- Write an autobiography between November and January for alumni, and January/February for current students of the year you intend to apply to medical school. The autobiography is a guided questionnaire that will enable you to reflect on your career interests and experiences and will help you prepare for the application process essays and interviews. The autobiography is only read by Jennifer Barr unless you choose to share it with anyone else. [This guide will be posted by mid-September.]
- Schedule an autobiography meeting with Jennifer Barr before spring break of the year you intend to apply to medical school following submission of your resume, Autobiography, and Application Data Form. This meeting is an opportunity to have an advising session about your medical school application, and to discuss your strengths and assess any potential weaknesses in your qualifications.
- Request individual letters of recommendation using veCollect to be sent to the Health Professions Advising Office by February 15 if you are an alumna/us or by May 31 if you are a current student. Instructions will be posted in September.
The purpose of the Committee Letter is to present medical schools with a comprehensive summary of your academic, extracurricular, and professional accomplishments; your service experiences, and your motivation for and commitment to a career in medicine from the point of view of your faculty and supervisors.
Jennifer Barr will write the letter based on advice from members of the faculty on the Pre-Health Advisory Board, as well as information in your letters of recommendation, your autobiography, and your resume.
Note: On your secondary applications, you will answer “yes” to the question asking if you have a Committee Letter. You do not need to list any individual letters of recommendation.
Process for Obtaining a Committee Letter
Requesting Letters of Recommendation
One of the advantages of attending a small liberal arts college like Haverford is the opportunity to get to know and work closely with professors. Their letters will reflect your academic abilities, personal qualities, and long term goals. In addition to faculty, medical schools will also want to learn about your extracurricular, service, and work experiences from your supervisors.
When requesting letters of recommendation remember that the recommenders, especially professors, often have many other letters of recommendation to write as well as a large workload. Ask with plenty of advance notice and send them a reminder when the date is approaching.
We will be once again using veCollect for Recommendation Letters.
In total, you should ask for approximately four to six letters of recommendation to include with the committee letter:
- Two letters should be from science faculty.
- One letter from a professor from your major or minor if it is not science.
- Include letters from non-academic references such as work and community service supervisors, research mentors, medically-related volunteer or clinical employment supervisors, athletic team coaches, etc. from college and beyond.
- If you are applying to osteopathic medical school, request a letter from an osteopathic physician with whom you have shadowed.
- MD-PhD Applicants: If you are applying to MD-PhD programs, check with each MD-PhD program to determine their specific requirements for recommendation letters.
Letters from high schools are no longer valuable.
Waiving Your Rights
For individual letters of recommendation and the committee letter, you will have to decide whether or not to waive your rights to access each letter. If you waive your rights, you do not have access to your letters. Medical schools typically prefer that you waive your rights so your committee letter is confidential, however, you should make a decision that makes you comfortable. Feel free to speak to Jennifer Barr if you have any questions.