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Office of Pre-Health Advising

Our Services

 

 

Individual Advising

At Lehman College, the Pre-Health Program Director is available to help current students including tranfers and post-bacs, prospective students, and alums interested in one of the pre-health professions with all of the following advising questions:

  • Which professional track should I choose? When do I need to make up my mind?
  • What major should I choose?
  • What courses should I take while at Lehman?
  • What courses should I take next semester?
  • The courses I wanted this term are full. What courses should I sign up for now?
  • I did poorly in a course. Should I retake it, audit it, or just move on?
  • I am doing poorly in a course I am in now. Should I withdraw or stick it out?
  • How can I do better in my courses?
  • My grades have not been great. After I graduate, should I take courses as a post-bac? Pursue a master’s degree?
  • How do I go about getting clinical experience (volunteer work, shadowing, etc.)? What kinds of experience should I get? Do I have enough?
  • Do I need research experience? If so, how should I get it?
  • What about other extracurriculars? How should I balance my time?
  • I don't have enough time to do well in my coursework. What should I do?
  • What are my chances of getting in to M.D. school? D.O.? PA? Pharmacy? PT? And so on...
  • What is the most important thing I can do to improve my chances of getting in to professional school?
  • I've given up on getting in to medical school. What are my options now?
  • I've decided I don't want to go to medical school. What should I do now?
  • When should I apply to professional school?
  • When should I take the MCAT/GRE/PCAT/OAT/DAT?
  • What should I do to prepare for the MCAT/GRE/PCAT/OAT/DAT? How long should I spend preparing?
  • What is the process for applying to professional school?
  • How do I start a personal statement?
  • What letters of recommendation should I get?
  • What should I do during my gap year?
  • What professional schools should I apply to?

To schedule an appointment, visit the Pre-Health Program Hub.

 

Committee Letters

Certain professional schools want a "committee letter" from the school you attended. Committee letters are in addition to individual letters of recommendation.

To be eligible for a committee letter at Lehman College, you must:

  • Plan to apply to medical, dental, or optometry school within the next 12 months (the other pre-health professions do not generally ask for committee letters)
  • Have taken at least five of your core pre-health courses at Lehman. For example, a post-bac who has taken General Chemistry 2, Organic Chemistry 1, Organic Chemistry 2, Biochemistry, and General Physics 2 is eligible. Evaluation of what courses count toward this requirement is at the discretion of the pre-health advisor, with the right to appeal to the full pre-health evaluation committee.
  • Have a Lehman GPA of at least 3.000 for a committee letter for medical or optometry school, or at least 2.800 for a committee letter for dental school.
  • Use our online portal to request a committee letter by November 30 of the year prior to that in which you plan to apply. If you are a current student, the portal may be found under My Apps on Lehman360. If you are an alum, and no longer have access to Lehman360, please register for access to the portal.

Committee letters are written by the Pre-Health Evaluation Committee (PHEC), which consists of 10 faculty members drawn from a variety of disciplines, as well as the pre-health advisor. The PHEC uses the following process to write your letter:

  • After receiving the list of students requesting committee letters if the fall, each student is assigned to a member of the PHEC who will take the lead role in drafting their committee letter. The student is intentionally assigned to a PHEC member who has not had the student in a course before.
  • Early in the spring semester, the student provides the PHEC with their c.v. or resume, copies of non-CUNY transcripts, answers to a supplementary questionnaire provided by the PHEC, and 3 to 5 letters of recommendation sent directly to the PHEC.
  • The PHEC solicits comments from every member of the Lehman science faculty from whom the student has taken a course. These are not full letters of recommendations, but more like "is there anything we should know, positive or negative, about this student."
  • The PHEC member assigned to the student meets with them for half an hour, to help the PHEC member fill in any gaps in their understanding of the student's background, application, and plans.
  • The PHEC member assigned to the student writes an initial 2-3 page draft of the committee letter, drawing from all the material the student has provided and the information the PHEC has gathered. Professional schools prefer committee letters not be shown to the student, in order to encourage a candid assessment.
  • The pre-health program director edits and clarifies the draft letter.
  • The draft letter is circulated to the whole PHEC for changes, edits, and final approval.
  • The pre-health program directorsends the final version of the committee letter, along with the individual letters of recommendation, to the professional school applications service (AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, or OptomCAS).

This is a thorough process, meant to allow us to make the best possible argument in favor of the student, while still being consistent with their record, skills, and goals.

Personal Statements

The Pre-Health Program Director is available to help students craft and revise personal statements for application to professional schools, summer programs, etc.. We prefer working with early drafts of the staements, as the Director will often recommend cutting back some aspects, adding others, and/or changing the order of the narrative.

To have the Pre-Health Program Director look at your personal statement, use the Pre-Health Program Hub to request a review, and then email him a draft. Depending on the essay, the Director may suggest minor edits, provide general guidance, or invite you in for an appointment to discuss more substantial revisions. In some cases, the Director will work with a student through multiple rounds of revision.

Mock Interviews

If you have an interview for a professional school coming up, the Pre-Health Program Director can conduct a mock interview with you, tailored to the particular school at which you're under consideration. Use the Pre-Health Program Hub to request an appointment for this purpose.

Pre-Health Program Director Letters of Recommendation

We are happy to provide letters of recommendations for programs (such as some summer programs) which require a letter from a pre-health advisor. A letter from the Pre-Health Program Director should not be used, however, when a program requests a letter from a faculty member. Please use the Pre-Health Program Hub to request a letter.

Group Advising

The Pre-Health Program Director also provides group advising sessions, particularly for courses closely linked to students planning on careers in one or more of the health professions.

Outside Speakers and Special Events

The office of Pre-Health Advising arranges visits to Lehman by representatives from professional schools, Lehman alums who are currently in the health professions, test prep companies, and more. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to hear about upcoming events!

On April 23, Dr. Calvin held a workshop on the application process for professional schools. Here is a link to a video of the application workshop.

Target Response Times

 

Peak
Off-Peak
Comments
Express Schedule Review
2 days
1 day
Request via Pre-Health Program Hub
Quick questions
1 week
2 days
When requested via Pre-Health Program Hub; slower if via email
In-person appointments
1 month
2 weeks
Make appointment via Navigate or Pre-Health Program Hub
Personal statement comments
2 months
1 month
Request via Pre-Health Program Hub and email personal statement
Mock interviews
3 weeks
2 weeks
Request appointment via Pre-Health Program Hub to schedule
Letters of recommendation
2 months
1 month
Letters written by the pre-health advisor. Provide the given amount of notice prior to the deadline for letter submission. Request via Pre-Health Program Hub.
Verification of pre-health status, etc.
2 weeks
1 week
Needed for, e.g., some external scholarships. Request via Pre-Health Program Hub.
Committee letter request
Request by Nov. 30; ready by June 1. Request via Lehman360
Upload completed committee letter
2 weeks
1 week
Send AMCAS form via email; links for AACOMAS and AADSAS sent automatically
Letter packet
1 month
2 weeks
Request via Pre-Health Program Hub.

 

Limitations:

  • Targets are not guarantees. While the Pre-Health Program Director will make an effort to meet these targets, it will not always be possible.
  • "Days" refer to business days. If, for example, an emailed question is received at 2 pm on a Friday during an off-peak period, expect to receive a response by 5 pm the following Tuesday.
  • "Peak" is the months of January, April, August, November, and December, and the last week of March.
  • "Off-Peak" is the months of Febraury, May, June, July, September, and October, and the first three weeks of March.
  • If the pre-health program direcrtor is ill or on vacation, times may be exteneded until the director returns.

Appointments

For now, all pre-health advising appointments will take place via the Zoom app. Those appointments are made available by close of business every Thursday for the following week, and can be requested via the Pre-Health Program Hub.

Prior to your scheduled appointment, please make sure you have downloaded the Zoom app on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Just prior to your scheduled appointment time, you will be emailed details allowing you to join the Zoom meeting.

Continuing students who have registered with the Pre-Health Director can also use the Pre-Health Program Hub to request an Express Schedule Review to receive a quick appraisal of their planned course schedule for the following term without the necessity for a Zoom appointment.