VirtualEvals is a system that was created by a health professions advisor and a medical school admissions officer to help health professions advisors transmit letters of evaluation to health profession schools in a secure, confidential, and efficient manner.
With the 2010 application cycle which opens in late spring 2009, VirtualEvals introduced a new service module which required that we alter our terminology a bit.Â The service that was created as “VirtualEvals” is now called the veClient.Â The new module is called veCollect.Â veCollect was designed to assist health professions advisors in collecting letters of evaluation from faculty and others.Â In addition, it allows applicants to track the collection of those letters and to communicate with advisors regarding transmission of letters to health professions schools.Â For further information about veCollect, email email@example.com.
veClient is designed to improve the efficiency with which letters of evaluation are transmitted by undergraduate schools (senders) as well as the efficiency with which they are received and processed in admissions offices at health professions schools (receivers). In most cases, senders find that using veClient is also less costly than transmitting letters using conventional means.Â veClient is offered to advisor members of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) through an agreement between VirtualEvals and NAAHP.
What Happens at the Undergraduate School?
On the sending side, veClient is a simple system that works as follows:
- Save as a PDF the document you would normally send for an applicant. This might be a committee letter with our without individual letters from faculty and others.Â Or it might be the individual letters without a committee letter.
- Create a simple record for the applicant in veClient.
- Attach to that record the schools to which the applicant is applying.
- Upload the PDF of letters to the record of the applicant.
When the PDF is uploaded, an email is sent automatically to the applicant to let him/her know that the letters have been made available to designated schools. Included in that email, is a list of schools that have been attached to the applicant record by the advisor.
It is important to understand that applicants do not have access to veClient. Only the senders and receivers can access veClient.
What Happens at the Health Professions School? We will first discuss what happens if a receiving school is accessing letters directly on veClient.Â Following that is a description of what happens if a common application service, e.g., AMCAS, TMDSAS, accesses veClient for some of all of its member schools.
From the outset, receiving schools have had three options:
- Log intoÂ veClient regularly to check for new PDFâ€™s that have been posted for applicants to your school
- Receive an email that automatically notifies you when a PDF is available for an applicant to your school.
- Access PDF’s through an application program interface (API) that will download new PDF’s and automatically save them to the admissions office’s system.
Each receiving school uses a login and password to enter veClient and access PDFâ€™s for applicants to their school. They can only access letters for applicants to their school as indicated by the sending school when the applicant record was created. Receiving schools do not have access to the list of schools to which the applicant is applying.
What happens next varies according to individual receiving school. In general, schools either download a copy of the PDF and save it to their own electronic system or print the PDF and file it as a hard copy in the applicantâ€™s paper file.
Many health professions schools simply save the PDF to their own system without printing. Those schools are particularly pleased to receive the letters in electronic format through VirtualEvals.
Senders should note that some receiving schools prefer not to access the PDF for a specific applicant immediately after it is posted to veClient. Rather, they wait until they determine if they will need to access the PDF for that applicant. For example, if the applicant is screened out based on other criteria such as GPA and MCAT, the admissions office might not need to access letters for that applicant. This is similar to what would happen if that applicant were screened out prior to being asked to complete a secondary or supplemental application or to have letters transmitted.
How does veClient interface with common application services that provide letters to their member schools?
From the beginning of VirtualEvals, TMDSAS has accessed letters on veClient and made the letters available to their member schools.
More recently, AMCAS introduced the AMCAS Letter System.Â The AMCAS system was developed because some AMCAS schools expressed their desire to receive all letters in an electronic format, not just those that advisors were transmitting through veClient.Â For the 2009 application cycle, 21 MD schools piloted the AMCAS Letter System.Â We worked with AMCAS to provide an interface between veClient and AMCAS.Â Advisors post letters to veClient as they have done in the past.Â AMCAS downloads letters from veClient once a day (Monday-Friday) and makes the letters available to the schools to which the applicants are applying.
For the 2010 application cycle, both TMDSAS and AMCAS will download letters from veClient for their participating schools.
Other health professions schools using veClient will download letters directly from veClient.Â Those include:
- AMCAS schools that have elected not to use the AMCAS Letter system.Â (Exception:Â the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine)
- The University of North Dakota School of Medicine which does not participate in AMCAS
- Schools of Osteopathic Medicine (with the exception of Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine)
- Selected optometry schools
- Selected podiatry schools
See the VirtualEvals homepage for lists of these schools.