Middlebury college

Office of Health Professions

Health Professions Handbook Part II


Middlebury college office of health professions

2014-2015 Handbook Part II: Applicants for Health Professions Schools Who Wish to Matriculate in Fall 2016

Middlebury College Office of Health Professions

Adirondack House • Room 102

Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone 802.443.2455


Table of Contents


Instructions For Applying to Professional Schools

Function of the Health Professions Committee

Preparing to Apply to Professional Schools

Requesting Dossiers and Transcripts

Association of Health Professions Schools

Suggested Schedule for Professional School Applicants for Entry in 2016










Campus Interviews

Tips on the Professions Interview

Instructions for Completing the Biographical Report


Dossier Request Form

Non-AMCAS Schools

Scholarships, Funding For Health Professions Schools

Middlebury Health professions Handbook part II




Middlebury Health professions Handbook part II



his section is intended for students who will apply to medical, dental, or veterinary school as:

  1. juniors who wish to matriculate to professional school immediately following graduation; or,
  2. seniors who wish to matriculate to professional school the year following graduation or later.

Sophomores considering early admission may find much of the material in this guide useful, but a discussion with the Health Professions Advisor is advisable.

Applicants who wish to receive endorsement by the Health Professions Committee should initiate the internal review process during the fall by contacting the Administrative Coordinator after having attended the October 7thmeeting held to kick off the cycle, but certainly no later than October 15th.

This guide outlines procedures for arranging committee interviews, describes the process for applying to schools, and explains the procedures for requesting dossiers and transcripts.

Please read the information in this handbook closely. Most questions from students concerning application to health professions schools are addressed in this document. Also, please make note of deadlines by which information must be submitted and certain activities completed.

The Health Professions Advisor is available to share her knowledge and expertise concerning the admissions process. However, it is the responsibility of prospective applicants to conduct research necessary to make informed decisions concerning their future plans.

2014-2015 Health Professions Committee

Hannah Benz, MD, Health Professions & STEM Clinical Research Advisor
Jeff Byers, Philip B. Stewart & Sarah F. Cowles Stewart Prof. of Chemistry

Anaya Christman, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Florence Feiereisen, Assistant Professor of German
Erick Gong, Assistant Professor of Economics
Chong-suk Han, Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology
John Huddleston, Fletcher Professor of Studio Art
Mary Lothrop, Assistant Director, Internships & Career Services, STEM Advisor, co-chair
Tom Root , Professor of Biology
Roger Sandwick, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry


MaryLothrop, Assistant Director, CCI –

Hannah Benz, M.D., Health Professions & STEM Clinical & Research Advisor –

Nicole Veilleux, Administrative Coordinator –

2014-2015 Pre-Med Society Leadership
President–Michael Martini '14.5
Vice President & Treasurer–Sonia Rodrigues '15 / Health Professions Office Contact Information
Adirondack House 102

Instructions For Applying to Professional Schools

(Please refer to these instructions throughout the applicant period.)

Function of the Health Professions Committee

Most applicants for medical, dental, and veterinary schools from Middlebury College are evaluated by our Health Professions Committee. The function of this committee is to advise applicants on the application process; to screen applicants by careful appraisal of academic credentials, extracurricular experiences, and references; to prepare an appraisal of each applicant via a committee letter of recommendation; and to submit to the professional schools a dossier prepared on behalf of the applicant in support of his/her candidacy. Contents of the dossier prepared in support of the candidate are detailed below.

Applicants are encouraged to maintain communication with the Health Professions Advisor and to seek out answers to any questions they may have throughout the application period.

Preparing to Apply to Professional Schools

Research the field: The Health Professions Office has guides to medical, dental, veterinary, nursing, and international medical schools, as well as reference materials and information from many professional schools to which Middlebury students apply. This is a useful resource for anyone wishing to apply to a professional school in the health professions. It is also possible, of course, to research schools on the internet.

It is critical to apply to professional schools as early in the application cycleas schedules allow. Begin to make preparations to submit applications in the spring, about one and onehalf years before the targeted matriculation date. Applications to the central application service (for example, AMCAS, AADSAS, or VMCAS) should be made early in the summer, and applications to schools should be made by late summer or early fall (about one year in advance of matriculation). This is recommended because many professional schools use a rolling admissions process and begin making selections before the application deadline date. The closer to the deadline date an application arrives, the greater the competition for the remaining openings at schools with rolling admissions.

In preparing for application through the Middlebury Health Professions Committee, a number of steps must be taken:

  1. Entrance Exams:MCAT [Medical College Admissions Test]: The MCAT is now a computerized exam with 30-day scoring, given approximately thirty times over the course of 2015. It is best taken between spring and summer of the calendar year preceding the year of matriculation. APPLICATION is on-line:
  2. Commercial preparation courses are available for the MCAT:
  3. Kaplan offers live, interactive courses via the internet; courses are extracurricular and cost around $2,000. Kaplan offers some financial aid.
  4. Princeton Review has on-line instruction for $2,000. Their course runs for 15 hours, times and dates arranged per group. See
  5. “CLEaRS for MCAT” is an interactive on-line course in MCAT prep. It costs $599 for the complete course: a viable alternative to Kaplan. See
  6. Examkrackers provides preparation for standardized exams through books, audio CDs, DVDs, internet forums, and live classes [not in Vermont, though]. See their website:
  7. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers practice tests for the MCAT, which are available for $35 per test. See their website at
  8. DAT [Dental Admissions Test]: This exam can be taken online throughout the year. See
  9. GRE [Graduate Requirement Ecam]: Most veterinary schools require the GRE; some will accept scores from the GRE or MCAT; at least one veterinary school requires the MCAT. Check the requirements of each school of interest. The GRE can be taken on-line throughout the year. See
  10. Interfolio Account:We have entered into an institutional agreement with Interfolio as our electronic dossier and credential service for applicants to medical school: you will use their services at this point in the application cycle to have the bio report and recommendation letters submitted for HPC interviews, and later for medical school.
  11. To open your account and establish your credentials file, please go to: Using that link will automatically affiliate you with the Middlebury College Health Professions affiliation.
  12. Interfolio charges $19 to set up a 1-year account, and $6 to send out the typical dossier. They also have an unlimited plan, where for $40 a year you can send out as many as you wish (doing the math reveals that if you send out four or more dossiers, this is the way to go. Note: sending the dossier to AMCAS is just one sending, no matter how many schools AMCAS will send it to). You can pay online, using a credit card, or by check or money order. Attached is a more complete listing of Interfolio costs.
  13. Applicants who are approved for AAMC fee assistance, or who are otherwise unable to afford this service, should immediately inform me accordingly.
  14. Biographical Reports:
  15. Each candidate should complete a BIOGRAPHICAL REPORT (example on pages17-23), which will be sent as an e-mail attachment from the Health Professions Office in the fall of the year the candidate goes through the Health Professions Committee process.
  16. It should be submitted electronically to the Interfolio account during the fall as part of the internal review process. Details concerning all activities during the academic year, vacation periods, and summer experiences should be provided, including all jobs and volunteer efforts. Experiences prior to college should be included only if these are pertinent or significant.
  17. Applicants update their bio report on Interfolio after the committee review but before the dossier is released: usually in early summer of the year they apply.
  18. Committee Interviews:
  19. Our candidates are interviewed by selected members of the Health Professions Committee on a one to one basis. Each candidate will meet individually with three members of the committee. An effort is made to arrange interviews with faculty with whom the candidate has had little or no contact, to maximize the number of committee members who are familiar with each candidate. Committee interviews serve to introduce the candidate to the interview process that must be undertaken at professional schools. They are typically completed during Winter Term and early spring semester.
  20. When the health professions file is ready for the interview stage (bio report, photo, unofficial grade report, at least two letters of recommendation), the candidate is notified of his or her committee interviewers. To arrange a meeting with assigned members of the committee, students should contact each committee member directly. It is the student’s responsibility to know the status of the file, so he or she can work to complete any deficiencies: check with the Health Professions office coordinator often!
  21. Over the past couple of years, we have had several requests from our applicants for Skype interviews. For the most part, the requests have been quite legitimate; a recent grad not wanting to incur the expense and time away from work or school that a visit to Vermont entails, or a current student who is studying abroad. A Skype interview is particularly appealing when all three interviews cannot be scheduled during one return visit to campus. We do believe, however, that there is tremendous value in conducting a “face to face” interview. Much is gleaned from the body language, hand gestures, and affect that are lost when Skyping. If nothing else, in-person interviews are excellent preparation for medical school admission interviews. For this reason, we recommend that all interviews be “face to face”, allowing for the appropriate circumstance when Skype is a true necessity, rather than a preference. If you believe your situation warrants a virtual interview accommodation, please describe why performing a face to face interview would present a significant hardship and send your request to Nicole Veilleux at by November 21, 2014.
  22. Interview reports are included in the overall appraisal by the committee. Students are encouraged to meet with the advisor to receive feedback and recommendations that result from the committee evaluation. NOTE: The committee rating is noted on the committee letter: Superior, Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Not Recommended. Committee ratings are confidential
  23. References:Letters of recommendation are a vital part of the dossier. One should take great care in selecting individuals who are to serve as references: consultation with the Health Professions Advisor is recommended. Be sure to discuss overall academic work, non-academic activities, and professional goals with these individuals. It is best to furnish them with a résumé or bio report, the bio-report essay, and a current unofficial transcript. One should not hesitate to ask whether or not an individual is willing to give strong support (this does not mean that he/she should not discuss weaknesses as well as strengths).
  24. For purposes of the committee interviews, at least two letters are required to be submitted to Interfolio—one of which must be from a Middlebury faculty member, and at least one of which should address performance in the sciences. These letters will also be included in the final dossier sent to medical schools. Additional letters can arrive later in the year, but should be in an applicant’s Interfolio file before the Committee letter is written—by June of the intended application cycle. Note: we strongly advise that letters be submitted by the writers to Interfolio as a PDF on letterhead, dated, and signed by the recommender. Some med schools are requiring this now. Please specify this format when requesting a letter, before sending the document request from Interfolio.
  25. The final dossier should include a minimum of three letters, two of which should be written by faculty in the natural sciences; check each school for their requirements. We strongly recommend a four-letter maximum unless applying to an MD/PhD program; exceptions should be cleared through the Health Professions advisor.
  26. Faculty referees should be contacted as early as possible to avoid their very busy period at and near the end of each term. Each referee should indicate clearly that the candidate is being recommended for medical (or dental, or veterinary) school. Recommendations are considered very seriously by the professional schools.
  27. Recommenders need to know before they compose the letter whether or not it will be confidential. When candidates request each referee to write for them, their choice is indicated on a waiver on the form sent to them from Interfolio. Note: It is very rare for letters to be open (non-confidential)—it is thought that referees will write more candidly if they do not think the candidate will see the letter. Do consider carefully the impression that an “open” letter will make at the med school. Each letter is boldly marked if it is not confidential.
  28. List of Schools: Applicants to medical, dental, or veterinary schools should consider applying to all of the schools in their home state system, since preference is often given to in state residents. [Note: students applying to home-state medical schools should be aware that if they register to vote, register their cars, or get a driver’s license in Vermont, they may be jeopardizing their in-state status at certain medical schools.] Private in-state medical schools should also be considered. Candidates should develop a preliminary list of schools and review this list periodically, deleting and adding schools as necessary. The Health Professions Advisor is available to discuss the candidate’s selection of schools. Information regarding many professional schools is available in the Health Professions Office, as well. Visit schools of interest prior to submitting the primary school application, if possible. It is also recommended that each candidate purchase a copy of the latest edition of one of the following publications to assist in preparing a realistic list of schools:
  29. Medical School Admission Requirements [MSAR][American Association of Medical Colleges] –
  30. Admissions Requirements of US & Can. Dental Schools[American Dental Education Association] –
  31. Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements [VMSAR][Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)]Purdue University Press -
  32. AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS and VMCAS:Most professional schools require applicants to apply through a central application system: allopathic medical schools through AMCAS [American Medical College Admissions Service], osteopathic schools through AACOMAS [American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service], dental schools through AADSAS [American Association of Dental Schools Application Service], and veterinary schools through VMCAS [Veterinary Medical College Application Service].

Requesting Dossiers and Transcripts


There are two ways to apply to medical, dental and veterinary schools:

  1. Apply through a central application service, as described in (6) above. Schools using the application service may use the information obtained to make first-cut selections. They may reject the applicant on this basis, or they may invite the applicant to complete the school’s own application, otherwise known as the secondary application.
  2. To apply through a central Application service:
  3. Complete and send the central application forms to the proper address:
  4. Allopathic:AMCAS -
  5. Osteopathic: AACOMAS -
  6. Dental:AADSAS -
  7. Veterinarian:VMCAS -
  8. For the essay section of the primary application, here are prompts for the most common fields:
  9. AMCAS American Medical College Application Service (MD)- Prompt: Use the Personal Comments essay as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Some questions you may want to consider while writing this essay are:
  10. Why have you selected the field of medicine?
  11. What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
  12. What do you want medical schools to know about you that hasn't been disclosed in another section of the application?
  13. In addition, you may wish to include information such as:Special hardships, challenges or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits. Commentary on significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained elsewhere in your application.
  14. Length: 5300 Characters (includes spaces)
  15. AACOMAS American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service - Prompt: No prompt. Just "Personal Statement goes here".
  16. Length: 4500 Characters (includes spaces)
  17. AADSAS Associated American Dental Schools Application Service - Prompt: The personal essay provides an opportunity for you to explain why you desire to pursue dental education. The Admissions Committee members who read your essay are looking for individuals who are motivated, academically prepared, articulate, socially conscious, and knowledgeable about the profession. Write about your experiences and any qualities that will make you stand out
  18. Length: 4500 characters (including spaces)
  19. VMCAS Veterinary Medical College Application Service - Prompt: Our personal statement should help the admission committee(s) learn something about you as a person, about the development of your interest in veterinary medicine, and about your career goals.
  20. Length: 5000 characters (including spaces)
  21. CASPA Central Application Service for Physician Assistants - Prompt: USING YOUR OWN WORDS, write a brief statement expressing your motivation or desire to become a physician assistant. You are encouraged to save your work often in the event that you are timed out of the system.
  22. Length: 5000 characters (NOT word) limit of 5,000.
  23. PTCAS Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service - Prompt: What personal characteristics and motivating factors have led you to pursue the profession of physical therapy?
  24. Length: 4500 characters (including spaces)
  25. PharmCAS Pharmacy College Application Service - Prompt: Your Personal Essay should address why you selected pharmacy as a career and how the Doctor of Pharmacy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals. The personal essay is an important part of your application for admission and provides you with an opportunity for you to clearly and effectively express your ideas.
  26. Length: 4500 characters (including spaces)
  27. AACPMAS The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Applications Service - Prompt: State below why you are interested in becoming a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Provide information about your development for a career in Podiatric Medicine
  28. Length: 4500 characters (including spaces)
  29. OptomCAS Optometry Centralized Application Service - Prompt: Please describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals.
  30. Length: 4500 characters (may also create different essays for different programs)
  31. OTCAS Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service - Prompt: Your personal essay should address why you selected OT as a career and how an Occupational Therapy degree relates to your immediate and long term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you to achieve your goals.
  32. Length: 4500 characters (including spaces)
  33. Length: 4500 characters (including spaces)
  34. Transcript Request: An applicant contacts the Registrar’s Office (for both enrolled students and alumni) to send an official transcript to the central application service and/or school to which he or she is applying.TRANSCRIPTS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE DOSSIER AND ARE NOT SENT OUT BY THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS OFFICE. Transcripts must be requested in writing (a downloadable request form is available on the Registrar’s website). Requests must include the requestor’s name (plus name at time of attendance if different), current address, telephone number, SSN, dates attended or degree and date if received. Requests cannot be processed without a signature. Transcript requests are accepted in person Monday through Friday during regular office hours: they are processed in a timely fashion, but may take longer at the end of a term—and there is a three-week delay after each term end for posting of grades. Students and alumni may also mail requests to:

Registrar’s Office, Forest Hall