Letter packet until Committee Letter comes in?

Cheezin

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2018
132
111
116
  1. Pre-Medical
You may want to request your individual letter writers upload to AMCAS themselves. This would allow you to have some letters and you can apply normally -- I believe most schools understand the difficulty in obtaining a committee letter. A downside would be that you would not have any feedback as to if the letters are actually good, because committees remove any letters that would hurt you.
 

stormcloakdoctor

Full Member
Mar 19, 2020
161
299
66
  1. Pre-Medical
You may want to request your individual letter writers upload to AMCAS themselves. This would allow you to have some letters and you can apply normally -- I believe most schools understand the difficulty in obtaining a committee letter. A downside would be that you would not have any feedback as to if the letters are actually good, because committees remove any letters that would hurt you.

The office can still upload the letters they have on my file as a letter packet (5). I am wondering if it would be disadvantageous to use this letter packet before the committee letter comes in. That is, admissions committees may review my completed application before I get a chance to submit the committee letter.

I can also submit the secondaries with no letters, then upload the committee letter in August, and be considered 'complete' in August.
 
About the Ads

Moko

Full Member
Staff member
Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2015
1,990
8,639
276
DOGE College of Medicine
  1. Attending Physician
So, just to clarify:

I SHOULDN'T send my letter packet to schools, until my committee letter comes in?

Thanks for your input.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That is correct
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Moko

Full Member
Staff member
Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2015
1,990
8,639
276
DOGE College of Medicine
  1. Attending Physician
Due to the extreme incompetence of my prehealth office, with both communication and scheduling, it looks like I won't be able to schedule a committee interview until late July, to receive it early August. ... Thank you. It kind of sucks because this whole ordeal wasn't really my fault. I was waiting on a letter from an ER doc who was dealing with the pandemic, so I didn't want to rush him... missed my opportunity at scheduling the interview without a score. MCAT was cancelled twice and still no sympathy from my pre-health office.
Some words of advice: life isn't fair and pity parties do not reflect well on an individual. This is an unprecedented time and your pre-health committee attempted to accommodate those adversely affected by this crisis. It is okay to feel disappointed, but do realize that you will be relying on them to help achieve your goal. Go into your interview with this 'you screwed me' attitude, and your committee letter will suffer for it. Just my thoughts.
 
  • Love
Reactions: 1 user

stormcloakdoctor

Full Member
Mar 19, 2020
161
299
66
  1. Pre-Medical
Some words of advice: life isn't fair and pity parties do not reflect well on an individual. This is an unprecedented time and your pre-health committee attempted to accommodate those adversely affected by this crisis. It is okay to feel disappointed, but do realize that you will be relying on them to help achieve your goal. Go into your interview with this 'you screwed me' attitude, and your committee letter will suffer for it. Just my thoughts.

I'm well aware, you make a very valid point and I wouldn't dare to walk in there with any inclination of that attitude. Life indeed isn't fair and that's why I didn't complain to them/make a big deal when they informed me of their sudden policy change.

I know that we have to take these kinds of things straight as future/current medical professionals, but in that same light, I don't think it proper to offer some students fruitful treatment and not others who are going through the same circumstances. I maintain that I was dealt a bad hand, but it is what it is, and the only thing I can do is push forward now.

Thank you again for your help.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,820
40,385
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Thank you. It kind of sucks because this whole ordeal wasn't really my fault. I was waiting on a letter from an ER doc who was dealing with the pandemic, so I didn't want to rush him... missed my opportunity at scheduling the interview without a score. MCAT was cancelled twice and still no sympathy from my pre-health office.
It may not be your fault but it is wholly your responsibilty to see that committee letter makes it to medical school, and you have to solve the challenges to make that happen. None of the conditions of the patients you may see if you become a physician will ever be your fault but they will always be your responsibilty
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,820
40,385
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Due to the extreme incompetence of my prehealth office, with both communication and scheduling, it looks like I won't be able to schedule a committee interview until late July, to receive it early August.

One of the requirements for a committee interview is an MCAT score. They made a temporary "exception" for students who's MCATs were canceled as long as they had all their letters in, for about a month. Well, I didn't have all my letters in until last week, and now that they're backed up until late July, they're requiring MCAT scores again. I have been inquiring about this committee letter since March.

As I'm testing 6/20, I won't get my scores back till 7/3, at which point I can likely schedule for August. At this point, I would like to ask a few things:
1. I planned to submit my secondaries as soon as I received them, but should I hold off on submitting them now until I get the committee letter?
2. The office can upload my letter packet. Should I complete secondaries with the letter packet? What if I am reviewed before the committee letter can come in, and they never see it?
3. When is it considered "early" and "on time" for an application to be complete this year, given the extraordinary circumstances?

Thank you
Rule One: Take a Breath.
1) Traditionally, Committee letters do not get sent until after the beginning of the Fall term. Medical schools know this and will wait if you noted that you have listed a committee letter as your LOR (ie assign to school)
2) If you want the committee letter to be seen, then there is no point in getting a letter packet sent.
3) Applicants have taken the "being early" to a OCD-myth level nearing "If I dont have all my stuff in by August I am dead". This is nonsense, especially in the cycle which will go slower and longer than most simply on mechanics
4) Speaking of Mechanics, applicants seem to have no grasp of how long and slow a normal cycle will go. Schools will get roughly 5,0000 applications but at most can process 500 a week when the are up to full strength and that doesnt happen until at least mid-August, more likely September. So it can take 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) to screen, evaluate and review an application for II.
5) As @LizzyM states for highly competitive/prestigious schools, being in by first week of September would be early. I would say this cycle it is more likely mid-to-late Sept. Even then, it doesnt greatly affect your chances if you are a solid candidate
6) All the early does for you is make sure that you are in the pile to be reviewed. The ROT cut off for that was Thanksgiving, but I would guess this year it is more like Christmas.
7) Interviews invites and actual interviews will go on well into the new year.


********AMCAS 2021 Timeline Summary (post count #022)***********

Because of COVID-19 and the very dynamic changes this will bring throughout society for the this year (and likely for the next 2-3 years if pandemics of the 20th century would indicate), questions will come up again and again about online prereqs, P/F courses, MCAT prep and testing, volunteering, shadowing, Physician LOR, lab requirements, virtual interviews, etc. However, there is no definitive answer as no one knows which schools will act in which ways, nor how the upcoming cycle will happen. However, as medical schools are on the front lines of this both in treating patients as well as setting appropriate behavior for community public health, it would seems reasonable that most medical schools will take into consideration over the next few years at least. In this time of crisis, we all must learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future.
-Applicants should be filling out the AMCAS 2021.
-AMCAS provides dozens of “How to” tutorial and videos, most of which are linked in my signature. Applicants should download the free 2021 AMCAS Applicant Guide when available. It should be considered the study guide on how to fill out AMCAS.
-Applicants should have the MSAR, which should be considered the text book for the application process
-Applying to medical school is a full time job from May until through September and then on call for the rest of the cycle. There is no general rule across schools when they may evaluate and review your application, possibly invite you for an interview, when the interview may be, when a decision may be reached, or when you may get off a WL. For some of you, the cycle will run until August 2021.
-AMCAS May 4, 2020, Primary application opens up. Can send formal requests for transcripts from your schools and letter requests to your letter writers.
-AMCAS May 28, 2020, Completed primary applications with all ECs, PS, and course information can be submitted.
-You enter the verification queue (“time to verify”) only when both completed primary application and all transcripts have been received.
-AMCAS does not, repeat, does not verify LOR or MCAT score. Your primary application will be verified and transmitted regardless of LOR or MCAT score status
-AMCAS June 26, 2020 (delayed to due Corona/COVID-19), JULY 10 begins transmission verified applications (though some schools have secondaries sent to contact info upon submission to AMCAS)
-Verification peak is about August 1st and takes 20 days
-Most Primary Apps are transmitted early July thru early September, though this year it will likely move slower
-Secondaries timelines can vary widely as to when to they are sent out from almost immediately upon submissions to 3 months, though most are in the range 1-3 weeks after transmission.
-Letters via AMCAS are processed/transmitted separately from primary
-Letters can be added after primary has been submitted and transmitted and are mostly not needed until secondary reviews at the earliest.

-While applications are transmitted at end of June, July 10, most schools do not start any processing until at least mid-July at the earliest; even then, most dont get up to full speed until mid-August to early September.
-There are usually 3 main phases in processing application
----1) Initial Screening/Evaluation: A hybrid of automatic GPA/MCAT screen plus human for "quick review" of application. Used to for general priority and, in some cases, which team/subcommittee gets application. At some schools, preset criteria or informal policy can lead to II at this stage.
----2) Full Evaluation: This is where evaluator/reader/team/subcommittee will fully evaluate all sections of primary, secondary, and LOR and generally summarize in broad categories or point system. This essentially becomes your priority for adcom review and II. This function may be split up among several evaluators and may go to a team or subcommittee for II decision. Application are not typically evaluated until complete with Primary, Secondary, MCAT, and LOR
----3) Full adcom: this is where your fully evaluated application is reviewed and decided for interview invite After interview Adcom will vote on admission (acceptance or alternate WL)
-Application and candidate evaluations timeline varies widely by school may not done in a linear, chronological order. EDP, High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
-Most adcoms dont start meeting for review of evaluated applicants until at least mid-August, more likely September, though some reviews may be done earlier for groups mentioned above. Evaluation may start almost immediately at some schools.
-Schools receive 5,000-10,000 application but can only evaluate several hundred applications a week. Therefore, it can take anywhere from 4-16 weeks (1-4 months) or more to be evaluated, reviewed and invited for interview after your application is complete.
-Schools must reduce several thousand applications to several hundred interviews.
At least 80% of applicants at any individual school must be rejected pre-interview.
-There are about 900,000 individual applications across 150+ medical schools with about 150,000 interview slots maximum. That means on average of 16 submitted applications only 3 will get an II.
-Applicants should check each applicant portal daily until application is marked complete, under review, or similar. After that, you should check applicant portal 2 to 3 times as week as schools may invite you for interview solely by portal; some schools do not send email for interview invite.

-Medical Schools are deciding on Acceptance. All applicants start as “Unaccepted” or rejected. With 60% of applicants not getting a seat, all applicants must assume that may be reapplicants and start enhancing their record from the moment they submit AMCAS.
-Medical schools have no requirement to inform you of any decision other than an interview invite, an acceptance, or alternate/WL position. Some schools will never send out any rejection or other notice on your application as all start as “rejected”.
-Timing of early, on time or late refers to any impact that “lateness” may have on your chances. Being early or on time does not improve your chances but rather it means that timing will not be a factor in lowering your chances.
-Submitting Primary Application June is Early, July Medium, August Late
-Having Primary verified and transmitted to school by middle of August is normal speed
-Having Secondary and all LORs complete to school by Labor Day Mid-to-Late September (due to Corona/COVID-19) is likely early for all applicants at all schools, even highly competitive programs.
-Late September to Early October is about on time for solid candidates at most programs
-End of October is about late for almost all programs
-After that point you will generally start getting impacted by the number of applications submitted and the finite number of essentially rolling interview slots. Seats given by rolling admissions is not a big factor in this. These aren’t absolute dates nor is it a fixed timeline. It should be used as a guideline
-Medical schools focus on evaluation and pre-II review up until approximately Thanksgiving. At that time they need to start transitioning to post-interview acceptance decision. However, with the increasing number of applications per school, some fraction of interview invites will continue into the new year.
-Timing matters to getting your application in. Once you are in and evaluated, timing has little impact on your chances. It is a myth that schools fill all the seats early and then just have alternate slots.
-When you get invited for an interview is a better indicator of your interest of the school rather than when the actual interview is. Stronger candidates typically invited earlier.
-Medical schools cannot inform regular MD candidates of admission (acceptance or alternate) prior to Oct 15th. However, medical school can inform applicants of any other decision, such as rejection or hold, at any time from initial primary submission until past end of cycle. Do note that the only formal vote an admission committee need to make is for admission (acceptance or alternate/WL) and that is the only decision they must inform you about. A large fraction of applicants will never get a formal rejection; they will simply never get II or acceptance.

Getting primary in on time does matter because of all the other items that follow it. But applicants often see the beginning and not understanding how it flows from there. Additionally, how each school then opens a file, reviews them on GPA, MCAT, and other factors, and what order they wind up in a queue has less to do with when the primary arrives then when the secondary is completed and received. Since the majority of schools, I dare say, send out pre-transmission, unscreened, or minimal cut off screened secondaries, this is probably a larger factor in where you wind up in the queue for 1) reading an application and 2) decision on interview invite. As I have said previously, and will undoubtedly say dozens of time during this 2021 application cycle (see count above) review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, feeder schools, associated UG programs, linked postbaccs, and other factor may push an app forward in the process.
 

stormcloakdoctor

Full Member
Mar 19, 2020
161
299
66
  1. Pre-Medical
Rule One: Take a Breath.
1) Traditionally, Committee letters do not get sent until after the beginning of the Fall term. Medical schools know this and will wait if you noted that you have listed a committee letter as your LOR (ie assign to school)

Thank you for the wake up call! I really appreciate your reply.

I was wondering- should I not designate the potential committee letter to schools, given that there's no guarantee the committee will write it for me? They have been known to deny people post-interview.

Or do I need to have something "future" designated, so schools know to wait?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,820
40,385
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Thank you for the wake up call! I really appreciate your reply.

I was wondering- should I not designate the potential committee letter to schools, given that there's no guarantee the committee will write it for me? They have been known to deny people post-interview.

Or do I need to have something "future" designated, so schools know to wait?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Since I do not know the general reputation / impact of your premed committee, the impact it may have on specific medical schools, or the likelyhood they will deny or write you less than a strong letter, it is hard to give my opinion. If you go to a well-known premed powerhouse it can be a higher risk not having a committee letter.

However, not letter is better than a bad or weak letter. If you have good letters in the packet, then I would go solely with that
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

stormcloakdoctor

Full Member
Mar 19, 2020
161
299
66
  1. Pre-Medical
Since I do not know the general reputation / impact of your premed committee, the impact it may have on specific medical schools, or the likelyhood they will deny or write you less than a strong letter, it is hard to give my opinion. If you go to a well-known premed powerhouse it can be a higher risk not having a committee letter.

However, not letter is better than a bad or weak letter. If you have good letters in the packet, then I would go solely with that

Right. Our school's committee tells us if they don't like us, so there's no risk at a potentially weak letter.

I am wondering if I should designate the 'letter packet' to schools, have them wait for it since my application would still be 'incomplete', then upload the committee letter IF I receive it. This way, there is no risk of having to mark "I am no longer receiving this letter" if the committee turns me down.

Am I trying to play with AMCAS too much?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,820
40,385
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
Right. Our school's committee tells us if they don't like us, so there's no risk at a potentially weak letter.

I am wondering if I should designate the 'letter packet' to schools, have them wait for it since my application would still be 'incomplete', then upload the committee letter IF I receive it. This way, there is no risk of having to mark "I am no longer receiving this letter" if the committee turns me down.

Am I trying to play with AMCAS too much?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You dont have to designate any letter at all, and your application would still be incomplete. They wait for the committee letter or not. Will the committee give you BOTH a letter packet (now) and a committee letter (later)? If so, get the letter packet into AMCAS and wait to assign it. It only takes a day for the letter to go from AMCAS to schools. That way your backup is ready to go
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

stormcloakdoctor

Full Member
Mar 19, 2020
161
299
66
  1. Pre-Medical
You dont have to designate any letter at all, and your application would still be incomplete. They wait for the committee letter or not. Will the committee give you BOTH a letter packet (now) and a committee letter (later)? If so, get the letter packet into AMCAS and wait to assign it. It only takes a day for the letter to go from AMCAS to schools. That way your backup is ready to go

Yes, the committee gives both a letter packet now and a committee letter later. I'll get that into AMCAS without designating it. I won't designate any letters until I have final word on the committee letter in August.

Thank you so much for your help!

And sorry for my neuroticism.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

stormcloakdoctor

Full Member
Mar 19, 2020
161
299
66
  1. Pre-Medical
You dont have to designate any letter at all, and your application would still be incomplete. They wait for the committee letter or not. Will the committee give you BOTH a letter packet (now) and a committee letter (later)? If so, get the letter packet into AMCAS and wait to assign it. It only takes a day for the letter to go from AMCAS to schools. That way your backup is ready to go

Hi, wanted to update to make sure I'm still doing this right.

My committee interview is scheduled for August 17th, and if they agree to write me one, I will get it into AMCAS a week later, on August 24th.

I have only applied to two schools so far since I am waiting on my second MCAT score to come back on the 18th. I have completed the secondaries for the two schools that I applied to.

Should I assign the letter packet to them, or wait till the 24th to just assign the committee letter?

Thank you
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.