Question: I hear my friends talking about a committee letter that they have to get when they apply to medical school. Could you tell me what this is and why it’s important? Is it something I should be thinking about as a freshman?
Answer: The committee letter, also called a composite letter, is a two-page summary of your candidacy to health professions school. It is written by HPA advisers, and incorporates information from your individual letters of recommendation, your academic history, your co-curricular activities, and additional information that we ask for when you’re applying. Simply put, the committee letter is a reflection of what you have done and who you are as a future health professional. You can read more about the logistics of it on the HPA Committee Letter Process page of our website. As a first-year student, you should be thinking about all of the points we summarize in our Preparing for a Career in the Health Professions guide regarding suitability for a career in the health professions and planning your premed/pre-health program, including co-curricular and academic planning. It doesn’t hurt to come by the office and begin to build a relationship with your advisers, since the better we know you, the easier it is to write the committee letter in the future, and the more we can act as a sounding board as you make your academic and co-curricular choices.