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Health Committee Letter

Most health professions schools require letters of recommendation as part of their application process. For students applying to medical, dental or veterinary school, the Career Center prepares a special recommendation letter, known as the Health Committee (HC) letter, for eligible individuals. 

Rochester’s Health Committee Letter

At the University of Rochester, the HC Letter is a confidential letter of recommendation (LOR) from the Career Center. It is considered an individual health committee letter which includes a cover letter describing the UR curriculum plus a letter evaluating the applicant. This is NOT a packet as it has been in years passed. For the 2019 application cycle, this will be considered a single Health Committee Letter. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ask for and collect additional LOR's from a variety of sources. Check with the schools to which you are applying to determine their specific requirements for their LOR's.  We will no longer collect and review these letters for the purpose of writing the Health Committee Letter. 

The committee letter is based on the applicant’s submitted Health Professions Questionnaire (HPQ), his or her interactions and interview with a Career Advisor, the individual letters of recommendation and the academic record. This letter will mention activities both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as an applicant’s motivation to pursue their intended field. The Health Committee Letter serves to bring context to the applicant’s background, describe his/her demonstration of (pre) medical school competencies, and give professional programs a holistic representation of the candidate.

In order to receive a Health Committee Letter, there are several requirements and deadlines students must meet. 

Health Committee Letter Timeline

1. Meet Eligibility Requirements: 

In order to be eligible for a health committee letter for the 2018 application cycle (for 2019 matriculation), you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current University of Rochester undergraduate student, or have graduated from the U of R in 2016 or after*.  Note: students who have completed, or are in the process of completing a post-baccalaureate program, graduate program, or significant coursework at another academic institution, are not eligible for a committee letter.
  • If you are requesting an update to a previous health committee letter request, and meet all other eligibility requirements, you are expected to complete all steps as described below. PLEASE NOTE:Students are only eligible for a maximum of one updated letter.
  • Be in good standing with the University, including matters related to academic performance, academic honesty and student conduct. Students must complete and upload to their HPQ:
  • There is NO minimum GPA requirement.
  • Apply to ONE of the following types of programs: Medical (M.D. and/or D.O), Dental or Vet.
  • Subscribe to Interfolio (, open a Dossier account and create a CONFIDENTIAL recommendation request. Caterina Caiazza should be listed as the recommendation writer, and the documentation request should be saved as a PDF and uploaded to your HPQ.

2. Fill Out Health Professions Questionnaire

The Health Professions Questionnaire is an online form that prepares students for their professional school applications. In addition to it providing guided self-reflection, it is also one of the requirements for students to complete as part of their Health Committee Letter request. Information submitted in the HPQ will be used in the advising process, as well as within a student's Health Committee Letter.

  • Submit a Health Professions Questionnaire (HPQ) by NOON (12:00 PM) EST on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, including:
  • Photo of student (260 X 260 pixels).
  • One-page resume (see resources at the Career and Internship Center).
  • Confidential Interfolio letter request as a pdf attachment.
  • The Release of Records of Board on Academic Honesty Waiver.
  • The Student Conduct History Waiver.
  • By clicking submit to the HPQ, you agree to the terms stated in the Health Committee Letter Agreement form.
  • Students can access the HPQ by clicking here. Please click here for the Student Conduct History Waiver.

3. Schedule an interview with a Career Adviser 

  • Interviews will take place during the month of February. You may go onto Handshake to select the "HPQ Interview" appointment type here
  • The interviews will be 45 minutes and will take place in the Career Center.
  • The interview will ask a series of questions to understand you as an applicant and your motivations towards the program to which you are applying.
  • Treat this as a professional interview. You don't have to wear a suit but you can if you would like. Sweatpants and very casual wear is discouraged. 
  • This is your opportunity to assist us in writing a letter to advocate for YOU! Please keep this in mind when preparing for your interview with us. 

4. Personal Statements

  • We reccomend you upload a DRAFT of your personal statement to the HPQ by February 3rd. 
  • We will not be evaluating your personal statement to write your HCL however writing it early will assist you in being an on-time applicant.
  • We will be holding personal statement workshops throughout the Spring semester. Please check handshake for dates and times.

5. HCL Submission

  • Your HCL will be written and uploaded to interfolio no later than August 15, 2018.
  • You do NOT need this letter to apply on-time. You may submit your application prior to August. 15th and then submit this HCL letter as soon as you are notified that it has been uploaded.