Health Professions Committee
Cornell's Health Professions Committee (HPC) assists students who are applying to graduate programs in the health sciences. The committee should be utilized by all medical school applicants, and can be used by students applying to dental, veterinary, physician assistant, optometry, and physical therapy programs. HPC members review the student's resume, medical school application, including the personal statement, collegiate transcript(s), graduate admission test score(s), individual letters of recommendation, and the list of schools to which the student is applying. In addition, a committee letter of recommendation is authored and accompanies the student's application. Dimensions purchases a Virtual Evaluations record for student applicants. Virtual Evaluations is web-based system designed to transmit recommendation letters in a secure, confidential, and efficient manner, eliminating the need for students to send a set of recommendation letters to each school.
Please download the Health Professions Committee Guide to review the application process. For medical school applicants, the following materials must be submitted to the HPC (via Julie Barnes) by July 1. This deadline may be extended for Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Physician Assistant (PA) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) applicants, since the admissions deadlines for these programs fall later in the calendar year.
- Polished personal statement (You should have received editorial feedback on several drafts of the statement before providing it to the HPC.)
- Unofficial transcript from Cornell College
- Official transcripts from any other college where coursework has been completed
- Graduate admission test scores (e.g. MCAT, DAT, GRE)
- The graduate or professional school application (DO NOT SUBMIT your application before the committee has provided feedback on your application. Work offline and send a pdf version of the application to Dimensions as an email attachment.)
- Request for committee letter and waiver form (This form is contained within the downloadable HPC Guide)
- The student's unique applicant ID number(s)
- Full name of each school to which you are applying
- The name and contact information for a fourth member of your HPC*
- List of all individual letter of recommendation writers
- All letters of recommendation that will be submitted on your behalf. (These letters should be sent directly from the letter writer to Julie Barnes). Please alert your letter writers that their letter must be signed and on letterhead.
The Medical School Application Process
Primary Medical School Applications
Your primary application will go to one of two centralized application services in the United States. AMCAS is the service used by all allopathic (MD conferring)medical schools and AACOMAS is the service used by all osteopathic (D.O. conferring) medical schools. When applying, submit your application electronically via the AMCAS and/or AACOMAS websites.
Most schools require a secondary application in addition to the primary application. Once your primary application is received, schools that require a secondary application will contact you directly requesting a secondary application. Secondaries generally require that you respond to several additional essay questions that are generally more school- specific. There are additional processing fees associated with submission of secondary applications. These fees usually range from $35-$100 per school.
Your personal statement is your chance to shine; set yourself apart. It is essential that you demonstrate the personal qualities that will make you an excellent physician. Tell a story; do not revisit your resume. Make it informal and give the Admissions committee members a sense of who you are. Make sure that your statement is clearly written and grammatically correct. Have the Dimensions Coordinator, professors, friends, family, the Writing Studio staff, and Career Engagement Center staff read your statement. The Dimensions Resource Center also has books with examples of essays to assist you.
Letters of Recommendation
Request "stellar" letters of recommendation. What is a "stellar" letter? A letter from someone who can attest to your maturity, ability, character, and integrity. Letters from professors and advisors will carry more weight than letters from friends or employers unless the employer can directly address your potential as a physician. Begin your search for those individuals who will be willing to write those letters as soon as you decide you truly want to become a physician. Get to know them and make sure they know you, do not blindly send a request for recommendation to someone….let them know ahead of time so they can prepare and write a stellar letter for you!
When requesting a letter of recommendation, give the recommender the following: copies of your transcript, resume, and personal statement as well as a signed waiver form. Ask the recommender "Do you feel you know me well enough to write an excellent letter of recommendation?" Also make sure to thank the recommender and when you get into medical school, send them another thank you note updating them on your admission!