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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 6
June, 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: new MCAT prep test bank

=> Useful Links: Post-baccalaureate website

=>Dates and Reminders: From AMCAS today!

=> Success Story of the Month: Todd Cook - Chiropractor Turned Physician

=> Question of the Month – "How to prepare for the MCAT Verbal Reasoning section?"

=> 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 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 2 applicants are accepted; those two are waitlisted and one is entering the University of Hawaii Post-bac program which is affiliated with the medical school.

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. 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 : MCAT prep test bank

The National Academies recently released two reports on the Status of the U.S. public health system:

Kaplan launched a web-based practice tool for students taking the MCAT. The MCAT Question Bank or QBank will allow users to customize practice tests and drills based on their specific needs and performance. Students can adapt their study in response to the continuously updated on-screen performance feedback, graphically displayed by subject area and receive answers and explanations from Kaplan after completing an exam session.

L I N K : Post-baccalaureate Website

Updated and enhanced information about post-baccalaureate premed programs now available on the Student Hub at: http://services.aamc.org/postbac/ Now searchable by state, with expanded information about programs, searchable database with enhanced functionality



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

From AMCAS today!

AMCAS will begin accepting applications to the 2004 entering class on Tuesday, June 3, at 12:00AM ET. We ask that applicants review their applications thoroughly prior to submission. The majority of information submitted by applicants is considered final upon submission, and careful pre-submission review helps to prevent the receipt of incorrect information by medical schools. The release of verified applications to designated medical schools is anticipated for early July, and is dependant on the annual database load of April MCAT scores (scheduled to occur in late June).



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

Todd Cook - Chiropractor turned Physician!

Todd is the prototype of a "born-again" student! There is the "old" Todd and the "new" Todd. Here is part of his story.

Todd started working at age 14 in fast food, then by age 16, for his stepfather in sheet metal and in his senior year of high school, he bagged groceries 24 hr/wk. The family moved from Chicago to Florida to Georgia. Todd really enjoyed math, science and electronics, made model airplanes and owned chemistry sets as a child. He wanted to become a doctor since middle school due to the strong role model of his family medicine doctor. In high school, Todd took all honors classes and continued to enjoy math and science, and graduated with strong SAT scores and GPA. .

He entered the University of Georgia, a large institution, and immediately rushed a fraternity. Unfortunately, he did not attend much class nor study, and focused instead on social development. In his second year, he moved into the fraternity house. Todd failed his first general chemistry exam, withdrew, got mad at himself and that is when he decided to actually study. He enjoyed calculus, started a peer study group and his grades improved - that year he moved out of the fraternity house.

Todd felt that his 2 year GPA under 3.0 would keep him from entering medical school, so he entered Chiropractic School, taking the pre-requisite courses and left University of Georgia after 2 years. When his mother attended Chiropractic school, Todd was her mock patient. Todd's mother had become a Chiropractor, enjoyed her work and he believed that he could work like a family practice doctor, developing long-term patient relationships as a Chiropractor.

Todd attended Chiropractic School for 3.5 years, year around, and this is where his academic life began to "take off". He was on the Dean's List for 10 quarters, earning a 3.6 overall GPA while taking up to 25 units per quarter for 3.5 years, graduating fall 1999 Magna Cum Laude. He worked fulltime in his mother's Chiropractic Clinic for 5 months as an Aide prior to licensure and began fulltime Chiropractic practice with his mother. They became a strong team and Todd enjoyed educating his patients and doing adjustments. After 1 year in practice, though, Todd felt constrained in what he could do for his patients and wanted to do more.

Because Todd did not complete a bachelor's degree before entering Chiropractic school, he now needed to do this as preparation to become a premedical applicant. Todd took a brutal academic schedule for 2 years to fulfill the premedical and many general education requirements (moving from the quarter to semester system) and completed a BS degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. He earned a 4.0 GPA for all of this science coursework and began observing 2 hospital-based surgeons. He saw that they also developed personal relationships with their patients. Todd matured in college and Chiropractic school and developed confidence in his academic and professional abilities while working with people in a therapeutic setting. Todd really embraced the academic work ethic, putting in about 300 hours of preparation for the April 2002 MCAT, using a study group and an MCAT preparation course.

I met Todd's lovely wife Alexis when I gave a workshop at Georgia State University this spring; she does marketing, advertising, creates websites and does graphic design. Everyone needs people to believe in them, and Todd has had a cheering section of his mother, step-father and wife (as well as me).

My advice for Todd was to prepare for and apply to an appropriate number of Allopathic and Osteopathic medical schools to optimize his chances of acceptance. We worked together closely on a weekly basis for over a year on Todd's application, on secondaries, on interview preparation, on decisions about acceptances, withdrawing from schools, everything that comes with the difficult application process. Todd worked hard on his application essay...perhaps the most difficult part for him personally. I often tell students that application to health professions school is a roller coaster ride.... we need to maintain focus yet be flexible...as no one knows every event that will happen in the future. Todd listened carefully and well, and took advising seriously. He was our very first applicant to medical school for the Class of 2003-submitting AACOMAS on June 13 and AMCAS on June 21.

Todd was invited to interview at 12 schools, has been accepted to 5 medical schools---and will enter George Washington University in Washington, D. C. this fall. Todd and Alexis said: "Thank you for everything. We would not be where we are today without you." Todd: "It feels good to have my journey referred to as a 'success story'".

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



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

"Is the Verbal Reasoning section your most difficult MCAT testing area? "

For students who do not read much outside of sciences, for English as a Second Language students, for students who have "never enjoyed reading", are slow readers, have poor vocabularies or poor reading comprehension, etc., then you will find the VR section of the MCAT to be downright hard.

It is best if freshmen and sophomores begin Pre-reading comprehension assignments this summer. Read at least 4 books, one about your intended health career or the health care system in general, one about a culture different from your own, one focusing on ethics/values and one a classic. The books can be fiction or non-fiction. Also begin readying in-depth non-science analysis e.g. New York Times or Wall Street Journal editorials. Be accustomed to being able to "pull the main idea" out of an article or chapter and describe it to someone else easily. And, read in the areas of political science, history, religion, philosophy, sociology, art, etc!

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.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates, or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.

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