The Health Sciences Advisory Committee (HSAC) stands to provide advice and guidance to students interested in preparing for graduate programs in the health sciences. We advise any student from any major interested in a career in health sciences. We have worked with students as far as ten years post graduation to help them with their files.
- The HSAC holds periodic information meetings that often include a special guest visitor speaking about some element of health care or funding for graduate programs.
- The HSAC encourages students to strengthen their profiles throughout their education at St. Mary’s College so that they are strong applicants when they do apply to graduate programs.
- Students applying to medical, vet, dental, and some other programs as requested undergo a mock interview with a committee of faculty who know them best. This experience often makes a huge difference when students go on to their actual first interviews.
- Medical Schools
- Veterinary Schools
- Most Dental Schools
- Optometry Schools
- Podiatry Schools
- Osteopathic Medical Schools
The HSAC chair is in charge of early advising and monthly meetings. The chairperson holds weekly office hours and is the go-to person for questions and help in building files.
Once a student approaches their application season, the student is assigned to a committee adviser who will help the student through the mock interview. The adviser will also compile the committee letter of recommendation.
HSAC & Faculty Advisers
The HSAC chair distributes applicants to different advisers. Often an adviser has a particularly strong relationship with a student, having had them in classes or talked informally about the student’s career interests. Other times a student’s research interests overlap with an adviser and that makes a good fit. The chair often carries many of the older post graduate applicants. Your personal committee (the group of faculty members who will perform your mock interview and help write your committee letter of recommendation) will include two non-HSAC faculty members. Here are some tips for choosing the right professors for the job.
How to choose an adviser
- You have had for at least one class. They should be familiar with you in an academic setting.
- Are familiar with your academic and career goals.
- Know you well enough to be willing to use their free time for the mock interview.
- Will be able to provide helpful and candid feedback on your interview skills.
- Are reliable.
- Sometimes it is tricky to coordinate so many schedules for the interview, so choose faculty that you know you can count on to make a good effort to be involved.
Creating your Personal HSAC Committee
At the start of your application year (the year during which you plan to apply to professional school), you will have the chance to form your own personal committee.
The Committee Consists of:
- The HSAC Chair.
- Your assigned HSAC adviser. (Note: If your adviser is the HSAC chair, you will not be assigned an additional adviser for your personal committee.)
- Two non-HSAC faculty members.
- You will choose these faculty members yourself.
- Ideally, they will be faculty members that know you well enough to provide helpful feedback and advice to you during the mock interview.
- These may be the same faculty members that wrote letters of recommendation for you.
The Committee’s Main Responsibilities:
- Stage a mock interview to prepare you for professional school interviews.
- Compile your committee letter of recommendation.
- Your HSAC adviser will be the main person doing the compiling, but the rest of your personal committee may be involved as well, to provide additional insight and edits.
- Provide support and guidance for you throughout your application process.
Letters of Recommendation
There are periodic general meetings that all students are invited to attend, this is an especially good way to get a good overview of what is to come and how to prepare. Students also often come during weekly office hours to talk one on one about their progress and plans.
Students should plan to come to one or two meetings a year at the start to be sure they are on track and to have their questions answered. If a particular visitor is important to them (i.e. someone speaking about international medicine, veterinary medicine, how to pay for your medical degree), then students should plan to attend those sessions as well.