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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 3
March, 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 – Is Medicine a Higher Calling? Minority Outreach Participation Program link

=> Dates and Reminders – MCAT, AMCAS, AADSAS

=> Important People, Schools and Programs - Wide Variation In Physician Career Satisfaction Seen Across Local Markets

=> Success Story of the Month – My Journey! Shawna Purcell

=> Question of the Month – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults — what is it? Do I have it?

=> Focus on a Health Profession – Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants — how are they different?

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

Many of you are in the middle of an application season or midway through a spring term or ending winter quarter. If you are ready to really become serious about making your dreams to become a physician, dentist PA, veterinarian, optometrist… a reality---Lewis Associates can 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 your last year of preparation. You need to establish a well-thought out strategy to carry you through the difficult times coming up—this is the most intense time you will experience as a pre-health student… it is a roller coaster ride. 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 Class of 2002 Final Report; for our Class of 2003 progress report, see our home page.

A recent Class 2003 Advisee now accepted into his first choice Optometry school wrote to Dr. Lewis on February 12, 2003: "I wanted to tell you that the Dean of Admissions who interviewed me was impressed with your letter. He said it was very informative and well-written; he felt he knew me even before we met. Thanks for being so good at what you do."

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. She solves problems for her Advisees and finds opportunities for them. 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. Contact us for more information drlewis@lewisassoc.com 805-226-9669.



n e w s   &   l i n k s

Is Medicine a Higher Calling?

Dr. Bob Boyer, a rural physician in Kingman, KS for decades and the first AAFP doc of the year, answers this question when he talks to medical students and residents at the AAFP Student Resident meeting in Kansas City each year. He addresses 4 obstacles to rural practice here.

Also, in the February 24, 2003 Newsweek read the articles "Our Bodies, Our Fears" and "Coping With Anxiety" which discuss the current American focus on potential war and how to deal with anxiety. It says, "Science shows that meditation, massage, yoga – even laughter – can change bad habits in the brain." Since
many pre-health students deal with anxiety, this is for you! http://www.msnbc.com/news/873610.asp

L I N K S :


Minority Outreach Participation Program, a web resource for premedical students; eliminating health disparities by creating future physicians. Great scholarship links!



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

For the class 2004

You can now register for the April MCAT online at www.aamc.org/mcat
Cost $185. Deadline March 21, 2003.
Late registration until April 4, 2003.
Free Practice Test online at www.e-mcat.com.
Paper Practice Tests at www.aamc.org/mcat/practicetests.htm

From 4/03 on, "full disclosure" of MCAT scores will be implemented making the concept of a "release to AMCAS" obsolete (see website for details). Scores from April 2003 onward will automatically be 'released to AMCAS'.

4 organic chemistry questions will be replaced by questions on DNA and genetics. Verbal Reasoning will be shortened by five questions, keeping the same number of passages and time; it will be the second section of the test day.

Downloaded Score Reports from the website will be free within approximately 55 days after taking the exam; advance website registration is required.

For registration, test sites, examinees' Report of Score, contact MCAT program office 319-337-1357 or mcat_reg@act.ort

www.adea.org/AADSAS/default.htm will go live in April/May and start processing applications a few weeks after the live date.

Transcripts will be accepted at AADSAS in May/June; actual dates will be announced sometime in March.

DAT scores must be sent to each school upon your decision to release those scores; you may have 5 schools sent your scores free if requested at the time of the exam. Cost is $10/school for each DAT score set released which takes about 2 weeks.

3. AMCAS for the Class of 2004
It will be very similar to the 2003 version. If you wish to look around the 2003 version, go to www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2003.htm, enter user name as "guest" and password as "guest1"; ignore data. You can also download the 18-page pdf worksheet. The worksheet is your best starting point to prepare to enter information into the "real 2004 AMCAS".

Pdf instructions and worksheet for the 2004 online application are "in process" and not yet available.
AMCAS will first accept your transcripts in "early May" when AMCAS online goes "live"...stay tuned. AMCAS will begin processing in "early June"....stay tuned.
AMCAS advises typing your text for essays directly into the application rather than cut and paste...this means you must be VERY careful at proofing.
Cost is $150 for first school + $30/school thereafter.
FAP Financial Assistance Program will give a preliminary eligibility decision upon registration.

4. Email address for application process
It is to your advantage to dedicate a specific email address for your application process this year. Note that many email providers filter out mass emails. You must turn off this filter or have access to a junk mail file, because many of your application emails will be in mass mailings. AMCAS will respond only to the 1 designated, preferred email address.



p e o p l e ,   s c h o o l s   &   p r o g r a m s

Jan. 21, 2003: Wide Variation In Physician Career Satisfaction Seen Across Local Markets; Nearly 18 Percent of Physicians Dissatisfied With Career. Visit link here.



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

My Journey! Shawna Purcell

Emails received from Shawna in September 2002:
"Dr. Lewis, I have so much to tell you! School started Aug. 15th and it's been NONSTOP ever since. Gross Anatomy is great! It's amazing how much my brain can retain in such a short period of time. My class is the first class for a lot of changes, including completing anatomy in 7 weeks rather than the usual 15. Our white coat ceremony is on the 5th of October, 1 day after our last anatomy exam. I'm also taking Physician and Society, which is a great class, but it takes so much of our time.

I have an SNMA meeting tonight. I joined AMSA, AMA, and a few other interest groups. There are so many opportunities to learn outside of class, it's heaven! I've been attending M&M and many other lunch lectures...free food AND knowledge. This Sunday there is a Residency Luau that I'd like to attend. I'm thinking of going for a residency in Pediatrics and then sub-specializing. Well, I need to return to the anatomy lab. We're on our last section, head and neck, and it's going to be very difficult."

Later that month: "I have successfully completed anatomy in 7 weeks! Today was my White Coat Ceremony and it was great! I have attached a picture of me in my coat. My sister Tiare and niece Kailea attended and they're staying in town until Monday. It's nice to have them! :)"

Shawna has been my Premedical Advisee and now Alumna for over four years. I first met Shawna when I sent one of the San Diego CUHRE advisees to her AMSA convention in Portland in 1998.

Shawna's mother was a housewife and is now a CNA who works in retirement homes. Her father was born in Samoa, his ancestors are Hawaiian and he is a skilled laborer who has done house painting and car sales. After immigrating, he joined his 7 sisters and parents who left their homeland. English is his second language; Shawna's parents spoke only Samoan to each other and only English to her at home.

Shawna was born in Orange County, California, then moved to Utah where her large family of seven siblings lived until she was 9. She says, "Veyo was very rural; I believe we were the first family to move into this desolate area. My parents bought a few acres surrounded by mountains and planted a trailer in the middle
to raise us until they could save enough money for a house. The winters were horrible, and there were times when we were snowed in for days. My mother canned food for the winter and my father and older brothers hunted deer. There were many times when we went without electricity for a few days. During these times, my father would bring out his coconut pies and we'd sit with candles
eating and talking. He loved to tell us ghost stories and his experience on the islands as a young boy. During the spring and summer, we enjoyed swimming and rafting in the nearby river, and hiking, camping and fishing. My father taught us about the outdoors and fishing, which became a favorite way for us to spend
time together."

She says, "My father instilled in us that families are the most important thing and to respect and value them. We drew on these values and learned to rely on each other. We had wonderful feasts with my Samoan-Hawaiian relatives where my father cooked ham, potatoes, and other goodies in a large, underground pit outside our house".

Shawna began to hone her basketball skills while watching her older brother play with his friends. She moved to Southern California and then to Oregon. Because of the many school moves Shawna made, she was always making new friends. In Oregon, Shawna found a best friend and mentor in a retired deputy sheriff who
was an AF combat medic in the Vietnam War. She says, "he has led by example. His patience, kindness, and love helped me overcome difficult situations and look at life from a different perspective. I still remember the day that he asked what I'd like to be when I grew up. It was a wonderful feeling to have a
choice. He was giving me the opportunity to become whatever I desired! He committed to helping me reach my goal of becoming a physician and has been my source of support during difficult times. His strength, wisdom, and love are amazing and he has taught me a lot about life."

Shawna became very involved with basketball in 8th grade. She says, "Playing basketball taught me about teamwork and working hard; I practiced for hours every day and improved. At one time, I thought about attending college on a basketball scholarship. During the off-season, I ran cross-country and track. I loved running track because it made me feel as if I was flying. When the team needed a long jumper, I did that too."

In 11-12th grades, Shawna attended high school in Oregon. She enjoyed math and science and began working on her ultimate goal; to enter a career in medicine. She earned a CNA license during high school with 60 hours of clinical work including community hospital rotations and worked with retirement home patients. She became a candy striper and then volunteered in the catheter lab where she assisted and prepped patients for angiography and other procedures. She graduated in 1995 and that summer, attended Oregon State University's HCOP program where she studied microbiology, ethics, physics, general chemistry and math.

In 1995, when Shawna entered Portland State University as a premedical student majoring in microbiology-biotechnology, she was invited into the Honors program. Of the 70 students who began the Honors program with her, only 15 graduated. She attended the Yale MMEP in the summer 1999.

Shawna began volunteering in the Oregon Health Science Center neurology program, "Think First", a spinal cord injury program in 1996 and continued through 1999, where she did presentations on child safety at health fairs. In her sophomore year, she volunteered in the oncology unit at Children's hospital. In spring 1998, Shawna decided to create a premedical organization run by premedical students, which still continues today. Thus, she was founder and President of the Portland Premedical Society. "I designed a structure that I believed would fit into a busy premedical student’s schedule and still allow a maximum amount of work to be accomplished. My philosophy was simple, ‘teamwork’". Shawna was also Co-President of Golden Key and sat on the AMSA Board for two years.

In 1998, Shawna was selected to attend an 8-week summer Apprenticeship program at Walter Reed Medical Center supported by the Portland State University Honors Program working on hemoglobin ligands. For her honors’ thesis, she worked in a neurology lab at Oregon Health Sciences University on non-AIDS CNS lymphoma patient brain tumors. Her thesis tested whether chemo-therapeutic agents penetrate the blood-brain barrier using tissue culture and the rat model. She presented a poster, and published her project the following year in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapies. After graduation, Shawna worked at a Kaplan educational center, as a volunteer medical assistant/health educator at neighborhood health clinics, and as a lab tech on the weekends in a local medical clinic.

In spring 2001, Shawna’s brother-in-law in North Dakota died from cancer. Shawna was very involved in his care and supporting her family. Shawna has a wonderful, positive attitude that others with her background easily may have lost.

When Shawna first applied to medical school, she only included a few schools. Although I tried to persuade her to include more, she wanted to stay close to home. She reapplied and was successful after adding schools where I knew she would have a good chance. You can hear the results of her success from the glowing report of how she is enjoying her current journey in the first year of medical school!
If you wish to communicate with Shawna Purcell, email drlewis@lewisassoc.com



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

"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults — What is it? Do I have it?"

Difficulty concentrating? Getting along with your spouse? Weaning Yourself from the Internet or that computer game to get your work done? Or thinking about all those things you have to do instead of focusing on what you're reading right now?

A new drug could help people who have trouble focusing. But it's likely to sharpen the debate on the prevalence of the disorder and how it's diagnosed. An LA Times article was sent to me by one of my current Advisees who has ADHD.

Intelligence is independent of ADHD or a Learning Disability — see the Success story for Jonathon Bloom, December 2001.

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

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants — how are they different?

By James R. Fry, MS, PA-C
Academic Coordinator
Physician Assistant Program, Marietta College

Jim is involved at the national level in the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

"PA's function more under the supervision of physicians and seem comfortable with that role whereas NP's seem to desire to function more independently. As far as the job is concerned, Pas and NPs work in very similar roles. In most states, NPs can practice independently, but may have some restrictions if they want to prescribe medications or they may be required to work under strict protocol lists. PAs prefer the dependant role since under state law they are restricted in their practice to the limits of our supervising physician, not to a protocol list. 47 states allow PAs prescriptive privileges. NPs do not have universal prescriptive privileges.

The biggest difference is in the training. PAs are trained under the medical model very similar to medical school. They can enter the profession without any prior medical experience or education. PA programs graduate students with Associate, Bachelor or Master degrees, although the move is toward the Master's degree. NPs are advance practice nurses and must have a BSN before they can enter the profession. Their training is based on the fact that they have prior medical schooling and tends to have a concentration of nursing theory. They are awarded a Master's degree. You will find some NP who are certificate holders, but most of those programs have converted to a degree. They also can be limited in their practice setting as NPs specialize in particular areas, pediatrics, adult medicine, geriatrics, OB/GYN, etc. This can limit their ability to move in the market. Pas are trained as generalists and are limited by their interest in specific fields. Since the PA scope of practice is regulated by that of the supervising physician, PAs generally change specialties with a fair amount of ease, depending on the market.

The market has seemed to remain steady and absorb new graduates. There has been a slowing of adding new PA schools in the last couple of years. We have looked at this issue many times and feel that there is room for growth. Besides, the profession has been around long enough that some of us want to retire!"

American College of Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner faculties
American Academy of Physician Assistants


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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