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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue
May, 2003

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

=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

=> Important News: 26th Lewis Advisee accepted to Harvard!
AAMC sues Princeton Review
What are medical schools looking for? More from Stanford

=> Useful Links: Careers in Medicine, AMCAS, MCAT

=>Dates and Reminders: Online application go live dates

=> Success Story of the Month: Jacqueline Lapin - I Will Be a Dentist!

=> Question of the Month: What can go wrong at the MCAT?

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

Many of you are in the middle of an application season or beginning or midway through a spring term. 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. In fact here are email quotes from 2 Class of 2003 Lewis Advisees in the last week who were accepted to first choice schools:

Michelle Voigt, UC Santa Barbara graduate: Hello to you both (meaning Alice in our office who helps so many students)! Yes, its true...I am so thrilled! I loved X and I'm still in shock that I'm actually accepted to their school. Thank you, thank you, thank you both. I know that I would not have had the same opportunities if I had not worked with Lewis Associates. Wonderful!

Pegoh Pajouhi, UC Berkeley graduate: Dear Dr. Lewis, How are you? Yay, thanks for all you've done and your wonderful support. For Entering Class of 2004 students, this is your application year. I hope you survived the April 03 MCAT... if not, you should develop a very effective strategy to use the August MCAT to your benefit and get your application submitted soon! 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 2003 advised by Dr. Lewis - to date all but 4 applicants are accepted. Two of those four are waitlisted and 2 more are awaiting decisions in May.

A class of 2004 applicant emailed to Dr. Lewis after re- establishing her advising relationship:
As I am getting ready to apply to med school for Fall 2004, you were on my mind and I wanted to say thank you for all you have done for me in the past years.
I recently graduated Cum Laude.... yay! After many hours of psychological testing, Disabled Student Services and a private counselor determined that, as you had suggested, I have a testing disability and test anxiety, which kept me from performing to the best of my ability on the MCAT as well as my academic coursework. Therefore, I was granted time and a half on ALL my academic exams thanks to DSS and it's amazing how much a difference it made for me. My grades shot up immediately. I got one of the highest scores in the class in organic chemistry II once I started getting time and a half. Because of all this discovery of my testing disability, I will now be receiving time and half on the MCAT... BIG YAY!

As you suggested, I didn't want to take the MCAT again until I figured out the source of my difficulty. It's amazing, because on the practice exams, I am now earning 8's instead of 3's. I will be taking the MCAT in April with time and a half and in a separate room from everyone else (to alleviate my anxiety). I am focusing on the April MCAT now that I graduated and am not doing a million things at once. I am excited to perform really well this time! I want to thank you for all of your advice. You were 100% correct and I appreciate all of the time you spent on me. I would NOT be where I am now if it hadn't been for you . I am 10 X the applicant that I was 2 yrs ago and I am so glad I have waited to apply. I feel VERY ready this time. The MCAT has been a hurdle, but through it I have learned so much. Thanks for everything you have meant to my life. I am forever grateful!

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 imaclewis@lewisassoc.com 805-226-9669.



n e w s   &   l i n k s

N E W S : 26th Lewis Advisee accepted to Harvard!

Binita Patel, who worked with Dr. Lewis upon entrance to college and is now finishing a study abroad course in London, was invited to interview at every dental school where she applied, was accepted to 7 schools across the US, including Harvard. She is still deciding where she will matriculate this coming fall.

AAMC sues Princeton Review

The Association of American Medical Colleges has sued Princeton Review Inc., accusing the test-preparation company of copyright infringement, misappropriation, and fraud in a dispute over its methods of gathering detailed information about the Medical College Admissions Test. The lawsuit charges that the company's employees misrepresent themselves as students applying to medical school, then memorize confidential MCAT questions. http://chronicle.com/daily/2003/04/2003040305n.htm

What are medical schools looking for? More of Stanford's answer from Dr. Gabriel Garcia, Associate Dean for Admissions at Stanford Medical School

1. Desirable Traits of a Physician: Consider the care of their patients their first priority -- ethical, honest, dedicated -- Make good decisions for their patients-smart and knowledgeable, willing to learn and change their practice with newly-acquired knowledge, develop better ways of treating patients Relate well to their patients-communicate well and understand the cultural context in which care is given.

2. Review of Application: Research and scholarly activities-independence of thought, productivity Leadership-role model, legacy Evidence of originality and creativity-academic and non-academic accomplishments, e.g. community service, clinical work, sports, arts, business or other

How is Commitment measured?
Track record reflecting a desire to impact the health care of all our communities as clinicians, academicians or policy makers- public service, cultural activities, educational endeavors, scholarship pursuits

Educational context-interpret the applicant's record with regard to the "distance traveled", e.g. parental income, education and occupation; pre-college education; hours/week of work while attending college for financial support; cultural barriers; geographic location where applicant was raised; prior experiences with any type of prejudice; impact of stereotype threat; special family circumstances

Role Model-Evidence of awareness and participation in activities that are visible and intended to influence in a positive manner members of your community. Mohandas K. Gandhi: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

L I N KS :

Association of American Medical Colleges Careers in Medicine

AMCAS American Medical college Application Service

MCAT Medical College Admissions test


d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

Online application go-live dates

AADSAS-mid May
AMCAS-early May
VMCAS-early June




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

Jacqueline Lapin - I Will Be a Dentist!

I will give you a little information about Jackie before you read her story. We worked together about 2 years while she was taking graduate courses first as a post-baccalaureate student and now as a graduate student. We addressed many issues including understanding why it took many years to focus on her career aspiration of dentistry. Jacqueline's father is a dentist, now retired, who has been a terrific role model in her life, and her parents are very supportive of her goals. We tuned into her motivation, her strengths, weaknesses and I helped Jackie build a competitive application for dental school. In fact, we are still working on strategies for completing her MS degree during dental school. There are many ways to become a competitive applicant! Here is Jackie's story.

In 1995, I was twenty-five years old and made the decision to attend college. It took a number of years to finally commit to school since I had no idea what course of study to choose. But by 1995, I felt an urgency to earn a college degree, but felt unsure of where to direct my energies and insecure about my scholastic ability due to my long absence. I did not choose a major until late in 1997 when my grades started to improve consistently. At that time, I realized that I could do well in science courses and that I felt passionate about choosing dentistry as my career.

In 2000, I graduated with a B.A. in biology completing all of the pre-dental prerequisites. The only things left to do were take the DAT and apply to dental schools. I signed up for the Kaplan DAT prep course and was scheduled to take it the end of that summer. I knew I did not have a stellar GPA, but I thought my grades were still competitive. Then, I realized that the original grades in courses I had repeated were still calculated into my final GPA, which now significantly decreased. That was when I concluded that I had no chance of getting accepted into dental school. I stopped going to Kaplan and cancelled my appointment to take the DAT. .

When I met with Dr. Lewis, I mainly wanted to know whether or not I would be wasting my time going through the whole process of applying to dental schools. She reassured me that I had a real chance of being accepted to a program provided I could do well on the DAT. At this point, I decided to give it my best shot with Dr. Lewis' coaching about strategy and attitude. When I took the DAT, I was rewarded with rather high scores. When it became time to begin the daunting task of the application process, Dr. Lewis helped me with the procedural parts (such as requesting my letters, completing the AADSAS and writing essays), but even more importantly she instilled within me the sense of self-confidence I was lacking. Were it not for this confidence, I do not believe I would have finished all the work required in applying to the school.

This year, I was indeed accepted to several dental programs. After visiting a few campuses and interviewing, I began to turn down interviews. In fact, my first choice school-the one I would have died for to enter -- became my second choice school. I finally decided which school was right for me, based on my personal preferences -- Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. It offers a personal supportive approach to dental education that I know will work well for me, which Dr. Lewis pointed out. She connected me to a great support system there. I will be starting this program in fall 2003 and I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to Dr. Lewis for her patience, understanding, and mostly for the confidence she had in me to achieve my goal!

If you wish to communicate with Jacqueline, email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com



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

"What can go wrong at he MCAT?"

This is easy-of course anything and everything can go wrong. Here are two such examples from 4/26/03 and earlier MCATs:

1. A student assumed they knew where the site was, but did not visit the site in advance. It turns out that there is a sister college with the same name and the student went to the wrong campus; entered the exam late and due to illness voided the exam.

2. A student used a timer that was taken by the proctor during the first test section; this was disruptive and the student lost time and voided the exam.

Further on this point - This is from someone who took the 4/03 MCAT: Though the prep courses encourage you to buy timers and remove the beepers, and though the AMCAS website says you can use them as long as they are silent, the morning of the test the proctors were told NO timers, NO watches, NO nothing. When they told our room, people muttered, but put them away. When they told other rooms there arose such a fight that the proctors said, fine, but put them on the floor where they can't see them. So a straw poll at lunch showed half the rooms allowing timers and half not. One of my study buddies from another room was crying at lunch because she felt lost without the pacing mechanism of a timer. I went to the proctor office at lunch and asked them to either let everyone have one, or enforce that nobody used them, just out of fairness. They said they would, and didn't, so our proctor said something to them in the afternoon. (He also made notes on the test form for proctors about the cell phone in our room ringing and the wristwatch that beeped every 1/2 hour.) I imagine about 1/2 the rooms used timers throughout the day and the other 1/2 didn't at a site where roughly 150 people took it. The young woman next to me left 9 answers blank in physical sciences because she was so thrown off. No guessing, just blank.

3. A student forgot to take their MCAT ID information with them the day of the exam; actually used a different ID and took the exam.

Of course, other issues arise, e.g. test anxiety, not sleeping before the exam, not eating well during lunch, and just not preparing enough or effectively. One of the most important issues is developing confidence to complete the exam on time. It is like preparing for a race or other athletic event-it has mental, physical, psychological and emotional components. Each must be addressed to be successful.

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


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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