Registration Open!

Students must register to participate - deadline is Tuesday, January 16, 2018.  To Register

The Whitman College Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) helps facilitate your application to dental and medical (MD and DO) schools by offering the following services: an interview, a comprehensive Committee letter of evaluation, the collection of individual evaluations, and submission of your letter of evaluation packet.  

The HPAC will be conducting interviews and evaluations for applicants from Feb.-April, 2018 for the following students:

  • Whitman graduates from 2017 or earlier and planning to apply in Summer 2018

  • Seniors graduating and leaving campus in May 2018 (even if you are NOT planning on applying in Summer 2018 you are eligible to participate in the interview process)

  • Juniors (May 2019 graduates) planning to apply in Summer 2018

To write a strong letter of support, the Committee needs to know you.  Therefore, you will complete the HPAC Document Packet (located at the CLEo|Health Professions website or by emailing and submit two weeks before your assigned interview date.  At the beginning of January 2018, you will receive instructions on how to schedule your HPAC interview.   If you have questions about the HPAC process, please email Kimberly Mueller,  


MCAT Mock Exam - Registration Required (Space is Limited) - Registration Deadline is January 11, 2018 
Saturday, January 20, 8-4 pm, Hall of Science Computer Lab, #127
The MCAT Mock Exam will simulate all aspects of actual MCAT exam day experience by using the full-length timed sample developed by the writers of the official MCAT exam. At the end of the exam, students will gain access to their score report. MCAT does not record Mock Exam test scores are not  or released to medical schools. You should be prepared to spend approximately 7.5 hours on the mock exam. Additional details will be emailed upon registration.


The Health Professions Advising Office hosts a popular speaker series for Whitman Students, featuring medical professionals and medical school admission representatives.  Plan to attend to learn what it is "really like" to be a health care provider, how to survive professional school and be successful in your career, and admission requirements. The presentations are one of the many ways the Health Professions Advising Office provides learning opportunities beyond the classroom to help students expand their knowledge and make connections with professionals in their field of study. Presentations are scheduled on various days and times to allow a greater number of students to participate.  

Dr. Tom Underhill, M.D.
Date:  January 2018 (date to be determined)
Location:  Hall of Science #142

Dr. Clark Coler, M.D.
Date:  Monday, April 16, 12-1 pm
Location:  Hall of Science #142

Past Health Speakers

George Birchfield, M.D. (Biol, '80), Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Medicine, Swedish Cancer Center 

Ethan Brachrach, M.D., M.B.I., F.A.C.E.P., Chief Medical Informatics Officer, TeamHealth

Curt Malloy, JD, M.P.H, Senior VP of Operations, General Counsel Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) 
Public Lecture: Career Paths in Global Health 

Nicole Marshall, M.D. (Biol-Chem, '00), Perinatology/Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU)
Research Lecture: Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: How in utero development impacts lifelong health
Real Talk Series: Career path to current OHSU position 

Thomas Monath, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Hookipa BioTechAG and former Chief, Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
Brode Lecture in Science: Yellow Fever and Tales of Other Emerging Viruses

Christopher Perdue, M.D., M.P.H. (Biol, '93), Emerging Infections Surveillance & Response System (GEIS), Project Manager, Lt. Cmdr., US Public Health Service, O'Donnell Visiting Educator in Global Studies
Real Talk Series: Q/A session about career path in medicine/public health, Armed Forces service, Public Health Service
Public Lecture: Global Health Surveillance Against Emerging Pathogens



Gar LaSalle, M.D., F.F.A., F.A.C.E.P.

LaSalle, M.D., F.F.A., F.A.C.E.P. | Physician and Author 

The Pathway to Becoming a Physician, Filmmaker, and Author

Gar LaSalle M.D., M.F.A., F.A.C.E.P., an award-winning author, and filmmaker, is Adjunct Professor at Cornell and Columbia where he teaches about the business of medicine. He is a graduate of Reed College, Weill-Cornell University Medical College, California Institute of the Arts (Film-Animation-Video) and UCLA's Emergency Medicine Residency. In 1976, his feature-length documentary, Diary of a Moonlighter, was the first-ever film about the new specialty of Emergency Medicine. He is the author of two award-winning historical fiction novels, Widow Walk, published in 2014, and Isthmus, published in 2015. LaSalle's third novel, The Fairness of Beasts, is scheduled forrelease in October 2017. Widow Walk has recently been optioned for film production by Heyou Media and will begin later this fall. LaSalle writes from his home in Seattle and his studio on Maury Island


Dr. Carol Cassella

Carol Cassella, M.D. | Physician and Author 

Words at the Heart of Healthcare: How Fiction Can Health Both Patients and Physicians

Dr. Cassella is a practicing physician, novelist, and speaker. She majored in English Literature at Duke University and attended Baylor College of Medicine. She is board certified in both internal medicine and anesthesiology and practiced primary care with a focus on cross-cultural and underserved populations before becoming an anesthesiologist. She is the bestselling author of the novels Gemini, Oxygen, and Healer, published by Simon & Schuster. All novels were Indie Next Picks and two (Oxygen & Healer), a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in fiction. She has been Writer in Residence at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington, and the recipient of a writing residency at Hedgebrook retreat. Prior to writing fiction, she wrote for the Global Health division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, covering their grant projects throughout the developing world. She is a Wall Street Journal Expert Panelist and Associate Editor of Mind to Mind, the literary section in Anesthesiology, the journal of the American Society of Anesthesiology. She is a founding member of Seattle7Writers, a non-profit supporting literacy and reading the Pacific Northwest, and also serves on medical bards working in Nicaragua and Bhutan.


Dr. David Roland Byrd

David Roland Byrd, M.D. 
Chief of Section for Surgical Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine

The Surgeon Talks! Before and After the Knife

Dr. Byrd is the Chief of Section for Surgical Oncology (cancer surgery) at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was the surgeon who introduced in the Northwest use of the now-routine sentinel-node biopsy technique. A graduate of Tulane University Medical School, he is board-certified in general surgery (residency at the University of Washington) and has completed a surgical fellowship in cancer treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is renowned not only for his expertise in the surgical treatment of a number of different cancers, but also for his dedication to the teaching and support of surgical residents. His concern for patients with cancer extends beyond the technical aspects of their surgical care, to say the least, and for this, too, he has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues in all specialties.


Dr. John Leonard

John Lenard, M.D.,
Prof. of Medicine Emeritus, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Regarding the Patient: A Reflection on the Nature of Suffering and the Role of the Physician

Dr. John Leonard has served as a physican-educator in the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee since 1974.  He has served as a mentor and teacher for hundreds of medical students and residents as an attending physician in internal medicine, and specialist on infectious disease.  In addition to teaching the Physical Diagnosis course and directing the Medicine Clerkship for 2nd and 3rd year medical students, he served for 20 years as the Director of the Residency Training Program in Internal Medicine.  In 2012 he received the Vanderbilt Distinguished Alumni Award for his excellence in teaching.  



Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine, New York University Medical Center / Bellevue Hospital
Editor, Bellevue Literary Review

The Time-Harried American Physician 

Danielle Ofri is an Associate Professor Medicine at New York University School of Medicine.  She is a founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review.  Dr. Ofri writes regularly for the New York Times about medicine and the doctor-patient relationship.  Her essays have been selected for Best American Essays and best American Science Writing.  She is the receipent of the John P. McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association for "preeminent contributions to medial communicaitons."  

Author of:
What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear
What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine

Medicine in Translation: Journeys with my Patient
Incidental Findings: Lessons from my Patients in the Art of Medicine