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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 7
May, 2002

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

=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

=> Chat Session with Dr. Lewis - Join Her and Get Your Questions Answered

=> Important News and Useful Links - Kisani Ogwaro, Alumna at NIH and General Graduate Record Exam Changes

=> Dates and Reminders - Important AMCAS and AACOMAS News for Applicants

=> Important People, Schools and Programs - Nova Southeastern University

=> Success Story of the Month - Harvard Medical School: Will She Go?s

=> Question of the Month - Should I Release My MCAT Scores?

=> Focus on a Health Profession - - Alternative Medicine Is Finding Its Niche in Nation's Hospitals

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

Congratulations to the Class of 2001 advised by Dr. Lewis! We had 94% acceptance for our premedical applicants all over the U.S.!

Congratulations to the Class of 2001 advised by Dr. Lewis! We had 94% acceptance for our premedical applicants all over the U.S.! See our website, http://www.lewisassoc.com/, for the Class of 2002 Progress Report.

May - This is the beginning of "Application Season" - if you are in the Entering Class of 2003, this is the most important and exciting year of your life!

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 can implement strategies that will change your life. Read about it in our newsletter and website, then phone or email us directly to get started!

Developing YOU to your potential is our goal, and people are our "most important product". Dr. Cynthia Lewis has been advising Pre-health students with an overall acceptance rate of 85% since 1985.Lewis Associates was launched in 1998 to provide long term, personalized advising services to students across North America, specializing in Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Dentistry, Physician Assistant and Veterinary Medicine. Our success is real. You may be like our 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 received 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.



n e w s a n d l i n k s

N E W S :

Chat Session with Dr. Lewis

On Tuesday May 14, 2002 at 6:00pm Pacific Time (7:00PM Mountain Time; 8:00PM Central Time; 9:00PM Eastern Time) Dr. Lewis will return to Accepted.com for the first chat of the medical school admissions season. Bring your questions, Dr. Lewis will provide the answers.

Go to http://www.accepted.com/chat

Dr. Anthony Fauci Awarded Largest U.S. Prize in Medicine

Kisani Ogwaro, Alumna of Dr. Lewis, has worked in Dr. Fauci's lab at NIH for the past two years. She presented her research as an oral and will have a poster report in May. Dr. Lewis advised Kisani immediately out of high school, throughout college and for the past two years as a deferring premedical student. She enters the Medical Scientist training Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham this fall.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been awarded the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. The prize is the largest award in medicine in the United States, and is second only to the Nobel Prize. Dr. Fauci was recognized for his seminal research into AIDS and other immune system diseases, for his overall contributions to the advancement of science and for his distinguished public service.

L I N K S : Useful Link of the Month

General Graduate Record Exam

How and why is the General Test changing?

Starting on October 1, 2002, the General Test will be composed of verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections. The verbal and quantitative sections will be unchanged from their present content. The analytical writing section will be identical to the stand-alone test we now call the Writing Assessment, which was introduced in October 1999. The current analytical section will no longer be part of the General Test. These changes to the General Test are being made in order to (1) help admissions committees assess higher level critical thinking and analytical writing skills of applicants, and (2) provide a performance assessment that measures a test taker's ability to make and critique arguments, which is central to the work done by graduate students in most fields.

Go to http://www.gre.org/faqnew.html



d a t e s

Important AMCAS, AACOMAS AND AADSAS News for Class of 2003 Applicants

AACOMAS update:
AACOMAS is now live - you should request that all college transcripts are sent to AACOMAS now (no form needed). You and Dr. Lewis should discuss personally your strategy for whether or not to include spring grades on transcripts.

AMCAS update
1.Your social security number will be required this year in
addition to being given an AAMC ID number.
2.Re-applicants need to use the 2002 user ID and passwords to
access 2002 AMCAS; ask me for information about refunds from AAMC
for 2002 fees on a case-by-case basis.I will give you the
correct contact information.
3.The 2003 Medical School Admissions Requirements book is now
out - I have a copy (see below for order information) - get yours
4.As of 4/26/02, the best estimate of a "go live" date for the AMCAS 2003 is May 6th although it may be live on May 2 or 3.As you have been advised, you should download the AMCAS worksheet .pdf file and can begin filling in the data by hand while we wait for April MCAT scores, etc. When the AMCAS goes live, register and submit the transcript request forms to all your colleges. This is something you want to do ASAP. You and Dr. Lewis should discuss personally your strategy for including spring grades on transcripts.
5.The good news is that 8 servers will be dedicated to AMCAS from the first day. It will likely still take an average of 5 hours to input your data; 4% of PC Internet Explorer beta testers for the 2003 AMCAS said it took more than 9 hours. So, be prepared. No data in yet from Mac and Netscape users. AOL users may be slower due to large volume. And, the slowest entry will be coursework.
6.First date you can certify and submit will be "on or about June 5th".
7.AMCAS will begin to verify "on or about June 5th".
8.AMCAS will collect April MCAT scores, put them into AMCAS for those who released them beginning the end of June and foresees submitting AMCAS in paper form to medical schools by about the last week of June. They estimate it will take on average 4-6 weeks from certification to medical school receipt of your AMCAS.
9.Most secondaries are now online.
10.How will you track your application with AMCAS? There is 24/7 voice response system and the front page of your web application will be like a status checker to verify missing transcripts.

"2003-2004 Medical School Admission Requirements" now available

The significantly enhanced 2003-2004 edition of the AAMC's "Medical School Admission Requirements" (MSAR) is now available. The MSAR provides comprehensive and authoritative information for pre-med students applying to any of the allopathic medical schools in the United States or Canada.

Go to http://www.aamc.org/publications or call AAMC Publication Orders, 202-828-0416.



p e o p l e & s c h o o l s

Nova Southeastern University, Health Professions Division

Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has an interdisciplinary organization and approach for the Health Professions Division with the following schools: Osteopathic Medicine (founded in 1981), Pharmacy, Optometry, Dental Medicine (first new dental school in the U.S. in 26 years ó opened in 1997), Physician Assistant program and Allied Health.

The College of Medical Science, where all basic science faculty are located, teaches Health Professions students across all colleges in coordinated groups. For example, Osteopathic medical students, Physician Assistant students and Pharmacology students all take a basic pharmacology course together. Dental and Optometry students take head and neck anatomy together.

The school has gone through a recent building boom and has just completed a $62 Million Library, Research and Information Technology Center and takes many students from around the U.S.

Health professions students have told Dr. Lewis that they appreciate the strong resources, rapid response by administration and faculty to students, having national and in some cases international clinical opportunities, high tech facilities (dental, optometry, etc.), high faculty to student ratio, the integrated nature of the professions with interdisciplinary curriculum which fosters developing teamwork between the professions, open door policy of teaching-oriented faculty, high boards pass rates and a buddy system of 2nd years with 1st years.

For further information about Nova Southeastern University, Health Professions Division, go to http://www.nova.edu/cwis/academics.html



s u c c e s s s t o r y

A N D R E A  D A L V E - E N D R E S : Harvard Medical School-Will She Go There?

Andrea and Dr. Lewis--November 2004, Boston

Andrea, my Premedical Advisee since 1998, was recruited, then Mentored by one of my Alumni, past President of the student organization, CUHRE (Collegiate Union For Health Related Education).Andrea matured as a premedical candidate in the CUHRE program, was elected President two years ago and is currently serving as VP. CUHRE has also been a supportive influence and has gained extraordinarily from Andrea's leadership skills.Accepted to several very competitive medical schools (she withdrew from interview at Stanford recently), Andrea is now deciding if she will enter Harvard next fall.

Andrea grew up in Sacramento with both parents and a younger sister until her parents divorced. Of her father, she says, "He made intermittent appearances in our lives and looking back, I realize it was the start of self-doubt that hindered my life for many years."

Andrea was exposed to science in 4th grade and loved it. It was this time that her mother remarried. She says

"When my stepfather graduated with an accounting degree, we were proud of him." They moved to Quincy, a town of less than 5000, where Andrea completed elementary through high school. She fit into the farming focus and says, "A majority of the students were members of 4-H where I soon found myself a member. I rode horses, raised sheep and rabbits, trained my dog in obedience competitions, and became a club officer. At this time, my grandmother introduced me to the books of James Harriott. I read his series "All Things Bright And Beautiful" until the corners were frayed and the binding damaged. These stories coupled with the enjoyment of science fostered by my 4th grade teacher and my experiences with farming inspired me. I was going to be a large animal vet".

Unfortunately, Andrea's algebra teacher told her she would not succeed. Her confidence, especially in math, evaporated for years, and it was a long battle back. She says, "I barely passed algebra and was permitted to proceed without sufficiently learning basic algebra skills. Continuing through high school, I was never equipped with the basic math skills that I should've learned in algebra. Although it would take years to overcome my self-doubt, I eventually did".

Andrea really had no career plans and entered college because it was "expected". She liked science, but not math, and thought psychology might be an appropriate major. As Andrea says, "Looking back, I was young, immature, not focused, lacking in self-discipline, and had self-doubt that made it best to not have attended school then, but instead take time to 'grow-up'.

The summer after Andrea's first year in college, she got a secretarial job, worked part time and entered a community college - still with no motivation, and then withdrew. She says, "I needed to explore life further before making a decision. I can still remember handing the paper to the administrative assistant and asking 'is that all?' at the time thinking that this was the worst thing I ever did. Later, I saw that this was actually a mature decision.

When our apartment lease expired this same year, the manager did not renew it - I found myself homeless. This experience demonstrated to me an understanding of how someone could become homeless and how things can go terribly wrong".

She moved to the California Bay Area and took a job as the customer service representative at a packaging company. She says, "While I enjoyed the daily interaction with customers and helping them with design specifications, I felt that I was not challenged and this is not where I envisioned myself in my future. There was something so much greater for me and I was going to find it."

A revelation also occurred at this time, as Andrea says, "I learned that my father and uncle had both been living with depression. Maybe I knew all along that there were individuals suffering from mental illness in my family when I started college, since I selected to study psychology. Now I had a personal motivation to understand and I returned to college as a psychology major. My insecurity with my mathematical abilities remained, but with a renewed commitment, I returned to school to learn and the difference was this time I was passionate".

It was 1995 when Andrea entered SDSU.A renewed sense of confidence that she could succeed academically was bestowed on Andrea by a faculty who helped her enter the McNair Scholars Program and gave her a research project. Andrea says, "I began my research with Dr. Claire Murphy studying olfactory functioning in a variety of populations."

At the Lifespan Human Senses Laboratory, she met the President of the Collegiate Union for Health Related Education (CUHRE).While working in the olfactory lab, she also began volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul in the women's dormitory. As a Residential Specialist, she started working officially for St. Vincent De Paul full-time in the Paul Mirable Center, where individuals come in directly from the streets. In her words, "Quitting my job at the architecture firm and taking a large cut in pay was redeemed ten-fold in experiences". Simultaneously, Andrea took a year internship at the walk-in center downtown, offering emergency services in the family development center as a case manager, and on the streets of San Diego doing homeless outreach for the Salvation Army.

Andrea says, "My involvement with clinical populations at this laboratory and my interest in psychology is where my thoughts of medical school originated. It's amazing how doubt of your capabilities can linger, and did for me. "Andrea's interest in medicine crystallized as she says, "I knew there was a link between biology and mental illness I wanted to understand further this link and understand, from the biological perspective. Psychology offered some insights, but to really understand I needed to understand the biology. The idea of a 'hard science' class was terrifying, but I decided to take neurobiology. I had to know more! A friend directed me to the Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory. The studies here address the impact of thiamine-deficiency and the role of alcohol leading to Wernicke's encephalopathy. This project resulted in co-authorship for Andrea in a paper published in 1999 in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology.

I end with Andrea's words, "Through clinical experiences, my desire to pursue a medical career has been reinforced. There is no career that is as rewarding, expresses one's compassion for humankind, where one can discuss sensitive topics with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, use critical thinking skills to come to a decision, work as a team to resolve problems, study the human body and its systems, be a leader, and make a fundamental difference in the lives one touches. These are all skills I've seen in action and that I have developed. From my experiences with my father and those with the women at the homeless shelter, I particularly have an interest in serving women and those who suffer from mental illness."



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

Should I Release My MCAT Scores?

Of course, this is an "It depends!" answer. It depends on your particular academic background, date of taking the MCAT and when you are submitting your application.

So, seek your Advisor to discuss this very important decision. You may have just taken the April 2002 MCAT. If so, I prefer that unless my Advisees know in their heart, mind and soul that they did VERY well on the exam, that they wait until they see their scores the third week of June when the scores are sent to them to discuss whether or not to release them. I like being an informed consumer. April test takers will also be deciding whether or not to re-take the August 2002 exam and which schools to select for application - these are big decisions that need to wait until the April scores are in hand!

August test takers who are submitting an application for that application year - MUST release your August scores while taking the August test - or you will jeopardize the competitiveness of your application simply because it will be so late in the process when schools receive your scores in mid-October.

One of my advisees said, "I have heard that medical schools think that not releasing your MCAT scores is fishy. "As I told her, you have lots of time in June when you receive the scores to decide whether or not to release them. For a few students, if one or more of these 4 scores are very low, it is not appropriate to release them. It is advantageous to be able to control your own score release. She further asked, "If we do not release until June, will the medical schools know that we released them in June and are there negative consequences?" There are no negative consequences unless you wait for months to release your reasonable scores. It is inconsequential if the schools know the date of release--they just care about getting the scores to complete your file. And, you want them to see good scores. Schools will see the number of tests you have taken. If you have taken the test twice, you may choose which scores you would like released. If you have taken the exam three or more times, the latest two scores are automatically released when you do release.

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



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

Alternative Medicine is Finding Its Niche in Nation's Hospitals

April 13, 2002
By Reed Abelson with Patricia Leigh Brown, The New York Times

Hospitals in search of paying patients and a competitive edge are increasingly offering their patients some form of alternative medicine.

Click here to read article and register for free at The New York Times website.


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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