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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 8
June, 2002

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

=> Important News and Useful Links - KEYS OF MEDICAL SCHOOL SUCCESS

=> Dates and Reminders - Important AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS and CASPA News for Class of 2003 Applicants

=> Important People, Schools and Programs - SPECIAL MASTER'S PROGRAM Georgetown University School of Medicine

=> Success Story of the Month - Did Andrea decide to attend Harvard? Husband and Wife Graduate from Stanford Medical School

=> Question of the Month - How do you advise applicants to best use the Postsecondary Experience section on the AMCAS application?

=> Focus on a Health Profession - Surgery: Not Cutting It

=> 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.! See our website, http://www.lewisassoc.com/, for the Class of 2002 Progress Report.

June - "Application Season" is underway for 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 :

Keys to Medical School Success

Results from a recent AAMC interview of 171 faculty members, residents and students at 21 U.S. medical schools, suggest that there are ten key categories of behavior most associated with likely successful performance in medical school and residency. According to the study, "Identifying Behaviors of Successful Medical School Students and Residents," by Pat Etienne, PhD, and Ellen Julian, PhD, these characteristics include:

1. Taking an active role in helping to shape their own learning
and knowledge acquisition.
2. Self-management and coping skills.
3. Effort to foster a team environment.
4. Interpersonal skills and professionalism.
5. Empathetic and listening skills when interacting with patients and their families.
6. Technical knowledge and skill.
7. Extra effort and motivation.
8. Ethical judgment and integrity.
9. Mentoring skills.
10. Demonstrating an ability to maintain calm under pressure.

The researchers conclude from this study that there exists a core group of behavioral skills, which become important early in medical school and continue in importance throughout residency.

L I N K S : Useful Link of the Month

Keys to Medical School Success

Information: For a 2-page write-up of the above report, click here



d a t e s

Important AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS and CASPA News for Class of 2003 Applicants

AACOMAS update
Processing of applications commenced June 1.

AADSAS update
The web application went live June 1.

CASPA update
The web application has been live since late April, 2002.

AMCAS update
As of 6/5/02, the estimate of a date for applicants to the 2003 entering class to begin to certify and submit their completed AMCAS web-applications is "on or about June 12, 2002". AMCAS will collect April 2002 MCAT scores for those who released them, put them into AMCAS beginning the end of June and foresees submitting AMCAS in paper form to medical schools around the last week of June. They estimate it will take an average 4-6 weeks from your certification to medical school receipt of your AMCAS.

Secondary Applications
Most secondary (supplemental) applications are now online.



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

SPECIAL MASTER'S PROGRAM Georgetown University School of Medicine

The SMP at Georgetown University School of Medicine announced that it is accepting applications for the 2002-2003 academic year. This one-year MS program is specifically designed to enhance credentials of students applying to medical school who have completed all premedical requirements and taken the MCAT, and to provide a high quality biomedical education for a one year, non-research MS. It is a rigorous program for students who clearly have the ability to succeed in medical school but need additional academic enhancement to be admitted. Historically, 50 to 60% of their students have gone to medical school immediately following the academic year; approximately 80 to 85% eventually attend medical school. They offer a high level of personalized support throughout the medical school application process, and in subsequent years if necessary. PROGRAM DATES, 2002-2003 Academic Year. Application: through June 15, 2002; Web-based (www.go.to/physio) Admissions Process: Rolling, with a wait-list. Minimum Requirements for Application: Standard medical school prerequisites, and MCAT 26, GPA 3.0 (some leeway for students with very high grades or strong MCAT scores) Orientation: August 15-16 First/Last Dates of Program: August 19, 2002 through June 30, 2003; Anticipated Class Size: 110-120

Information for applicants: Sarah Olson, 202-687-7979 or email physio@georgetown.edu



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

A N D R E A  D A L V E - E N D R E S : Did Andrea decide to go to Harvard?

Husband and Wife Graduate from Stanford Medical School!!

First, Andrea Dalve-Endres' decision - Harvard, UCSF, UC Davis (and waitlisted at UC San Diego and U Hawaii). She attended special weekends at UC Davis and Harvard Medical Schools -- read below:

05.07.02 "No words or gifts can express my thanks for your years of support and hard work! My dreams have been far surpassed and it is with your guidance that I find my promising position of actually choosing from some wonderful options! I truly could not be happier with my position as I end my schooling at SDSU. It seems like yesterday that I joined CUHRE and ...the members of CUHRE are my extended family and forever will be supported by me in any way I possibly can. Of course my life will get a bit busier as I begin medical school but I will always do my best to take time out for students who come to visit Boston (okay I've made my decision - HARVARD NEEDS ME!) and of course, for you Dr. Lewis when you are in town! Lots of love...I will miss you tremendously!"


Married Couple attends Stanford Medical School

It is possible? Can a husband and wife actually be accepted into medical school the same year? What about to the same school in the same year? And, to Stanford? Is that possible? Well, probably not for just ANY couple - but for Eunice and Joel Mata, the answer is "yes."

Eunice and Joel, my alumni, have been my Advisees since 1992; both are the first in their Mexican-American families to attend college. About a month ago, I received an invitation to attend their Stanford Medical School graduation. So, a bit about Joel and Eunice. I recruited Joel into our Health Careers Opportunity Program first. He had done construction, was a school bus driver, actually worked as my Administrative Assistant one summer and became an electro-diagnostic technician in several clinics and in a clinical research project at UCSD. He and Eunice also established a small office cleaning business where they worked on the weekends to help pay for college.

Joel's mother died of cancer when he was younger and his brother was diagnosed with diabetes -these events initiated his interest in becoming a doctor. He was lucky in that his parents sent him to a seminary for high school boys several hundred miles away from the gang-focused neighborhood where he lived. He says, "What I enjoyed most about the seminary was the way we all communicated. Their simple uptopian lifestyle provided an alternate way of living, one that did not concern itself with popular culture and the latest trends. It focused on cooperation, altruism and an appreciation for what we had. They taught me that life can be as simple as I want it to be and that I was ultimately the greatest barrier to my own success and happiness."

After high school, Joel attended some college and worked, but he was not focused on academics until he married and was inspired by his wife to work toward meaningful goals. Joel was a Mentor, enrichment Instructor, my Administrative Assistant and sat on our HCOP student Council-a real leader. He additionally with his wife were the youngest board members for our local Flying Samaritans group that organized doctors, nurses, dentists and pre-health students to deliver free medical care to the poor in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. He says, "My clinical exposure with indigenous people has given me a firsthand perspective on the inequities of life and the impact education and basic medical care can have at an individual level. I have an unparalleled sense of satisfaction from my ventures into Mexico. These experiences have taught me that quality of care stretches beyond the examining room." In 1992, Joel and Eunice were married. Eunice has been the creative force and Joel the anchor in a collaboration that has also produced a beautiful daughter, Victoria.

Eunice's mother a single parent, struggled to make ends meet for the family including times without electricity and running water at home and Eunice by age 10 was the family's English spokesperson and paid the bills and was caregiver to her two younger brothers. She assisted her mother as a housekeeper during summers and became the first in her family to graduate from high school. Her first sense of accomplishment came in a church choir.

Eunice says, "It was my dream to sing with people whom I had admired for many years. Those years taught me about commitment, responsibility and being a team player. Interestingly enough, Eunice says, "Joel helped me acquire enough confidence to enter collegeÖI fell in love with the idea of learning and with the prospect of getting an education. For the first time in my life, I was so excited about school that I couldn't wait to enroll in more classes the following semester. I couldn't afford to stop working, so I attended night classes and worked fulltime during the day for a couple of years. I learned time management and study skills and gained more confidence.

In 1993, during a trip to Ensenada with the Thousand Smiles group that performs cleft lip and palate surgeries on children in Mexico, Eunice says, "Claudia, a beautiful baby girl with a severely-malformed upper palate, was just coming out of a makeshift surgery room. I, a Thousand Smile volunteer that weekend, prepared a small area on one of the large recovery beds for her. She was handed to me wrapped in several warm blankets exposing only a tuft of her dark black hair around her small Indian face. Her big ebony eyes were half drawn as I held her tightly, trying to convey a sense of safety and security. Words are inadequate to express what I felt at that moment. As tears rolled down my face, I thanked the Lord for providing the medical staff with the wisdom needed to make the surgery possible. It was then that I realized that I too could help change peoples' lives. Even though I had always felt a strong desire to be a physician, until that moment, I had not felt I possessed the passion to attain such a lofty goal. Cradling her small bundled body in my arms erased the years of embedded insecurities and doubts regarding my future. I decided I would become a physician, and just as Claudia would have a new life, so would I."

Eunice built more confidence in her abilities during our HCOP summer program and then became a consummate leader. She has a knack for taking over difficult tasks, building consensus and speaking out. She became the first President of CUHRE in 1997 and stood up for the quality and integrity of that program when under fire. That same year Eunice was awarded "Quest for the Best", one of only 10 students so honored out of 30,000 each year at San Diego State University.

Eunice will begin her Family Medicine residency at San Jose Medical Center, and Joel will start his Anesthesiology residency, at Stanford University Hospital. Perhaps, you can see why Stanford has enjoyed them so much!



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

How do you advise applicants to best use the Postsecondary Experience section on the AMCAS application?

Before the 2002 AMCAS web-application, there were only about 10 lines total to input all honors, jobs, clinical, research and community service experiences--wow, not much! We were using abbreviations and summarizing like mad. Then, last year (2002) AMCAS went 180 degrees the other way-they allowed unlimited numbers of experiences, each classified into one of 13 categories, as to honors, paid employment, research, etc. Some of my Advisees had up to 15 pages just of experiences--especially non-traditional older applicants.

Guess what the medical schools did?

They did NOT read all the experiences and rebelled - they lobbied AMCAS to limit the number of experiences this year to 15. That means you must group and prioritize your experiences accordingly. Also, it means that after you select your most important activities (2 at most) to discuss in your personal statement, you should use the Experiences section to develop all the other important items you wish Admissions Committees to know about you.

And, originally AMCAS indicated applicants would have 1325 characters for each experience description. However, when AMCAS went "live", we found that there are only 510 characters available, which is about 100 words or 7 lines. In other words, use your space wisely--don't waste any!

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

Surgery: Not Cutting It

Newsweek May 27, 2002
By Mary Carmichael

"If you’ve seen 'ER', you may remember Romano, the surgeon stereotype. He's sharp, he's sarcastic, he's got a leggy blonde and more money than God. Heck, he is God. Everybody wants to be this guy - just ask him. Actually, nobody does. As 15,800 med-school students graduate this month, surgery residencies are grappling with rejections as a fourth of their slots go unfilled. What's driving students away? The residency workload, which spurred a lawsuit last month, is especially brutal for surgeons. The operating room is also a bit of an old boys' club (witness Romano), and many of the women who've flooded med schools in recent years aren't interested. Add to that the increase in HMOs, giving residents more paper work and less time with patients, and a surgeonís salary can seem like little compensation - especially since it doesn't kick in until seven years after med school. Docs faced a similar dilemma in 1987 when surgery was flush but so few students chose internal medicine that the national residency acceptance day was dubbed 'Black Tuesday.' The prescription: recruit non-workaholics whoíd prefer medicine over surgery. It worked, perhaps too well. Let's hope the reverse strategy doesn't give us Black Tuesday, 2017."

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

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