Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 8
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
=> Important News: Supreme Court Decision, Virtual
Medical School, Interview Funding for Disadvantaged
=> Useful Links: IRTA at NIH, Rural Medicine Site
=>Dates and Reminders: AMCAS secondaries, VCAT
Out/GRE In, Osteopathic Medicine Outside the US, Osteopathic Physician
=> Success Story of the Month: International Medical
Program Leads to Top Choice Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care
at University Hospital of Cleveland
=> Question of the Month "What Can
go Wrong in My Application Process?"
=> Our Services
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
Many of you are in the middle of the Class of 2004 application season.
Requests for secondary/supplemental applications are arriving daily
and our very first request for interviewat Vanderbilt University
Medical School came 2 days ago from one of our Class 2004 applicants
who submitted his application on June 22nd! Interestingly, Vanderbilt
now screens for interview first, then required the secondary application
be submitted by the time of interview, the reverse of the more typical
medical school application process.
You may be doing research at NIH (one of my Advisees is) or in other
prestigious programs, completing coursework, studying for the DAT or
GRE or 8/03 MCAT or traveling or working to earn the funds to pay for
application. 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. Here is an email quote from
a Class of 2003 Lewis Advisee who was accepted to her first choice school:
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
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
100% of all applicants this year are accepted with one
in the University of Hawaii Post-Bac program which is affiliated with
their medical school.
See the Class
of 2002 Final Report and the Class
of 2003 Final Report
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
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 email@example.com
n e w s & l i n k s
N E W S : Supreme Court Decision, Virtual Medical School, Interview
Funding for Disadvantaged
Supreme Court Ruling Supports Greater Diversity in Medicine
President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., issued the following statement today,
on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the University of Michigan cases:
"Today's momentous Supreme Court decision will not only affect
higher education, it will help ensure better health care for all Americans,
now and in the future. By upholding affirmative action, the Court will
permit the nation's medical schools to continue developing a physician
workforce that truly mirrors our society. A more diverse physician workforce
will benefit every aspect of health care in this country. It will help
tomorrow's doctors acquire the cultural competence they will need to
treat our increasingly diverse society; it will provide underserved
populations with greater access to physicians who share their ethnic
heritage; and it will encourage more researchers to seek solutions to
racial disparities in health care Bridging the medical profession's
diversity gap is essential, and AAMC believes that affirmative action
is the most effective way to achieve that goal in the near term. Although
the court ruled against the University of Michigan's undergraduate scoring
system, its validation of affirmative action supplies the support needed
to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minorities
enrolled in U.S. medical schools. The Supreme Court has provided medical
schools with the power to fulfill one of our most solemn societal obligations.
The AAMC applauds today's decision and will continue to work to promote
diversity throughout the medical profession."
Virtual Medical School
The Globe Online Headline: E-school would teach medicine from afar 7/30/2003
Byline "For aspiring doctors, the first half of medical school
is both hard and messy, as they dissect human cadavers and practice
giving physical exams to classmates. But soon medical students at Brown
University in Providence could study medicine for two years without
getting near a cadaver, a fellow student - or even Providence. In what
may be the most extreme example of the trend toward Internet-based education,
Brown and a worldwide group of medical schools are collaborating to
build an ''International Virtual Medical School,'' allowing students
to begin work toward a medical degree thousands of miles from a classroom."
To read the entire story, click on the link below or cut and paste it
into a Web browser:
Interview Funding for Disadvantaged
The University of Michigan provides travel assistance up to $400 for
travel to interviews for financially disadvantaged applicants and can
arrange for housing with a student. The University of Iowa Carver College
of medicine provides travel reimbursement up to $150 to assist applicants
coming to interview who've been identified by AMCAS as disadvantaged.
In certain cases, theyve paid for the entire visit. Those students
are notified prior to the interview that they are eligible for a partial
travel reimbursement and to keep all receipts, including air fare, hotel,
car rental, etc. Iowa can also arrange for housing through their Medical
Student Ambassador Host Program. Northwestern University Medical School
will allow students to send evaluations from other medical schools where
they may have interviewed, or if that is not possible, to interview
regionally with one or two of our alumni-identified through our alumni
office. It is very important that applicants communicate with the admissions
office so that admissions can make the necessary determination. Students
who could not afford to travel have taken advantage of these opportunities
in the past, and have matriculated as a result.
(note by Dr. Lewis: Regional interviews have pros and cons).
L I N K : Post-baccalaureate Website
Have you wondered what to do after college graduation and before acceptance
to medical or other health professions school? One possibility is a
special research program at NIH:
From one of our Advisees, Stacia Bier: "I am currently doing research
at the NIH on the Parainfluenza virus. I am working on creating a vaccine
that will eventually be given to infants and children. It is very exciting!!
Sometimes I feel like I should pinch myself to make sure that I am actually
here! My research mentor is SO NICE and the PI of the lab is very concerned
that the students here learn. There is no "grunt" work here
(ie cleaning test tubes for people, etc). I have my own project that
was given to me the first week. I don't quite comprehend everything
that I am doing, but more and more things are starting to click. The
more that they click...the more I like it. I have been reading lots
of research articles about the V protein mutations that have made successful
attenuated vaccines for other scientists on other viruses within the
same virus family(the V protein is what I am working on). Hopefully,
from this information I can design my own mutations for my virus and
test it's pathogenic effects on cells.....then hamsters.....then monkeys...then
humans. Would any of you be interested in being test subjects?? Just
kidding. I just volunteered to be the representative IRTA Intramural
Research Training Award for NIAID National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Disease. So once again, I am a leader. I can't help it!!!!
It will be fun. We have monthly meetings and plan pre-med information
conferences and application workshops. I'll keep you posted."
Rural Medicine Site
Web page for comments and controversies surrounding the "Four That
Flunk" articles with critiques, responses, and links:
d a t e s & r e m i n d
e r s
Due to the immediacy of data availability on AMCAS, your AMCAS once
submitted (certified), is accessed by the schools you have indicated
which may send you requests for secondaries prior to verification of
your application. They receive your hard copy application after verification
VCAT Out/GRE In
The Psychological Corporation announced in early spring 2003 that the
Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) would be discontinued, effective
June 30, 2003. Any tests that were administered on or before June 30
will be processed and scored. Transcript-reporting services will be
available for candidates and recipient schools for five years preceding
test dates, through June 30, 2008. Questions regarding the VCAT should
be directed to PSE Customer Relations at 1-800-622-323. All American
veterinary schools now accept the GRE; some schools require the GRE
Biology test, etc; some will accept the GRE or MCAT. The good news is
that ALL vet schools now accept one common test!
Osteopathic Medicine Outside the US
The summary of licensure availability in foreign countries for graduates
of United States osteopathic medical school graduates is revised and
expanded on a continual basis. Some countries have definite policies
regarding the licensure of D.O.'s, the licensure of internationally
trained physicians and health care practitioners and/or the licensure
of noncitizens. Some of the numerous countries that currently extend
unlimited practice rights to D.0.'s include Argentina, Italy, Saudi
Arabia, Nigeria, Panama, China, Chile, Colombia, Zambia, Vietnam, UAB,
Taiwan, Liberia, Hong Kong, Greece, Germany, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
(Please note these are examples and not a comprehensive listing) A few
countries have consistently refused to grant US-trained D.O.'s full
practice rights, often permitting them to perform only manipulation
and sometimes refusing to grant them any type of practice. For example,
Great Britain, France and Barbados currently limit D.0.'s to manipulation.
Currently D.O.'s do not have any practice rights in Belize, Ireland
or Malaysia. Other countries, however, are simply not educated on the
qualifications of US-trained D.O.'s and their equivalence in education,
training and practice to M.D.'s. To that end, communication with international
health-care officials can be a time consuming and formidable task. However
this is an on-going and important endeavor being undertaken by our profession.
There are a few issues to keep in mind when researching licensure possibilities
in foreign countries. Many countries that were or continue to be under
British influence adhere to Britain's definition of an "osteopath,"
a non-physician health care practitioner who practices only manipulation.
Due to the similarity of the titles, many of these countries refuse
to grant US-trained D.O.'s practice rights beyond the scope of manipulation.
Also, the intent and type of practice sought by the US-trained D.O.
might warrant a substantially different application procedure. For example,
those who are interested in working on a volunteer basis or for a mission
often find the process less hindered by paperwork and legal regulations.
For this reason, an applicant should be as clear as possible about his/her
intentions when making an inquiry.
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) maintains a catalog of countries
in which the AOA has investigated osteopathic licensure. Included in
each country's listing is the year in which the last request for updated
licensure status was made, the scope of osteopathic practice in that
country, an overview of issues specific to that country and the contact
for licensure inquiries. To review this catalog in detail and for more
information please visit:
Osteopathic Physician Communication
CHICAGO, July 17 /U.S. Newswire A recently published study indicates
that osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) and allopathic physicians (M.D.s)
have different communication styles when it comes to talking to their
patients. Timothy S. Carey, M.D., the study's lead author and a professor
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
explains, "D.O.s seem to have a communication style with patients
that is more personal, as issues relating to family, social activities,
and patient emotions appear to be more commonly discussed during office
visits." Dr. Carey states that this work represents the first time
patient communication patterns have been evaluated between these similar,
but distinct, medical professions. Fifty-four patient visits were audio-recorded
to 11 osteopathic and seven allopathic primary care physicians. Researchers
compared the physicians' interaction with the patients on a 26-item
index. D.O.s had an average of 11 positive responses compared to an
average of 6.9 for M.D.s. The items included that the physician discusses
preventive measures specific to the complaint; explains the cause of
problem or reasoning behind treatment; and asks, "Do you have any
questions?" The study appears in the July issue of JAOA-The Journal
of the American Osteopathic Association.
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
International Medical Program Leads to Top Choice
Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at University Hospital
7/8/03 Dr. Lewis:
"It was funny - I was thinking about you today - went to your web
page and perused your web sight and not surprised to see your succesful
intervention with young students and help them launch their careers
with appropriate focus. As for me - just completed residency at Case
Western's Metro Health Medical Center in 3 years of Internal Medicine.
Just got accepted for fellowship at University Hospital's of Cleveland
for Pulmonary and Critical Care!!
So I was really happy and just thinking about those times in 1994 when
Med School admissions were quite competitive and I was reluctant to
go abroad -but did so. So wanted to of course say "thank you"
- it has been a long and very interesting ride (survived 2 years in
St. Maarten, 3 hurricanes, 1 year in England --> scoring good #'s
on mcats, usmles--> ), and now returning to California for 1 year
to work as a Hospitalist before I return to Cleveland for fellowship.
University Hospitals is where they did Chris Reeve's diaphragmatic stimulator
surgery so that he could potentially live w/o a ventilator - that was
done by our own Pulmonary and Critical Care dept., so I was very honored
to have the opportunity to work with such faculty.
Writing to say thanks and that I am going to be in Calif at least through
the early winter - if there is anything I can do (e.g. talk to students)
- I would be happy to do so. Congratulations on all your success continuing!!"
I remember starting the University of California at San Diego with much
enthusiasm and pride. I ranked very high in my secondary school. But,
what I didnt realize is the importance of secondary school preparation
to do well in college. I went to a High School where only 30% of the
students pursued any type of post-graduation certification, let alone
degree. The remaining 70% are continuing on their laureates from high
Having miscalculated my ability I obviously got off to a slow
start at UCSD. It took some time to realize what and how the professors
test. Even though I had a below average GPA into my fourth year in college
I decided to take the MCAT. After taking the multiple courses involved
in a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology I had no doubt in
my mind I wanted to become a physician. I believe my personal statistics
did not represent my ability. I scored a 25 (with a 10 in the Physical
Sciences). Applied to Medical School and obviously did not get
I took a few quarters off prior to graduation to find myself. I began
EMT training and fulfilled the requirements to transport patients
in ambulances. I believe my turning point was when with much support
and pushing from my family was a phone call from an offshore school
representative came to me one night. He was impressed with my success
in certain courses, and stated that I just had to improve my Verbal
Score to be taken into consideration. Not everyone comes from the same
So I returned to UCSD to complete my degree and began a post-baccalaureate
program at SDSU. My final quarter at UCSD with some of the most difficult
courses offered was a 4.0. I met Dr. Lewis at SDSU and I felt
confident I could succeed and scored one of the highest scores
in the human physiology class. I prepared for the MCAT for a few months
and scored an 11 in Physical Sciences, 10 in Biological Sciences, and
a 10 in verbal. I was actually disappointed a bit, because I was scoring
35-37 on my diagnostics; however I felt I had proven myself by this
In May of 1995, I received admission to the American University of the
Caribbean. With support again from my family after an active
Volcano had moved the program from Montserrat to St. Maarten
I joined the school in a makeshift campus in the Netherlands Antilles.
Within 2 weeks of arrival I had gone through two hurricanes. Hurricane
Luis was the first, a category IV hurricane that last 30 hours with
winds over 130 mph and completely destroyed the island. I felt I had
just gone into battle. A few days later Hurricane Marilyn decided to
stop by and finish off what Luis didnt complete. School was on
hold for one month; 2/3 of the class left but I was determined
to stay. School soon got into session and we all got into our routines.
After completing my two years on the island I passed Step I of
the USMLE with a good score and began my 3rd year clinicals in London.
Returned to California for my fourth year and did extremely well on
Step II of the USMLE and received my MD. Applied to Internal Medicine
residencies throughout the country and was invited to twenty-five interviews.
I received six pre-match offers (which is considered illegal by the
NRMP). Decided I wanted a University education for the benefit of patients
and myself. Received admission into residency in Internal medicine at
Case Western Reserves Metro Health Medical Center.
Most of my classmates did well matching into virtually every
specialty in most states. I succeeded in completing residency and will
be starting fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at University
Hospitals of Cleveland (ranked #20) Case Westerns flagship
Hospital and nationally ranked by US NEWS in 14/17 specialties they
rank. For this next one year I will be working in San Diego as an Internal
Important points I want to make:
1) Believe in yourself!!!
2) Dont give up. If becoming a Health Care Provider is your calling
then continue forward; there are many options available
from post baccalaureate programs, DO schools, Offshore schools, I have
even seen some people re-start their education after not doing well
in their first 2 years! I worked with residents who are non-stop complainers
about how hard the workload is. A program would often rather take a
non-traditional candidate, enthusiastic about their field and willing
to work hard, over the Traditional Graduate "whiner".
3) Guidance is important. At some point it helps to have and speak
to a "Mentor".
If you wish to communicate about international medical programs or
other issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
"What Can go Wrong in My Application Process?"
Here are a few of the items that have occurred recently to some applicants.
There are of course many more, and books could be written about these!
1. Computer hard drive crash, losing application material without a
2. Not requesting military, community college or coursework transcripts
from classes taken in high school until after application submitted
3. Not requesting transcripts in advance to verify that courses were
still incomplete and had to be finished before application could be
4. Letter of Recommendation writers not responsive in sending letters
and hold up submission of secondaries
5. Get AMCAS to acknowledge that 1 transcript has 2 different schools
listed (occurs when one school system e.g. community college) has several
campuses with one transcript
6. Becoming ill with surgery during application thus delaying the application
7. Going out of the country before submitting the application, only
to find that available computers are too old or not available to submit
8. Not realizing that a misdemeanor charge and academic probation/dismissal
has to be discussed clearly, slowing the application
9. Not planning financially in an appropriate manner, even when accepted
may be unable to attend medical school
10. Re-occurrence of illnesses
11. Being late to medical school interview; not locating the correct
building or even campus
12. Difficult personal problems that keep one from focusing on the application
We will address some of these items in future issues, keep
a look out for them!
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions
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
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates,
or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.