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Committee Health Letter vs. On my Own???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DrMula, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. DrMula

    DrMula 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    So my university does pre-health interviews in May...and if you impress them enough they'll give you a committee letter.

    If I decide to apply on my own, and get 3-4 recommendation letters to replace that committee that such a big deal? Like will having a committee letter vs not having one make me/break me? I don't know...what you guys think?
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  3. QuinnTheEskimo


    Jan 9, 2014
    You should try to get the letter if you can.
  4. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    some med schools highly recommend that you get a committee letter if your school offers it. at these schools, it might even raise eyebrows if you don't pursue the committee letter, but i don't think it is a make-or-break thing.

    how fast is the turnaround on the committee letter? why don't you want to get it?
  5. DrMula

    DrMula 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Its just a pain in the butt dealing with them...they want you to finish everything (personal statements/resumes/letters of recommendation/AMCAS drafts) on their time. Its more of a convenience issue to be honest--I'd rather do these things on my own time and not be pressured by the committee.
  6. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    My committee required those things too, and while it was a pain to get those things done early, it was actually a good thing because it forces you to get all that stuff done instead of procrastinating. Remember that you want to submit as early as possible, and drafting your personal statement and filling out AMCAS takes a lot longer than most people think.
  7. Burla

    Burla 2+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2013
    Applying late due to my committee not meeting until the end of August destroyed my app this year because I have not heard back from the majority of my schools. If yours meets in May that's not a bad spot but if they make you late then don't use them. Huge regret here
  8. TheWeeIceMan

    TheWeeIceMan And like that... *poof*... he's gone. 7+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    Committee letters should just be done away with.
  9. csx

    csx 2+ Year Member

    May 8, 2013
    I've heard this before but in all honesty how would they know whether your school offers one or not?
  10. TheShaker

    TheShaker 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2012
    I think if your school sends many applicants per year then they'll know. If your school is like mine that sends 1-2 per year then they might just assume that you don't have a committee.
  11. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    We know.
    Narmerguy, BlueLabel and LizzyM like this.
  12. justAstudent

    justAstudent 5+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    Some secondaries actually ask why you didn't use a committee letter if your schools has one. You'd have a little explaining to do.
  13. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Did you have everything else in to your schools before the letters came out? That's the trick. We'll review and make an interview invite pending receipt of the letters but if you held everything until the letter was finished you are in a different situation.
    Any you did get at least one offer which puts you in a better position today than 60% of the applicants.
  14. DR MOM

    DR MOM 2+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Mayo Medical School
    I found the committee process to be incredibly helpful, and lots of committees will add the letters you received to the back of their letter, so it's not like you won't also have the letters from the people you have chosen. It is helpful to have someone go through all your letters and pull them into a cohesive narrative. They also set up practice interviews, which were incredibly helpful.

    Get everything to your committee as soon as possible so you are early in their queue and good luck!
    WashUDad and nemo123 like this.
  15. nemo123

    nemo123 5+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2011
    My committee wrote letters in the order in which they received all of our materials (LORs, PS, activities list) to them, so basically people who were on top of their stuff got their letters written first, while other people had to wait until early September to have their committee LOR submitted because their LOR writers were a little slow.

    Like DR MOM said, I liked the committee because of interview practice with them, and they gave good feedback on my PS and activities lists. What I also liked about them is that they put in a comprehensive review of your whole application (i.e. extenuating circumstances, life story, etc), which can't necessarily be done by your individual LOR writers.
  16. smarts1

    smarts1 7+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2010
    Wait so there are schools that will actually review an app without having received an applicant's committee letter?
  17. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Yes.... there are those that don't look so good and a committee letter will not help. And then there are those that are great and as long as there isn't anything horrible in the committee letter, an ii should be issued as soon as that letter arrives. Otherwise, we'd never get anything done in August.
  18. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Totally understandable, I actually ended up not getting one either for similar reasons (though I also had lost contact with school and didn't know the deadlines, etc). However, I think you should get their letter if possible. Some medical schools clearly prefer it & mention it in their secondaries. In fact, my lack of a committee letter was actually brought up at one of my interviews, and my interviewer mentioned that she actually called the head of my school's prehealth committee to find out why I had not gotten their letter since she knew the prehealth committee quite well. For most students, it's probably best to just bite the bullet and get the letter.

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