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 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
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,
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 upthis 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
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 email@example.com
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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
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 students 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, Shawnas 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 email@example.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
h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants how are they
By James R. Fry, MS, PA-C
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
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
American Academy of Nurse
of Nurse Practitioner faculties
Academy of Physician Assistants
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
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or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.