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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 3
January, 2003

Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
Email drlewis@lewisassoc.com with your comments. Enjoy!

=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

=> Important News and Useful Links – Public Health System Reports – AAMC Medical School Curriculum Directory

=> Dates and Reminders – Summer Programs – Apply Now!

=> Important People, Schools and Programs – Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara’s Community Medicine Award*

=> Success Story of the Month – Military Medicine – Lieutenant Commander Brad Douglas MD, MPH

=> Question of the Month – "What can go wrong with my application?"

=> Focus on a Health Profession - Medical Student Debt Increases

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

The "New Year" it is an image that conjures up great hopes and aspirations. If you are ready to really become serious about making your dreams to become a health professional a reality – Lewis Associates will help you. We have made the difference for hundreds of students over 18 years.

This is "your application year" for the Entering Class of 2004. Students who are planning ahead in your last year of preparation will need to establish a well-thought out strategy to carry you through the difficult times coming up. Let us know how we can assist you.

Congratulations to the entering Class of 2002 advised by Dr. Lewis – 92% acceptance for our pre-health applicants all over the U.S.! See our Class of 2002 Final Report including a Canadian acceptance.

What are your chances?

If you want to change your career or reach your career goal, but do not know how to begin or how to jump over all those hurdles, Lewis Associates will implement strategies to change your life. Read about it in our newsletter and website, then phone or email us directly to get started!

You may be like our Lewis Associates Advisees – highly motivated and intelligent, but needing focus, guidance and specific technical expertise. Dr. Lewis is a trained biologist, having taught and directed her own research programs for many years at two universities. She earned two postdoctoral fellowships (one at NIH) and received the 1990 NACADA Outstanding Institutional Advising Program in the U.S. She teaches Professionalism, Leadership, and Quality, and sets high standards for her Advisees.

Until February 1st 2003, Lewis Associates will not only save you money and heartache on your application process, but you can also save money on advising. Contact us for more information drlewis@lewisassoc.com 805-226-9669.



n e w s   &   l i n k s

N E W S : National Academies Release Reports on Public Health System

The National Academies recently released two reports on the Status of the U.S. public health system:

"The future of the Public Health in the 21st Century" reviews the nation's public health capabilities and presents a comprehensive framework for how the government public health agencies, working with partners from the public and private sectors, can better assure the health of people and communities.
Go to http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.bsf/isbn/0309086221

"Who will Keep the Public Health? Examines the education of public health professionals and provides recommendations for strengthening public health education, research, and practice that can be used by the institutions and organizations responsible for educating public health professionals and supporting public health education.
Go to http://www.nap.edu/books/030908542X/html/

L I N K :

AAMC Medical School Curriculum Directory Most schools have now entered the basic information for the pre- clinical years; however, for a good example of how richly detailed it can now be (and what we expect the majority to show eventually), select schools such as Southern Illinois University or Mayo, which have documented the clerkship years. You can get a much more complete picture of the curricula.
Go to http://services.aamc.org/currdir/section2/courses.cfm



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

Summer Programs - Apply Now!

This is the season for applying for summer enrichment programs. These programs can be focused on research, clinical or academic experiences and may be targeting minority, disadvantaged or mainstream premedical students. I am currently writing letters of support for several of my Advisees for these, as I have done for 18 years. I match students to programs all across the US. Here is an example of one program: University of Pittsburgh CMU MD/PhD Program's Summer Undergraduate Research Program for Minority Students: application deadline March 1, 2003.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program is a 10-week summer research and enrichment program for underrepresented minority students interested in careers as physician scientists.

The program is designed for students in their freshman, sophomore or junior years of college. Students receive intensive research laboratory experience, abundant mentorship and participate in a variety of career development programs, scientific seminars, and specific career enhancement opportunities including preparation for national examinations.

The brochure and application are available online at http://www.mdphd.pitt.edu/minority/

The students can go online, call 412-648-2324 or email mdphd2@medschool.pitt.edu for an application.



p e o p l e   &   s c h o o l s

Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara’s Community Medicine Award*

The Medicine in the Community Program of the Universidad AutOnoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine recently received a Special National Award for service in the community. The President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada and his wife, presented the award at the National Volunteer Awards 2002 at the official residency of the Mexican President, Los Pinos. Dr Juan JosÈ J·uregui Lomeli, Director of the program, received the award representing the UAG School of Medicine.

The Medicine in the Community Program received this award in recognition of the immense impact that this program provides in medical service to urban and rural areas in Mexico. President Fox stated that this program has surpassed the goals of the academic requirements by attracting volunteers to the clinics and most importantly by providing physicians to the community.

The Medicine in the Community Program was formed in 1973 and is focused on providing healthcare to communities in urban and rural areas that do not have access to health services. At the present time there are 17 community clinics that the program serves.

The School of Medicine students rotate through these clinics beginning in their first semester. It provides excellent opportunities for hands-on with Spanish-speaking patients. Students attending the Medical Spanish Course also participate in this program.

* Note that Dr. Lewis has had about 10 Advisees attend the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara; if you wish to communicate with one of these Alumni, contact Dr. Lewis directly. Dr. Lewis attended her 4th Advisors’ Conference at UAG this last October.



s u c c e s s s t o r i e s

Military Medicine - Lieutenant Commander Brad Douglas MD, MPH

JIn January 2002, a familiar face, Dr. Brad Douglas, turned up in my office, wearing his dress white Naval uniform and we had a lovely chat about his career since entering medical school, now 10 years ago! My Advisees take on interesting challenges and many return to fill me in on their lives - this is perhaps the most fulfilling part of Advising.

Brad had been a Navy pilot at Miramar Naval Air Station (of Top Gun movie fame) and I was his premedical Advisor during his Post-Baccalaureate premedical work.

He was accepted at USUHS (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences), Dartmouth, Einstein, Philadelphia Osteopathic, Kirksville, and New England Osteopathic medical schools; he attended USUHS. Brad’s business card has photos of an aircraft carrier and the planes he flies and the pilots he "maintains" fly. His current titles include: "Fighter Wing Senior Medical Officer" and "NAS Oceana Senior Regional Flight Surgeon". His wife, a lawyer, is currently a Tax Law Professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach. They now Have three children, the newest, a boy, born November 6, 2002. Here is Brad’s story (the very short version!).

January 2003

"Dr. Lewis,

Thank you so much for talking with me last Friday. I had always wanted to come back to San Diego to thank you in person, because you gave me the guidance and direction that I needed to pursue my dream. I can't believe it's been almost 13 years since I started the post-bac program, and it has only been about 2 years since I have completed my entire regimen, including the USMLE and my specialty boards in Aerospace Medicine. By the way, I think I am probably the only former SDSU student with this specialty. The Aerospace Medicine boards are part of the American Board of Preventive Medicine that also includes the specialties of Occupational Medicine and Preventive medicine.

I know we spoke a little about what I did, but I will outline a little here just in case you want to share with some of your Advisees. I graduated from USUHS in 1997, then I did my internship at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Ob/Gyn. Upon completion of internship, most Navy physicians do a General Medical Officer tour, a flight surgeon tour, or an Underwater Medical Officer tour prior to going back and completing a residency in which you have to compete for a R-2 position. Anyway, I went directly into my residency of AeroSpace Medicine after my internship. The second year consisted of the MPH year in which I went to Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. The 3rd year was based out of Pensacola, Florida and I Completed rotations at NASA (in Houston), the FAA (medical grounds in Oklahoma City), and the Naval Post Graduate School (in Monterey, CA).

I completed the residency in June 2000, and I have been the Fighter Wing Senior Medical Officer and NAS Oceana Senior Regional Flight Surgeon in Virginia Beach, VA ever since. I literally have a dream job as far as I am concerned - I get to fly multi-million dollar fighter jets and also practice medicine. Since I was a pilot prior to medical school I am back in my realm still flying once or twice a week, but in the shear safety in the US, currently. I am a primary care physician and I see patients approximately 50% of my time and I do administrative duties the other 50% of my time. My admin duties include research and ensuring that my pilots and maintenance workers remain healthy (hence the reason why Aerospace medicine is part of the ABPM).

In the past few months I have been deciding on what to do with my current career and the Ob/Gyn department at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center "selected" me to return and complete the Ob/Gyn residence just yesterday (December 18th, 2002). I was "pencilled" in for the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) job aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington; however, after the recent birth of my 3rd child I decided I needed to fulfill my dream of becoming an Ob/Gyn. So starting July 1, 2003, I will be a R-2 resident, again, but this time as an Ob/Gyn resident. What a wonderful turn of events for my family and me! I will not be giving up my current career as an Aerospace Medicine specialist because after I complete the OB/Gyn residency I will be able to practice and participate in BOTH specialties!

Anyway, I wanted to say Thank YOU for the personal attention that you gave me. I had an uphill battle and I knew it. But you gave me hope, inspiration, and the will to pursue what I am currently doing.


Way to go, Brad!!

If you wish to communicate with Shanon, email drlewis@lewisassoc.com



q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h

"What can go wrong with my application?"

This is most easily answered by saying that application to medical and other health professions schools is a lengthy, cumbersome and difficult process, taking a year and a half for those who plan ahead. AND, anything and everything CAN go wrong.

I will highlight two issues that have happened to current Advisees in the Class of 2003 application cycle.

1. No matter how many times I try to persuade my Advisees to be inclusive in medical school application of both Allopathic and Osteopathic programs, I always have some who do not take this advice and, then sometime during the application year, change their minds. Of course, planning and timing are crucial in the application process and without either, you are swimming upstream with limited paddling ability so-to-speak. If you have unlimited time and money and a very thick skin for rejection, going through multiple years of application may not a problem for you, but for most mortals, this is not the case. So, I help my Advisees plan wisely and judiciously with applications to both programs. My goal for my applicants is to apply once and be accepted into programs that interest you-and even have choices!

2. Timing... as alluded to above, is almost everything! Most health professions schools have what is called a "rolling admissions process", where it is first-come, first-served with your primary, then secondary applications, then interview... then decision! The late-comers get the "leftovers". Some programs save seats for strong late applicants, but most do not. What can happen "late"? Well, I have had Advisees wait until November or December to submit AMCAS or AACOMAS applications, wait months to submit secondary applications, and go all the way to December or January to receive letters of recommendation during the year of application. These behaviors set one up for not being successful. Sometimes we can pull it off, but not always and not usually...and WHY would anyone who has worked hard for 4, 5, 6 or more years to get to the point of applying, hurt their own chances by dragging their feet?

We will feature an important question each month. Please submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions to drlewis@lewisassoc.com



h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n

Medical student debt increases 5% over last year

The AAMC has released its latest educational debt figures, based on data from the 2002 AAMC Medical School Graduation Questionnaire. In 2002, the average educational debt of indebted graduates (including pre-med borrowing) was $103,855 - up 5 percent from last year. Almost 54 percent of 2002 graduates are carrying a debt of $100,000 or higher; 21 percent of graduates owe $150,000 or more. The latest debt figures, and other information collected from the Medical School Graduation Questionnaire, are available here.

Information: Raj Sabharwal, AAMC Division of Medical Education, 202.828.0960 or rsabharwal@aamc.org

Alternatives: Educational partnerships such as in West Virginia, with free college and health professions tuition. They are also not enslaved by a commitment to serve, but I think the program is on target that these students will show their appreciation in ways far beyond returning to their under-served areas of origin. http://www.wvrhep.org/ go to "scholarships."

There are many sources of scholarships for students in health professions school, including the military. More in a future newsletter.

lewis associates advising services

Lewis Associates specializes in personal, effective and professional premedical advising and placement for traditional and non-traditional applicants. Often, non-traditional students are older than 21 years of age, career changers, international applicants or second-round applicants for admission to health professions school.

Lewis Associates' services meet the needs of all types of students from pre-applicants to applicants, including hourly advising support for specific needs. Click here.


"It's never too late to be who you might have been."

If this is how YOU feel, then, maybe Lewis Associates is the place for you. Lewis Associates provides Mentoring and Coaching through the rigorous and often circuitous pre-health preparation and application process. Other consultants may support programs like Law and Business or graduate school -- not Lewis Associates. We are the experts in Health Professions based on 23 years of a successful track record.

Call or email today to set your first appointment!

805.226.9669 imaclewis@lewisassoc.com

Copyright 2009, Lewis Associates. All rights reserved. Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis Associates.

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