Health Professions

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Applying to Professional Schools

Letters of Recommendation

Nearly all schools require a letter from a science professor and a health professional in your field. Many osteopathic schools require a letter from a D.O., while also welcoming a letter from an M.D. Allopathic schools accept either, but it makes sense to have a letter from a professional in the specific field you wish to pursue.
It is in your best interest to waive your right to read the letters, as the professional schools will likely view the comments as more believable.

An article entitled You're Writing Your Own Letter of Recommendation that appeared in the magazine of the Psychology National Honor Society provides some excellent insights into this important aspect of your application.

The Two Main Types of Letters

  1. A Committee Letter consists of a comprehensive summary of your qualifications by the Health Professions Committee, using information you provide and input from faculty, health professionals, and others. It includes quotes from the individual supporting letters that are attached in their entirety. Please provide your recommenders with our Evaluator form.

    Indicate “Committee Letter” and NOT “Letter Packet” on the application. The latter consists of individual letters attached with a cover letter but no Committee summary. Also do not opt for electronic individual letters in a cooperative service in a field that accepts Committee letters (allopathic or osteopathic medicine, dentistry, optometry, and podiatric medicine).

    For Committee letters: List Dr. Amanda Siglin as the recommender. Her contact information is Juniata College, 1700 Moore St., Huntingdon, PA 16652; 814-641-3574 (phone);
  2. An Individual Letter is just that—a letter by a single person in support of your application. Schools and services will specify the categories of individuals that they require. Be sure that a Health Professions Committee member provides one of your individual letters, as only Committee members have access to your information on the Health Professions database, allowing them to provide a more comprehensive letter.
Committee letter vs individual letter? Cooperative services vary in which kind of letter is permitted to be uploaded to their database.

In general, Committee letters can be submitted with allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, podiatric medicine, and optometry. All other services prefer or require individual letters.

A Committee letter is preferable to an individual letter for the professions that accept them.

Logistics for Committee Letters

Request release of your Committee letter by emailing Susan LaVere ( and provide the following information:

Logistics for Individual Letters

For both Committee and Individual Letters, FOLLOW UP to be sure that your letters are received, as your application will not be considered until EVERYTHING is in!

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