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Late committee letter

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by Datypicalpremed, May 21, 2014.

  1. Datypicalpremed

    Datypicalpremed Feed me Seymour! 2+ Year Member

    May 7, 2013
    Lurking on the forums...
    I recall in a previous post that for the previous application cycle, the earliest MD/PhD interview dates were in late August with the bulk being in October-November. But is late August when MD/PhD adcoms start reviewing complete applications?

    My school won't be sending out the committee letter until late August (Sept 1st being the latest date for a committee letter being sent out). Granted, they "may" send out the letters earlier like in mid-August (maybe if I keep bugging them about it...), but this is not guaranteed. I am a recent grad, so submitting without a committee letter could be a red flag and make secondaries slightly harder...

    So given this information, do you all think its better to submit individual committee letters and get the complete application in by late July/Early August or should I submit with a committee letter and get a complete application in up to a month later?

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  3. Thimble

    Thimble 7+ Year Member

    May 24, 2010
    My school also had a late committee letter system, and my application wasn't complete until the end of September (yes, I'm an idiot), and it took weeks to verify. I think the long verification queue is the biggest drawback to applying late. Luckily, you can submit the primary as soon as possible and add more letter later. As far as secondaries went, I applied as a recent grad very late in the cycle, and got a secondary from every single school I applied to, including the usual top-tier schools, so getting a secondary might not be an issue. However, some schools said they had rolling admissions, so that may play a role in acceptance rates with late applications. Either way, it sucks cramming in interviews into late winter/early spring, because there will be conflicts and fewer alternate dates. Basically this is a long-winded way of saying that submitting as soon as you feel comfortable, to get through the verification process as soon as possible, makes for less pain/worry later.

    Several schools did ask about committee letters, but they had a special essay section to explain the situation. Maybe a PD can chime in on if this is a good enough reason. (Fencer, Fencer, Fencer!)

    If you submit the primary in early June, you can even send an update saying, oh by the way, my school and such-and-such policy and here is my committee letter too.
  4. Reckoner

    Reckoner Lacks theology and geometry Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    @Fencer works better :)
  5. Fencer

    Fencer MD/PhD Director Physician PhD Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Every school admissions committee has a different way of looking at applications. In general, most schools hold back applications from full review/decisions until the LORs have been received. If you wait until it gets to AMCAS, you will be delayed considerably as they will be taking about 6 weeks by then. My advice is to submit earlier than mid-July. Submissions after September will take until mid-October or later to get to the screening of programs, which might ask you for secondaries (1-2 additional weeks), by then, the competition for interview slots is greater than earlier in the season.
  6. Datypicalpremed

    Datypicalpremed Feed me Seymour! 2+ Year Member

    May 7, 2013
    Lurking on the forums...
    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    From what I've been told, the committee letter is separate from the primary and secondary applications. So assuming adcoms know that a committee letter is coming (indicated on AMCAS), they still send secondaries after verification of the primary. After receiving the secondary, they will hold off on a full review until my LORs have arrived. Is this the general procedure, or has my pre-health advisor been wrong the entire time?

    My current plan is to submit my primary application ASAP (i.e. early June), wait 2-4 weeks for verification, hopefully receive secondaries shortly, and submit the secondaries in July. By then, its just a matter of waiting for my letter. Does this seem like a solid plan, or should I just submit my letters individually?

    Also, once committee letters are submitted, do they need to go through the long process of verification? I've heard people saying that just days after their letters were submitted, they received interview requests.

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