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Health Professions Advising

What we do: Health Professions Advising [HPA] at Virginia Tech assists students and alumni exploring health care careers, and being prepared to apply to professional schools for medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant, veterinary medicine, or other health professions.

Who can use HPA: Any Virginia Tech student, alumna, or alumnus, in any major, can use our services. Although the majority of health professions students choose to major in a science field, it is not required. We encourage you to connect with us during your first year at Virginia Tech.

Advising and getting started

All advising, whether by appointment or drop-in, is a one-on-one meeting with an HPA advisor.

HPA advising by appointment

  • To schedule, call 540-231-7287. If you call outside office hours, or otherwise reach voicemail, leave a message.
  • Typically 30 minutes long.
  • Offered year round, typically scheduled M-F during hours 8:30am to noon and 1:30-4:30pm ET.
  • Can be by Zoom, in person, or by phone.
  • You meet one-on-one with a professional HPA advisor.
  • During fall and spring semesters, we offer HPA 101 sessions; if your schedule permits, we encourage you to attend a session before your individual appointment.

HPA advising by drop-in on Zoom

Only on dates classes are in session; and excluding dates the university or CPD are closed, as noted on office hours.

Fall 2022 date range: Mon. Aug. 22, to Fr. Dec. 9, 2022.

  • Mondays: 2-3pm ET
  • Tuesdays: 3:30-4:30pm ET
  • Wednesdays: 3-4:30pm ET
  • Thursdays: 11am-noon ET
  • Fridays: 2-3pm ET
  • During those times, enter Zoom link for drop-in; from there you'll be moved to a one-on-one meeting.

Fall 2022 date range: Th. Sep. 29, to Th. Dec. 1, 2022:

  • Thursdays only: 3-4pm ET
  • During that time, enter Zoom link for drop-in; from there you'll be moved to a one-on-one meeting.

To call in by phone for drop-in with an HPA advisor:
(This is not for drop-in with the HPA peer career advisor.)

If you are in Virginia, call 301-715-8592.
When prompted, enter the meeting ID (933 7507 9338).

To join by phone from other locations, call:

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Enter the Meeting ID when prompted: 933 7507 9338

Is your area not listed above?  Find your local number at:

Join the HPA Hub on Canvas

  • Please complete the brief enrollment form to be added to the HPA Hub on Canvas to be notified of events and opportunities of interest and to access informative materials.

HPA staff

  • Ms. Carol Robinson  |  Director of Health Professions Advising
  • Ms. Annie Laib Jenkins  |  Assistant Director of Health Advising
  • Ms. Melissa Obenhaus | Administrative Operations
photo of Carol Robinson
Ms. Carol Robinson, Director of Health Professions Advising
photo of Annie Laib Jenkins
Ms. Annie Laib Jenkins, Assistant Director of Health Advising
photo of Melissa Obenhaus
Ms. Melissa Obenhaus, HPA administrative operations guru

Contact us

For questions or administrative assistance:

Office location

Health Professions Advising is located within Career and Professional Development in the Smith Career Center.

HPA 101 and 202 | more HPA events

HPA 101 and 202 info sessions

  • We encourage you to attend one of these sessions prior to advising so that your individual advising session will be more productive.
  • These 60-minute info sessions are held during fall and spring semesters.
  • See details and schedule on HPA events.

More HPA events

  • HPA also offers opportunities to meet with health professionals, professional school reps, and sessions to prepare for interviews and write application materials.
  • See HPA events for details. 

Getting notices about HPA events

Exploring health careers

Careers in medicine class

  • 1-credit | A-F graded | fall semester only
  • Course: BIOL 1214.
  • Fall 2021: Wednesdays, 5:30-6:20pm.
  • Format: Virtual and synchronous.
  • Open to any interested VT student.
  • A variety of health professionals and admissions officers speak to the class about careers, preparation and admission processes.

Preparing and applying to professional schools

Undergraduate preparation

Applying, admission exams, letters of recommendation

Health Professions Evaluation Committee [HPEC]

Many health professional schools/programs expect, encourage, or accept, as part of the admission application process, a "committee letter of evaluation" (also known as a "committee letter") written by the applicant's undergraduate institution. The Health Professions Evaluation Committee (HPEC) at Virginia Tech exists to write these committee letters. The HPEC writes such letters only after a process which includes a formal interview with the student-applicant.