Health Professions Advisory Committee

What is it and why should you participate?

student studying on a computer

 

The purpose of GW’s Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC), which consists of pre-health advisors and faculty members from the sciences and social sciences, is to:

  • Help applicants with the application process for medical, dental, veterinary, optometry, or podiatry school.
  • Help applicants self-assess their own candidacy on top of getting detailed feedback from the committee.

Successfully completing the HPAC process may result in a letter packet for qualifying students. A letter packet is comprised of:

  • A coversheet with the committee's evaluation of the student's candidacy
  • Individual letters of recommendation submitted on the student's behalf to PrivateFolio. 

Please note: The letter packet may be provided only after the student completes all application requirements, a subsequent HPAC interview, an HPAC follow-up appointment and is evaluated by the committee at the "meets expectations" level or higher.

 


What does HPAC entail?

If you've been through HPAC before, you'll notice that it looks a little different than in previous years but the process remains much the same. Continue reading for more information! 

  • Before you begin on the application, you must complete a self-assessment and a 1-on-1 check-in appointment.
  • Please complete the self-assessment before your check-in appointment and bring the assessment with you to the appointment.
  • During the appointment, we'll go through your self-assessment to establish your areas of strength and room for improvement.
  • We'll also make sure you meet all eligibility requirements for HPAC.
  • If you want to know more about how you'll be evaluated by the committee, you can review the rubric that we'll use. The rubric can be found in the "How You'll Be Evaluated" module and on the HPAC 2023 Application document.
  • Throughout the fall (from August - January), you'll be working through online modules designed to help guide you through all of the components of HPAC and, by extension, your medical or dental school applications. You'll be led through extensive lessons on the various written components you have to submit. You'll find various guides and tips from both GW Pre-Health, GW Career Services, the AAMC, etc. on how to best complete these sections.
  • You can complete the modules at your own pace, although all lessons must be completed by the Jan. 31st deadline along with the submission of all of your other HPAC materials. I recommend completing each module before starting on the corresponding section of the application. For example, complete the module on how to write a personal statement before starting the writing process. The module teaches you what you need to know to make the writing process as smooth as possible and thus it makes more sense to complete the lesson first. 

  • You have to complete each lesson and the knowledge checks (quick 2 - 3 question quizzes to ensure you read the lessons), in order to advance to the next lesson. Most lessons should take less than 5 minutes and you can always go back and reference the content as you work through the sections on the application. 

  • You have the entirety of the fall semester and winter break to work through the modules and the corresponding application sections with January 31st being the deadline for everything. I recommend working on one section at a time. Don't cram it all into the month before the deadline!

  • Once you've completed the aforementioned steps, you'll finish and submit your HPAC Application (which is now a word document you can edit and save at your own leisure) directly to Box. The application is comprised of the following sections:
    • Identifying Information
    • List of colleges attended
    • List of letter writers
    • List and descriptions of work & activities (up to 15)
    • Secondary application essays (3)
    • Personal Statement
  • You'll submit your unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended to Box as well.
  • Lastly, you are required to obtain 3 – 5 Letters of Recommendation (to be submitted by your letter writers to your PrivateFolio account).

    • At least one must be from a science faculty member and one from a major faculty member (cannot be the same letter if you are majoring in the sciences). 

    • They **do not** have to be from GW faculty (this is a change from previous years).

  • The letter writers that you identify on your application will submit their letters of recommendation to PrivateFolio. 

  • You will complete a mock medical/dental school interview with the entire committee
  • Interviews will take place from February to April and a link to sign up for a 15-minute slot will be sent out to all applicants at the beginning of February
  • You should schedule your follow-up appointment with GW Pre-Health no later than 3 weeks after your interview
  • During the follow-up meeting, we'll go over the feedback the committee has for you and discuss your rating and next steps for receiving your committee packet.

How can I participate in HPAC?

1. You must meet our eligibility requirements

  • Bachelor's degree earned from GW or at least 51% of your Medical/Dental prerequisite courses taken at GW
  • Prerequisites completed by the Spring, 2023 semester
  • Minimum 3.0 BCPM (BCP for dental) GPA
  • Clinical experience (involving patient interaction)
  • Consistent community service/volunteer experience
  • Strongly recommended: research experience outside of the classroom
  • Must meet all the deadlines/requirements as outlined below in the application timeline

2. If you meet the eligibility requirements, then you're ready to get started:

 

Step-by-Step

  1. Complete the HPAC 2023 Self-Assessment
  2. Schedule a check-in appointment to discuss the self-assessment and your overall candidacy
  3. Work through the online HPAC modules as you complete the HPAC Application
    • You will need to sign up with your email address - can be your personal or GW email
    • If asked for a code, copy and paste B9IW7LVEWB into the box
  4. Set up PrivateFolio account following the instructions below:
    • Go to: https://www.privatefolio.com/auth/webUser/signup?invitedReferralCode=GWpha10 (you MUST use this link in order to receive special account pricing and to be properly affiliated with the GWU Pre-Health Program so that we can access your application).
    • Enter your information, choose a password, and press Submit to create your account.
    • You will receive a confirmation email. Click on the confirmation link in this email, and then log in to your account using your email address and password.
    • You will be asked to choose an account term. As a GW affiliate you have the option of receiving a one-year account for free, or a $10 discount off of a 3 year or 5 year account. If you would like to have access to your letters for future years, you should choose and pay for a 3 year account (discounted price of $14.99) or a 5 year account (discounted price of $27.99).
  5. Reach out to your letter writers and supply them with HPAC Guidelines for Recommendation Letter Writers (PDF
    • You are required to obtain a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation (a maximum of 5)

    • At least one must be from a science professor and one from a professor from your declared major (cannot be the same letter if you are majoring in the sciences).

    • They **do not** have to be from GW faculty (this is a change from previous years).

  6. In the spring, you'll complete an interview with the committee and a follow-up appointment with us. The sign-up will be available Feb. 1st.

 


3. What else do I need?

Here are some additional reference materials that may be helpful as you go through HPAC:


4. When is everything due? - HPAC Application Timeline

**All HPAC 1-on-1 appointments and interviews will be held via Zoom.

  • Complete the HPAC 2023 Self-Assessment
  • Complete a check-in appointment to discuss the self-assessment and your overall candidacy (All 2023 applicants must meet this requirement, regardless of reapplicant status).
  • Follow instructions to set up your PrivateFolio account:
    • Go to: https://www.privatefolio.com/auth/webUser/signup?invitedReferralCode=GWpha10 (you MUST use this link in order to receive special account pricing and to be properly affiliated with the GWU Pre-Health Program so that we can access your application).
    • Enter your information, choose a password, and press Submit to create your account.
    • You will receive a confirmation email. Click on the confirmation link in this email, and then log in to your account using your email address and password.
    • You will be asked to choose an account term. As a GW affiliate you have the option of receiving a one-year account for free, or a $10 discount off of a 3 year or 5 year account. If you would like to have access to your letters for future years, you should choose and pay for a 3 year account (discounted price of $14.99) or a 5 year account (discounted price of $27.99).
  • Complete online HPAC modules
  • Submit completed HPAC Application to Box.
    • Save this document and title it according to this format: Last Name_ First Name_HPAC 2023 Application
      • Ex.: Smith_John_HPAC 2023 Application
  • Submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges ever attended to Box.
    • Download unofficial transcripts from ALL colleges/universities ever attended (including dual enrollment) and title document according to this format: Last Name_ First Name_Institution Name_Transcript
      • Ex.: Smith_John_GW_Transcript
  • Letters of recommendation must be submitted by your letter writers to PrivateFolio by this date
  • Schedule your HPAC interview and follow-up appointment. Interviews will take place from February to April and you should schedule your follow-up appointment to occur no more than 3 weeks after your interview. Applicants will be sent a link to sign up for interview at the start of February.
  • (Optional) meet with your pre-health advisors to discuss questions about the application cycle (school list, professional exams, etc.)
  • Apply to medical/dental school
  • Committee letters are uploaded to PrivateFolio/your application service.

 


5. Ready to submit your application & materials?

Be sure to submit everything correctly:

  • Submit completed HPAC 2023 Application to Box. Save this document and title it according to this format: Last Name_ First Name_HPAC 2023 Application

    • Ex.: Smith_John_HPAC 2023 Application

  • Submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges ever attended to Box. Download unofficial transcripts from ALL colleges/universities ever attended (including dual enrollment) and title document according to this format: Last Name_ First Name_Institution Name_Transcript

    • Ex.: Smith_John_GW_Transcript

  • Your letter writers submit their letters to PrivateFolio.

 

Submit HPAC Application

 


FAQ's

There are no info sessions this fall. The online modules are taking the place of the info sessions.

Typically, you go through HPAC the fall and spring before you apply to medical or dental school. So if you're applying to medical or dental school in May 2023, you'll start HPAC in fall 2022.

Yes! Almost half of HPAC participants are alumni.

Then you can go through HPAC again as well. A good chunk of participants end up going through HPAC more than once. 

You can...but it'll be out of date. To get an up-to-date packet, we recommend going through HPAC again.

It's true that we're no longer providing detailed letters of evaluation. HOWEVER, we're still providing committee packets which does include the committee's rating of your candidacy, just like before. All that's changing is the advisor letter component. The packets still contain your letters of rec as well.

In any case, the main purpose of HPAC is to help you assess your own candidacy. The packet is just a nice bonus!

That's totally fine! But keep in mind that some medical or dental schools may ask you to submit a letter of explanation written by your pre-health advisor as to why you don't have a committee packet. We're happy to provide that for you but you must schedule an appointment to talk through the details.