WESLEYAN HEALTH PROFESSIONS PANEL & COMMITTEE LETTERS

The Gordon Career Center provides counseling and organizational assistance to current Wesleyan students and alumni who are applying to medical and other health-related graduate schools, in fields such as public health, optometry, podiatry, nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Current students and alumni applying to medical, dental, or veterinary school who are within five years of graduation may also request a committee letter of recommendation from the Wesleyan Health Professions Panel. Initial inquiry should be made eighteen months prior to intended date of matriculation. You will need to meet with the Health Professions Advisor if you have questions about the medical school application process and specifically about the committee letter timeline, and meet with the Credential Service Coordinator to register with our Credential Service if you have not already done so. 

The Wesleyan Health Professions Panel (HPP) is comprised of faculty and administrative staff. The purpose of the HPP is to prepare composite letters for Wesleyan applicants to medical, dental, and veterinary medicine schools. The committee letter describes the candidate's academic performance, relevant experience and personal characteristics in a concise format. The letter also includes quotes from your individual letters of recommendation. Current students and alumni within five years of graduation may request the preparation of a committee letter. Although the HPP will not refuse a request for a letter, the panel may choose to register reservations about an applicant's candidacy.

When requesting a committee letter of recommendation, the applicant completes a Letter of Clearance Form, which provides the Health Professions Panel with a Letter of Academic and Disciplinary Clearance from the Office of Student Affairs. If you have any record of disciplinary sanctions at Wesleyan, you will receive a copy of this letter describing in detail the violation (e.g. intoxication, disturbance of the peace, etc.). For complete transparence, a brief description of the violation is included at the end of the committee letter. 

RETAINING OR WAIVING YOUR RIGHTS TO ACCESS LETTERS 

At the time that you file the form requesting a panel letter, and with each request you make for individual letters of recommendation, you will be asked to state whether you are retaining or waiving your right to see these documents. Medical schools indicate consistently that they prefer confidential letters to which you have waived your right of access. There may be other considerations, however, that lead you to retain your right of access. If you wish to receive a committee letter, you will be expected to waive your rights to see your individual letters of recommendation given that the committee letter is confidential. 

OVERVIEW OF THE COMMITTEE LETTER REQUEST TIMELINE

To review the entire set of instructions and obtain an overview of the request for the committee letter of recommendation on behalf of the Wesleyan Health Professions Panel and see the timeline for all applicants--alumni and undergrads--to Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Medicine Programs, see the Instructions and Overview Handout

THE REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR A COMMITTEE LETTER REQUEST

  • All Official Transcripts (including Wesleyan)
  • Your HP Panel Committee Letter Resume (typed)
  • Your Activities/Experiences/Extracurricular Details Worksheet (typed) PDF | Word
  • Your Personal Statement
  • Completed Request for Preparation of a Committee Letter Form PDF | Word
  • Signature Page for the Instructions and Overview of the Request for the Committee Letter PDF | Word
  • Completed Letter of Clearance Form PDF | Word
  • Completed Document Transmittal Form PDF | Word
  • veCollect Wesleyan Account Request Form PDF | Word
  • Request for an Official Wesleyan Transcript Form PDF | Word
  • For each individual letter of recommendation you must submit a "Request for Individual Letters of Recommendation Form." PDF | Word
    This form includes Letter Writing Guidelines which you may send to your letter writers

THE PERSONAL STATEMENT 

Your personal statement provides your interviewer and other panel members with an idea of why you are pursuing a career in medicine. This may be the first time you will sit down and write about your interest and qualifications. The statement for the committee letter should be between two and three pages in length. You may end up using portions of your personal statement in the "Personal Comments" section of the common application for medical school (AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, VMCAS), which you should file in early June (or July - September depending on the application). Some topics you may want to cover are:

  • Why are you interested in medicine? What contributions do you want to make to medicine?
  • Describe or explain any circumstances that have affected your academic performance in college.
  • Identify any talents, skills, and special interests, activities or jobs that may enhance your candidacy for medical school.
  • Of your various activities, describe at least one that gave -- or gives -- you the greatest satisfaction and why.
  • How have these experiences influenced you?
  • How have you grown as a future health professional?
  • Is there any specific area of medicine that you are planning to pursue?
Every effort is made to have committee letters ready by mid-August and posted to your designated schools in a timely manner. The information sent upon your written and signed request to medical schools by the Gordon Career Center Credential Service at your request will contain the committee letter, your individual letters of recommendation, your committee letter resume, and some information about the prerequisite courses offered at Wesleyan in support of your application to a health professions program.

INDIVIDUAL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Health professions schools and programs want to see individual letters of recommendation from your professors (at least one in the sciences), employers, and others who have supervised you and can comment from first-hand observation on your performance. Ideally, those who write letters for you should know you well. You would do well to give them your resume and spend a bit of time speaking with them about your background and your aspirations for a career in medicine. The ideal number of recommendations varies from applicant to applicant. For some, three will suffice; others may want to solicit up to six letters. If you are unsure about whom to ask for a recommendation, or how many letters you should request, talk with the Health Professions Advisor about your situation.

Give individuals you have asked to write on your behalf plenty of time to write your individual letters of recommendation. It may take a month or more to get your letter written. One letter must be from a Wesleyan University staff or faculty member and it is advisable to have at least one letter from a faculty member in the sciences.

The Gordon Career Center operates Wesleyan's Credential Service that, for a nominal fee, will provide you with access to veCollect and will upload your letters to the centralized application portals via virtual Evaluations. When you open a credential file with the Gordon Career Center, indicate that you are a health professions applicant. For more detailed information, including contact persons and hours of availability, see the Gordon Career Center's Credential Service webpage. This page also gives you the current year's deadlines for submitting required information for a Health Professions Committee Letter and the options associated with not meeting these deadlines.