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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 3
February, 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 – 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 15

=> 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

=> Contact



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 up.

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 you.

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 per applicant!

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 drlewis@lewisassoc.com 805-226-9669.



n e w s   &   l i n k s

MCAT Update

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, estragar@aamc.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


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
jfishburn@aamc.org 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 underserved area.
LINK: http://services.aamc.org/currdir/section2/courses.cfm

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.



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r 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 External Programs.

Presentations on:

Developing a Competitive Application, Developing a Positive Self Image, Common Pitfalls in the Acceptance Pathway, Individual Small Group Counseling Sessions

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


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 Medicine.

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 rruiz@aacom.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 Silvestri

January 2001

"Dr. Lewis,

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 to me.

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:

"Hi Andrew,

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 drlewis@lewisassoc.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 experienceis 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 to drlewis@lewisassoc.com



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 by ASCO.


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.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates, or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.

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