboration with the Director of Health Professions Advising will write your premedical committee letter based upon information from your autobiography, meetings with the prehealth advisor, recommendation letters you request from faculty or other supervisors, and input from your dean and members of the science faculty. The premedical committee packet will include your premedical committee letter and copies of all of the recommendation letters that you request us to send to medical schools.
The Office of Health Professions Advising will provide a premedical committee letter for both undergraduates and alumnae who are applying to medical school and who meet the deadlines for the premedical committee letter process. There are no minimum GPA requirements or MCAT scores in order for you to receive a committee letter. Alumnae enrolled in premedical postbaccalaureate programs or biomedical sciences graduate programs should first consult their premedical program advisors to see if the program will provide a premedical committee letter.
1. Write an autobiography following the Autobiography Guidelines
The autobiography is a guided questionnaire that will enable you to reflect on and explain the experiences that have helped you to prepare for and choose a career in medicine. The autobiography is a document only for review by the prehealth advisor; it is not provided to anyone else on campus or to medical schools.
The autobiography is usually due during the first week of the spring semester of the year that you intend to apply to medical school.
2. Autobiography meeting with the prehealth advisor
Following submission of the autobiography you must schedule an autobiography meeting with the prehealth advisor. During this meeting you will be able to discuss your experiences and motivation for a career in medicinel as well as to consider your "readiness" for applying to medical school. This is an opportunity to explore your strengths and assess any potential weaknesses in your qualifications. In this meeting you will also discuss whom to ask for letters of recommendation to support your medical school application. The autobiography meeting must be completed before spring break of the application year.
3. Supporting letters of recommendation
One of the advantages of attending a small liberal arts college is the opportunity to get to know and work closely with professors. If you have developed a professional rapport with them, their letters will reflect knowledge of your personal qualities and long term goals as well as your academic abilities. In addition to faculty, medical schools will also want to learn about your extracurricular, service, and work experiences from your supervisors. Recommendation letters are due in the Office of Health Professions Advising by June 1 of the application year.
The following are guidelines for other letters of recommendation for you to include in the premedical committee packet
4. Required forms
All letters of recommendation must be accompanied by a Recommendation Request Form with signatures from both the applicant and the recommender (see instructions below). All applicants must turn in a signed Recommenders List to the Office of Health Professions Advising by June 1 of the year that they are applying. The Recommenders List also serves as the waiver form for retaining or waiving the applicant's right to see the premedical committee letter.
It is recommended that you meet with letter writers in person to request a recommendation letter. You can send email to recommenders to ask for a letter and to request a meeting about writing a recommendation.
For individual letters of recommendation and the premedical committee letter, you will have to decide whether to waive your rights to access the letter of recommendation. If you do not waive your rights, you may have access to read the letters in your file. If you waive your rights, you do not have access to your letters, nor can Health Professions Advising staff share with you the content of the letters in your file. Medical schools typically prefer confidential letters of recommendation; however, you should make a decision that makes you comfortable. Feel free to speak to the prehealth advisor if you have any questions.