Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 3
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
=> Important News and Useful Links B R E
A K I N G N E W S 2003 AMCAS MCAT Fee Assistant Application
available now, Important MCAT Update. B R E A K I N G N E W S
AMCAS to go live May 1, and June 1 Earliest Submission
=> Dates and Reminders UC San Francisco
Admissions Workshop March 22. AACOM Conference Portland Oregon February
=> Important People, Schools and Programs
Does the Osteopathic Internship Have a Future?
=> Success Story of the Month Finding My
Niche Dentistry! Andrew Silvestri
=> Question of the Month "I am applying
for medical school this year (class of 2004), but I don't have any patient
care experience is this a problem?"
=> Focus on a Health Profession Optometry
=> Our Services
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
Sometimes the latest news just can't wait a few weeks - normally we
only post a newsletter monthly, but with the latest news coming in fast,
we are updating you NOW! This is an update of the February 2003 Newsletter.
Workshops Dr. Lewis gave workshops at UCLA, UCSD and the Stanford Medical
School SUMMA Conference, as well as hosted the CUHRE San Diego State
orientation during the last 2 weeks. We welcome all new readers from
these conferences. If you would like Dr. Lewis to present a FREE workshop
for your organization, call or email soon, our spring calendar is filling
Most of you are entering a new winter quarter or spring semester. 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,
you 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
Congratulations to the entering Class of 2002 advised by Dr. Lewis
-- 94% acceptance for our pre-health applicants all over the U.S.! See
our Class of 2002 Final Report including
a Canadian acceptance. Currently we have 13 pre-med applicants who received
a total of 287 secondaries -- that is 22 secondaries each. With a total
of 19 applicants interviewing at 135 schools -- that is 7.1 interviews
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, guidanceand 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.
Lewis Associates will save you money and heartache on your application
process, and also save money on advising. Contact us for more information
n e w s & l i n k s
B R E A K I N G N E W S
AAMC Practice MCAT tests 5r and 6r are available on paper with and
without solutions updated to fit the new content specs (more biology,
less organic, fewer VR question). 3r is available for free to students.
The questions on the old PTs are still usable (except for those few
org chemistry areas that will no longer be covered), although some of
the older ones are a little easier than what you might see on more recent
MCATs. 3r, 4r, 5r and 6r can all be printed from the on-line test for
those who prefer to take their tests on paper. The printing- from-online
option probably is not well suited for mock-exam administration. Some
old copies of PTs II, III and IV are still available; contact the publications
manager Eric Stragar, firstname.lastname@example.org
to find out what is available.
The new topic list is available on the MCAT website. So are some other
new rules and processes in an overall update. Topics - - http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/topics.pdf
Update - - http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/update.htm
B R E A K I N G N E W S
The new MCAT Essentials replaces the former MCAT Student
Manual , downloadable from the AAMC web site. Details about content
is also on the web site.
The simplest way to get to it now is through the Content link in the
2003 MCAT Update section at the bottom of the main page, www.aamc.org/mcat.
2003 MCAT Registration Announced Reg for April 2003 MCAT will
be available February 3, 2003. http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm
L I N K S :
HHS publishes new rules for J-1 visa waivers
Jonathan Fishburn, AAMC Office of Governmental Relations
email@example.com or 202.828.0525
On Dec. 19 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published
new regulations governing requests for waivers of the two-year foreign
residence requirement of the Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) Program. Under
the new rules, health care institutions and facilities will be able
to submit applications to waive the current requirement that U.S.-trained
foreign physicians return to their home country for at least two years
to share the benefit of their new knowledge. The waivers may be granted
if a J-1 foreign physician can, instead, commit to at least three years
of service in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) or medically
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
d a t e s & r e m i n d
e r s
B R E A K I N G N E W S
AMCAS plans to go live on or about May 1, and the earliest submission
date is planned on or about June 1,2003 with the student web application
for the entering class of 2004. http://www.aamc.org
Saturday, March 22, 2003 9:00 a.m. UCSF Campus, 521 Parnassus Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94143. Nursing Building Room N225. Sponsored by The
University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Office of
Developing a Competitive Application, Developing a Positive Self Image,
Common Pitfalls in the Acceptance Pathway, Individual Small Group Counseling
Information on the UCSF School of Medicine Post Baccalaureate and Undergraduate
Preparation Programs. Register
by printing out registration form.
For questions, please contact Terri Baldocchi 415- 514-2277, fax 415-502-1680,
or email Tbaldocc@medsch.ucsf.edu
*REGISTER BY MARCH 14, 2003*
AACOM Announces Osteopathic Medical School Forum
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in conjunction
with the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation will host an Osteopathic
Medical School Forum at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, February 15, 2003 at The
Portland Marriott Downtown in Portland, OR. The event is designed to
introduce osteopathic medical education and the 20 Colleges of Osteopathic
This is one of several forums to be held nationally for prospective
students who are interested in learning more about osteopathic medicine
and osteopathic medical education. Topics to be discussed include admission
requirements, application procedures, and osteopathic medical school
curriculum. Other scheduled activities include a student panel and an
opportunity to visit with admission directors from osteopathic medical
colleges. Registration is free and open to the public. For more information
and to register for this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
p e o p l e , s c h o o l s
& p r o g r a m s
Does the Osteopathic Internship Have a Future?
Academic Medicine (2003) issue 78: 22-25
by Mark Cummings, PhD
Go to http://www.academicmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/78/1/22?etoc
Dr. Cummings is associate dean, Statewide Campus System, Michigan State
University, College of Osteopathic Medicine. East Lansing, Michigan
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
Finding My Niche - Dentistry! Featuring Andrew
First, I would like to apologize for the length of this email, but
there are certain times when I must write to express my thoughts. I
wanted to thank you for organizing such a wonderful conference on Saturday.
I was able to speak with some of your alumni and in doing so received
a lot of useful information. Interestingly, what caught my attention
most was something that, before Saturday, I expected would be of little
value to me. Mr. Pickard, the UCLA dental student who is President of
the ASDA said some things that I really connected with. I talked with
him for about fifteen minutes during the lunch break and explained my
frame of mind. I told him I have always considered medicine as my chosen
field because I long to work with people to ameliorate pain and discomfort,
and in so doing, make a difference in society. However, a concern that
has existed in the back of my mind and has surfaced recently is the
issue of sacrifice.
During my journeys through Europe, I realized some things about what
is important to me. In placing these thoughts into a career plan, the
sacrifice that medicine requires did not seem to reflect its reward
as it correlates to my lifelong goals. In essence, I have a feeling
that certain things that do and will make my life happy that I would
have to sacrifice in a career in medicine would not be sufficiently
replaced by that career. Mr. Pickard's response was '...well, you've
just described about 90% of my class'. I understand that just because
dental students may have similar values does not necessarily mean I
should become a dentist, which is why I would like to shadow dentists
of various specialties. I have a feeling that the doubts that have been
lingering within me could be the reason I have dragged my feet in applying
to medical school. In retrospect, despite my doubts, I have always come
back to medicine because it "seems" like the right thing to
do. In all honesty, I have not given other careers a fair chance. This
frustration has in turn, caused me to drag my feet quite a bit. The
more I do to prepare for medical school, the more I find it may not
be the proper match for me. My gut feeling has been telling me that
something in medicine is not quite right, which has made it difficult
for me to give it sufficient focus. My plan was to take the MCAT and
if my scores were low, I would find a different career. I did not possess
the determination that has made me successful in other areas of my life.
In looking back, this attitude is a terrible one because it represents
a lack of focus and desire to achieve a certain goal.
There is a quote I've heard that really makes sense to me now (this
might actually be from you, I don't remember)...'The goal is what makes
the journey worthwhile, but in the end, the journey is what makes it
all worthwhile.' I believe my lack of success at my undergraduate university
existed because I was not truly enjoying the medical school preparation.
It is not the fact that I did not enjoy the material. Actually, I loved
the sciences I studied, and I do love to learn new and complex things.
What was negative for me was the pressure and adversarial environment.
I expect that this pressure may have been due to the competition of
premeds at my school, or it may have been self-inflicted. Either way,
it does not present a proper attitude for an individual to pursue a
career in medicine.
What makes sense to me about dentistry, as Mr. Pickard helped me to
understand, is the fact that what is valuable to me from the medical
profession exists in dentistry, but the negative aspects are, for the
most part, missing. By this, I mean the patient contact is sufficient,
as is the feeling of satisfaction from helping people. What is missing
are the long hours, the hassle of managed care, and the relative loss
of freedom that exists with medicine. Furthermore, my personal encounters
are really interesting along these lines. Basically, most every medical
student and doctor I have met seem to have a little something that I
cannot relate to. Perhaps it's the desire, or maybe something in the
attitude that is unappealing to me. Whatever it is, I have recently
discovered this fact, and it had added more to the knot in my stomach.
I can truly see myself in Mr. Pickard's shoes. Even though I only spoke
with him for a short time, I was able to relate to him better than I
have with any med student or doctor. In conclusion, the reason I have
written such a novel is because I now realize that these doubts that
have existed about medical school. I suppressed them for a long time.
Meeting Mr. Pickard was extremely valuable because it allowed me to
place my values in perspective and really consider what is important
With this, I would like to ask you for the names of dentists of various
specialties I can shadow. I promise you my complete focus in the goals
we encounter. What I have figured out for certain is that a career in
health care is definitely for me. The tasks at hand will help me along
that path no matter what. Furthermore, the pressure I feel that stymied
my success thus far along that path has been to an extent lifted. Hope
all is well and thanks again for the conference."
Dr. Lewis' response:
Now you know why I advise my students to attend such conferences. We
never know when we will touch someone or learn something that could
change our lives. And, these are very important encounters. I am happy
that you have come to grips with some of your uncertainty and have gotten
a new focus. (I gave Andrew dentist Mentors.) This is a start--we should
discuss dentistry! OK?"
Then, Andrew wrote after his acceptance to his top choice dental school
the following year:
"When I was accepted to X Dental School last March, I was naturally
very excited. However, I was not nearly as excited as I thought I would
be when accepted to my top choice dental school. Everything felt like
it was moving much too fast and all I wanted to do was stop and think
things through. To me, this translated into having doubts about entering
dentistry. I knew putting off dental school for one year to bring things
into perspective was absolutely the right thing to do."
January 2003 Andrew wrote:
"Ten months later, I feel requesting a deferral was one of the
best decisions of my life. Because arriving at a career in dentistry
was based on much thought rather than raw passion, I still had some
doubts. I have used this year to address those concerns and remind myself
why I chose to pursue dentistry. I have coached a high school water
polo team and have the opportunity to spend the rest of the year in
Hawaii coaching a water polo team there. It has so far been an incredible
experience and has reinforced my desire to become a dentist. When I
was given the opportunity to teach biology and coach water polo as a
career, both things I love very much, my gut instinct told me that this
would not be the right decision. I talked with many dentists about their
work and their lives, and was reminded of my desire to work in health
care and have the unique personal-career balance dentistry allows. For
me, deferring dental school was a very good decision. The actual process
was painless. I simply wrote a letter of request. What I have gained
from this year of deferral was growth that I might not have had in dental
school or the rest of my life, for that matter. I have also learned
that my gut instinct is very strong and accurate. It has done me a lot
of good being in tune with it."
If you wish to communicate with Andrew Silvestri, email email@example.com
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
"I am applying for medical school this year (class of
2004), but I don't have any patient care experience
is this a problem?"
In a word YES.
Medical schools will want to understand how you could possibly know
why you want to become a doctor which takes 7 to 9 years or more of
training, if you have not spent significant time with both patients
and practicing physicians. It is one of the most important activities
you can do. You will undoubtedly be asked by someone during this process
"Why do you want to become a doctor?" If you have no personal
experience with sick people and doctors in demanding situations (and
this experience needs to be over some reasonable period such as several
months or longer), how could you know that this is what you want to
do? Anyone can say they "want to help people". And, helping
people can be done by teaching, doing social work, practicing law, doing
research, etc!! Why, then, medicine?
Only after you have had personal experiences that have touched you
emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually, will you likely
be able to answer this question very well. And, the answer may take
some time to mature in your head. Remember also that the American demographic
picture is changing drastically - the baby boomers are aging - more
physicians need to be adept in chronic illness and geriatric care!
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions
h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n
The Academic Profile of Optometry's entering class of 2002 has been
recently posted: www.opted.org/
. Click on the "Applicant/Advisor" section and you will see
a link under "Admitted Students." In January or February,
students will be able to register for the Optometry Admissions Test
(OAT) on-line via a link on our site. The test itself however, is still
paper- based although computerization of the OAT is being researched
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
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates,
or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.