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Health Professions Advising Committee

Our mission

The Holy Cross Health Professions Advising Committee consists of tenured and tenure-track faculty who are from a broad array of disciplines. In addition, the Committee includes four alumni who came through our program and are practicing clinicians (at present we have two physicians, a physicians assistant, and a nurse practitioner serving on our Committee). Faculty who serve on the Health Professions Advising Committee act as individual advisors to juniors, seniors and alumni who are applying to health professional schools (medical school, dental school, veterinary school, physicians assistant programs, etc.) and guide them through the application process. Each advisor helps his or her advisees assemble the materials necessary for the full committee to evaluate application candidates, and presents these materials to the committee at the evaluation meeting. The full Committee then evaluates the materials and decides the appropriate level of recommendation for each potential applicant, as well as the tone and content of the recommendation letter. The Committee's level of recommendation and the tone and content of the letter to be written is disussed with applicants as openly as possible. Each advisor then writes the composite recommendation letter that is sent to medical schools for each of his or her advisees. Throughout the process, the advisor is a resource to his or her advisees for advice and information.

Students who wish to apply to medical and allied health professions schools do not have to be evaluated by the Committee, but it is very unusual to apply without the Committee's recommendation. It often sends a "red flag" to medical schools, as almost all Holy Cross medical school applicants apply through the Committee. If you decide to apply without the Committee's support, the Health Professions Advising Office will forward your recommendation letters to medical schools for you.

To apply to medical school with the Committee's support, students must be evaluated by the Committee in the spring semester (no later than May) of the calendar year before intended matriculation. That means that students who wish to enter medical school (and most other health professional schools) in the fall of 2017 need to be evaluated by the Committee no later than May 2016. If you are considering applying for medical and other health professional schools in the near future see the "Application Timeline" for important upcoming Health Professions Advising Committee meetings and deadlines.

Important links

Time line to be followed in order to be considered by the Health Professions Committee and apply to medical school, dental school, and veterinary school:

  • Early in fall semester: advisors are assigned after information meeting; alumni and those who cannot attend the meeting should contact the Health Professions Office to obtain necessary materials, get on e-mail notification list and open credentials file.

  • Mid to late fall: students should set up a meeting with advisors and start soliciting recommendation letters.

  • Late fall-early spring: students should work on and finish autobiographical statement and other materials; copies of all materials and recommendation letters should be sent to the Health Professions Advising Office in mid-February.

  • Mid-late spring: students are given preliminary evaluation by the Committee on a rolling basis. Letters specifying the evaluation level are mailed after each evaluation meeting.

  • Late May: the committee assigns final evaluations after spring semester grades are reported.

  • Late Summer: the committee mails recommendation letters.

  • Refer to e-mails and handouts on the key documents page for all specific meeting and due dates: it is your responsibility to respond to e-mails sent by the Health Professions Advising Office.

Committee Members (2017-2018)

Faculty Advisors

Miles Cahill, Ph.D. (Chair), Health Professions Advisor, Professor, Dept. of Economics
Jumi Hayaki, Ph.D., Associate Health Professions Advisor, Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology
Laurie Smith King, PhD., Professor, Dept. of Mathematics/Computer Science
Julia Paxson, Ph.D., DVM, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology
Mary Doyle Roche, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Religious Studies
Shannon Stock, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Ara Francis, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
L. Gabriella Avila-Bronte, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry
John Cull, Professor, Dept. of Spanish

Clinical Advisors

Maryanne Makredes Senna '98, M.D., Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.
Peter Sell '95, D.O., Pediatrics, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA.
Patricia Cerreto '98, MPAS, PA-C, Instructor, MCPHS Worcester, MA
Elizabeth Farrington Forkel '10, MSN, Adult/Geriatric Primary Care, Commonwealth Care Alliance, Boston, MA.