Timetable for Health Professions Students
- Early in the orientation period health professions students should learn of the options available in terms of majors so that they, and their academic advisor, can plan accordingly. An information table during orientation week is available for this purpose.
- In fall semester they should attend at least one seminar sponsored by the Health Professions Advisory Committee related to their interest.
- In late winter term they should choose an adjunct advisor who is a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee if their assigned advisor is not a member. This is not meant to replace their original advisor, but to assure their planning is appropriate for a health professions undergraduate career.
- In the summer after the first year students should begin exploring the professions of interest to them through shadowing or work in a clinical setting. This does not have to be full time; the student may be doing research as a job, but volunteering in an Emergency Room on the weekends, for example. Students should also begin to research the specific programs and schools of interest to them to make sure that they understand what prerequisite courses are required for entry into those programs or are needed to perform well on the standardized entry exams (MCAT, DAT, etc.).
- Students should consider participating in the Pre-Health Club and Pre-Dental Club activities; most of which are open to everyone. Attend at least one seminar sponsored by the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) related to your interest in fall semester.
- Spend some time with a doctor, dentist, PA, PT, etc., this summer to help focus your interests and gain exposure to the field.
- Pay particular attention to HPAC activities relating to applications, the interview process, and your particular health profession. Read your email and Campus Notices on a regular basis for announcements about seminars, registering for the MCAT, application opening dates, and other relevant items.
- Attend a mandatory planning meeting usually held on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday holiday in early January.
- The MCAT is given on computer throughout the year. We recommend that students prepare to take the test in April or May of the junior year. Registration for the test is done online in the fall. The MCAT is also offered in the summer but should be delayed only if you are planning to take a year off after graduation. The DAT is offered on computer and should be taken before July 1 following your junior year. The GRE should be taken in August prior to the senior year.
- Information sheets must be filed with Ms. Carr in April in order that Washington and Lee evaluations may be completed over the summer months. (See The HPAC Evaluation) Failure to do so may delay the application process.
- AMCAS and AACOMAS application are available online by May 1 and must be completed and submitted after June 1. The "personal statement" section of this application is usually the most time consuming. Assistance with this is allowed. Students are encouraged to prepare at least one draft and have it read and evaluated by a health professions advisor prior to leaving school for the summer. AADSAS applications are online in mid-May and should be completed no later than July 1. VMCAS applications are available online after in mid-May, and should be completed promptly. Applications for other health professions programs (pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, optometry, nursing) open between May and July and should be completed and submitted before mid-August.
- During mid- to late summer or early fall of the senior year, students will receive a secondary application form by email from those schools who are interested in continuing the application process. These should be completed and returned as soon as possible. Failure to return them in time may result in your credentials being discarded. Evaluation letters are sent in early July, once the student has applied and a test score has been reported.
- Medical school and dental school interview invitations typically come during the first semester; dental school interviews from October to February; veterinary school interviews, second semester. You should not go into an interview cold: i.e., without a sense of what to expect. The best preparation comes from participation in a mock interview, with one of the health professions advisors.
- Many schools use "rolling admissions" procedures where there is no specific acceptance date, but candidates are evaluated as their credentials become complete. You may thus expect to hear sometime between October and June (and on occasion, later) regarding acceptance, depending on the school and your candidacy.
- At the end of each academic term, forward grades to schools where your file is still active.
- If you are placed on a wait list for a school you wish to attend, you should see Dr. Alty for suggestions on how to keep your file current and looked at regularly by the school.
- AMCAS - American Medical College Application Service, for allopathic medical schools, may submit in June
- AACOMAS - American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service, for osteopathic medical schools, may submit in June
- TMDSAS - Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service, for Texas medical, osteopathic, dental, and veterinary medical schools, available on May 1 online
- AADSAS - Association of American Dental Schools Application Service, for dental schools; may submit in early June
- VMCAS - Veterinary Medical College Application Service, for veterinary medical schools; opens mid-May, submit before mid-September
- PTCAS - Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service, for physical therapy schools, opens early July
- CASPA - Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants, opens in late April
- PharmCAS - Pharmacy Centralized Application Service, for pharmacy schools, opens mid-July
Applications must be filled out very carefully and completely. This is the student's opportunity to show attention to detail, humanity, interest in and understanding of the career, intelligence, creativity, as well as those characteristics exemplified by that particular health professional practitioner.