Health Professions Specialist

Job description

Amherst College invites applications for the full-time, year-round position of health professions specialist (job group and level PT-2). Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst's students are Pell Grant recipients; 45 percent of our studentsidentify as domestic students of color. Our expectation is that the successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.

Under the leadership of the health professions advisor/assistant dean, the health professions specialist works independently to support the application process for medical school and other health professions schools, including managing workflow, troubleshooting, responding to faculty and student requests, and taking other actions as needed. The specialist manages the application process of 120 to 140 medical, dental, and veterinary school applicants throughout the year on an annual basis, serving approximately 400 pre-health students and alumni each year through increased access to health professions advising and on-campus events. In addition, the specialist advises and supports programming needs for the Careers In Health Professions Program team within Amherst's Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning. The specialist communicates by phone and email, and has face-to-face contact with students, alumni, employers, graduate schools, parents, and faculty.

This successful candidate will work closely with the health professions advisor, the chair of the Faculty Health Professions Committee, as well as three other members of the committee, and pre-health partners across campus. Additionally, the individual will represent the college at regional and national meetings of professional organizations devoted to health professions advising.

This position takes appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participates in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Key Responsibilities

Program Management/Administration

  • Coordinates the college's annual cycle of committee meetings related to the application process
  • Validates students' enrollment status, major, honors, etc. for the Health Professions Committee's letter of evaluation for 60 to 70 medical, veterinary, and dental school applicants per year and roughly 75 recommendation letters per year to a variety of graduate schools other than medical school, internships, and jobs
  • Coordinates programs and services that provide health professions advising, support, and exposure to health fields for undergraduates and alumni though appointments, workshops/events (medical school admission talks, alumni engagement seminars, including those at high-visibility events such as Homecoming, Family Weekend, etc.), email/phone conversations, etc.
  • Oversees the organization and tracking of all medical school interview accounts from previous applicants
  • Serves as the contact between the Health Professions team and Loeb Center operations team on processes, procedures, and policies
  • Communicates with national application service (AMCAS and AACOMAS) and committee letter national submission service to verify accuracy of application submissions
  • Serves as point person for graduate school program, applicant, and Health Professions Committee requests
  • Works with the Loeb Center communications manager to create the pre-health electronic newsletter (or pre-health list serv) that is sent to roughly 500 students and young alumni on a weekly basis during the school year. Collects information about events both on-campus and beyond affecting pre-health students, internships and job opportunities, articles, and consults on stimulating messaging
  • Maintains electronic counseling records
  • Maintains spreadsheets and tracking critical to the medical, dental, and veterinary school application process

  • Manages relationships between student organizations and Loeb Center events including consulting on programming and strategizing on designing collaborative efforts
  • Provides front-line pre-health advising and triage for students seeking information or have advising needs before they meet with the health professions advisor
  • Triages inquires with students and alumni interested in applying to health professions education programs
  • Guides individual students and alumni, through one-on-one or group advising sessions, in phone conversations, or through email correspondence, regarding application strategies and preparation for medical school applications
  • Conducts mock interviews and provides feedback for medical school applicants
  • Assists students with resume questions, document reviews, and the use of Quest, Amherst Select, and other Loeb Center resources
  • Consults on draft applicant personal statements for students and alumni
  • Supports applicants and offers personalized assistance as they work through the submission process
  • Conducts senior resume review for pre-health students
  • Advises student club leadership on programming and event implementation
  • Provides dedicated advising to the Pre-Health Peer Mentoring Program

Application Development and Analysis
  • Interprets statistical applicant data and prepares reports and analysis
  • Reviews and interprets complex applicant data and drafts letters of recommendation for various scholarships, internships and health professions schools
  • Manages the Engage Portal for the Health Professions team including process improvement, design process and troubleshooting
  • Proofreads faculty letters of recommendation and committee letter drafts
  • Manages each step of the application workflow including troubleshooting issues, advising, and solving problems, and strategies to optimize the time-sensitive process
  • Uses data collected to support new application preparation and advising

  • Supervises the post baccalaureate intern in implementing Peer Mentoring Program activities
  • Responsible for the hiring and managing of summer casual workers for the Health Professions team (e.g., timesheets, payments, workflow)

  • Coordinates and completes the writing assistants' timesheets, tracks letter drafts and payments, and Human Resources paperwork in summer months
  • Tracks and balances the Health Professions budget line and the Kauffman Fellowship grant disbursement
  • Coordinates the post-baccalaureate students' application process and paperwork, including verifying and submitting their biweekly timesheets, working with the Office of Financial Aid to determine financial need and set up payroll, and working with the Controller's office to coordinate their timesheets and expense reimbursements

Internal/External Communication

Internally, the health professions specialist has daily meaningful interaction with a large volume of students as well as other employees of the Loeb Center. Performs in an introductory advisory role with the students, holding group advising sessions for new Amherst students (including first-year and transfer students). Conducts intake and assessment during appointment requests and advisor drop-in hours- answering students' questions that may not require a full advising appointment with the health professions advisor-such as the proper resume layout and a basic timeline for medical school application. TheHealth Professions Advisor conducts roughly 1000 individual appointments per year.

Communicates at least weekly with the Health Professions Committee Chair (Professor William Loinaz, Department of Physics and Astronomy), and occasionally with the Health Professions Committee (Prof. Loinaz and three other science faculty members), Human Resources staff (as part of handling the payroll for committee letter writers four months of the year), Office of the Registrar (in verifying academic records and honors), Office of Financial Aid (to set up the post-baccalaureate students' payroll) and Office of the Controller (to coordinate the post-baccalaureate students' timesheets and expense reimbursements).

Externally, the health professions specialist has regular communication with alumni who are in the medical school application process, multiple times per week-often daily. Works closely with outside speakers to plan pre-health events on campus. Verifies information, builds relationships, and asks for guidance and clarification from both undergraduate advisors and medical schools' admissions deans to help ascertain that consistent advising is given regarding application processes. In the spring and early summer, communicates on a regular basis with the national application services (AMCAS and AACOMAS) to clarify applicant questions.

The health professions specialist is expected to travel one to two times a year to represent Amherst College: locally at Five-College advisor meetings and regionally at professional advisor meetings across New England with medical school admissions deans and health professions advisors from other institutions.


  • Bachelor's degree, or four years of related experience in lieu of degree
  • Two to four years of related experience
  • Excellent career counseling skills with ability to understand diverse students' needs and concerns
  • Strong analytical, troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills with capability to synthesize large amounts of complex data
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Strong time management skills with attention to detail and ability to multi-task
  • Strong advocate for diversity with proven ability to work with a diverse population
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook; demonstrated experience using the internet and database systems
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication, interpersonal and customer service skills
  • Results-oriented, with the ability to manage multiple assignments simultaneously while meeting aggressive schedules
  • Demonstrated success taking initiative, working independently and collaboratively

  • Experience with the health professions, especially in a college setting
  • Experience running events that incorporate individual students, student pre-health groups, alumni, and guest speakers

Interestedcandidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information (email and/or telephone numbers) for three professional references. Applications will be reviewed until position is filled.
Amherst College, one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of approximately 35,000 residents in the western part of the state. The college's community is composed of about1,800 students from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world, and about 1,000 staff and faculty. The college's scenic 1,000-acre campus includes a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary and the Book & Plow Farm ; three museums: Emily Dickinson Museum , Beneski Museum of Natural History and Mead Art Museum ; and multiple educational and cultural venues and resources through the Five College Consortium. The town of Amherst offers an amazing variety of coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a very active outdoor life. Our vibrant campus, diverse community and beautiful surrounding, makes Amherst College and the Town of Amherst the perfect place to work, learn and live!
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Amherst College does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs and activities on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex or gender (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity), age, disability, genetic information, military service, or any other characteristic or class protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. Amherst College complies with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Inquiries should be addressed to the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer , Amherst College, P.O. Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002-5000.





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Job No:
Posted: 1/22/2018
Application Due: 3/23/2018
Work Type: