Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 11
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
=> Important News and Useful Links - Factors influencing
medicine as a career goal and selecting schools
=> Dates and Reminders - Getting your essay drafted
for the Class of 2004; Secondary submission for Class of 2003
=> Important People, Schools and Programs - Medical
Residency standards become more humane
=> Success Story of the Month - Joseph Allen, MD,
St. Georges graduate -- The Seven-Year Odyssey!
=> Question of the Month - What are my chances
of entering a California medical school if I am a California resident?
=> Focus on a Health Profession - Physician Assistant
- How competitive is it?
=> Our Services
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
This is the season for "back to school!" Hope all of you
are rested up and raring to go. If this is "your application year"
(for entering Class of 2003 and Class of 2004 students planning ahead),
you need to establish a well-thought out strategy that will carry you
through the difficult times coming up. Let us know if we can assist
Congratulations to the entering Class of 2002 advised by Dr. Lewis
-- 94% acceptance for our pre-health applicants all over the U.S.! See
our website http://www.lewisassoc.com/ for the Class of 2002 Progress
Report; we also have a Canadian acceptance this year.
The entering Class of 2003 "Application Season" is just beginning,
with most Lewis Associates applicants having received secondary applications
already and our first three have been asked to interviewó at
Vanderbilt Medical, Midwestern Osteopathic in Arizona and at Temple
Dental School. This is the most important and exciting year of your
life! Application submission, Letters of recommendation collection,
selection of appropriate schools and secondaries - timing and quality
of application account for 99% of an applicantís chances.
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 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 & l i n k s
N E W S : Factors Influencing Medicine as a Career
From an AAMC poll, this data emerged:
In order of highest to lowest ranking were the factors influencing medicine
as a career goal for matriculates:
Use of special talents
Influence of others
Opportunity to lead
Interest in research
High income prospects
Status and prestige
Desire for authority
Factors Influencing Choice of Medical School for matriculates:
(from high to low)
Reputation of school
Place in residencies
Offer of financial aid
School in home state
Med school graduate
L I N K S : Useful Link of the Month
The Health Professions Network (HPN), an organization devoted to communication,
consensus and advocacy on behalf of allied health professionals, has
recently developed a new website (above). One noteworthy feature is
a spotlight on the "Allied Health Profession of the Month".
Email to Information@healthpronet.org.
d a t e s
Getting Your Essay Drafted for the Class of 2004
Secondary Submission for Class of 2003
Class of 2004 Applicants:
Yes, NOW, not next June, is the time to begin drafting your application
personal statement for medical, dental, PA and veterinary or other health
professions programs! Why? Because it takes time to evaluate your history
and put together the most representative and effective statement that
show admissions committees the "real" you behind your academic
profile ("the numbers"). And, even when you understand the
"how to write" your essay, you want plenty of time between
drafts so that you can actually "put down the draft", let
it sit for a few days or a week, then read it with fresh eyes for the
next draft. For most students, writing is hard work. It is for me too.
I have become very good at helping students present themselves effectively
after doing it for 17 years. So, get started NOW...do not procrastinate
unless you are not serious about your application process.
Class of 2003 Applicants:
Many schools now place their secondary applications online. Some must
be downloaded and the hard copy submitted and others can be done completely
online. Some schools indicate that you automatically submit their secondary
application, and most will screen your primary application prior to
requesting a secondary. However, it is done at any particular school,
it is to YOUR advantage to complete your secondary in the approximately
two weeks the schools usually advise and request from you.
What is a secondary?
It always consists of a form, sometimes with extensive essays and sometimes
with only what may seem to you as a re-iteration of information presented
in the primary application. No matter how redundant are the forms or
questions, ANSWER them as asked, because that school wants to know this
information in that format.
It always requests a fee.
It always requests for your letters to be forwarded to the school.
Do NOT wait to request your letters to be submitted AFTER you submit
the forms, fee and essays! Do all of these activities at the same time!
I am always surprised by students who tell me they waited to request
their letters "after they submitted their secondary". Why
would you hold up your own application?
The name of the game is to complete your application file with each
school ASAP...and this is only done when all of the above and test scores
are received by the admissions office. Why? Because, only then, will
the admissions staff screen your application for interview, hold or
p e o p l e & s c h o o l s
Medical Residency Standards Become More Humane
The AAMC supports new standards for medical resident duty hours, approved
in June 2002 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
The new standards include:
- Limit of 80 hours per week, with flexibility to increase hours up
to 10% if the institution can show educational/safety rationale
- Strengthened limits on moonlighting
- At least one full 24-hour day out of seven free of patient care duties
- Residents must not be on-call more often than every third night
- Residents must have a 10-hour minimum rest period between duty periods
- Continuous on-duty time is limited to 24-hours, with additional time
of no more than 6 hours allowed for patient transfers and educational
The new standards also address institutional supervision and accountability.
Faculty and program directors are responsible for assessing resident
fatigue and for providing adequate back-up support. The standards, which
will go into effect July 2003, also include a new "Rapid Response
to Egregious Accreditation Violations" system that will assure
expeditious response to concerns related to duty hours. See www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/2002/020612.htm
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
J O S E P H A L L E N M D : St.
Georges graduate -- The Seven-Year Odyssey!
After having lunch with my alumnus, Dr. Joseph Allen,
in San Diego a week ago, I asked Joe if he would write a short summary
of the "path to his medical career." Joe was the President
of our Premedical Student society at San Diego State University about
1989. I vividly recall his masterminding a large (50 or more students
attending) year-end awards banquet (I still have the photos) and producing
a great money-maker, the coveted Premedical Society sweatshirt. My sweatshirt
(must have been a great buy to last me 14 years so far) has a crest
and logo stating "Labore et Perseverantia Ut Prosim Aliis".
Latin lovers -- send your translations please! I have to mention that
I attended Joe's wedding in Pt. Loma, visited with him at St. Georges
in his first or second year, meeting his first baby, kept in touch during
residency and now Joe will be a Mentor to some of our local Advisees.
Here is Joe's story:
"Sometimes your career path isn't direct from point A to point
B. Occasionally, you have to take the alternate route to reach your
destination, or the path less-traveled. Before you begin to contemplate
the journey, you must make up your mind one hundred percent that you
"know" where you want to end up. There is no sense in making
a long and arduous journey if you think that you'll be unhappy once
you reach your final destination. You have to decide for yourself what
you want to be in life, and then plan how to get there. If you have
doubt, perhaps it would be better to think again and decide on a different
Anything you set your mind to do you can accomplish. I decided to become
a doctor in 1982 (while in high school). I wanted to practice in San
Diego, my hometown. I thought eventually I would be a family doctor
and high school team physician just like my original Mentor Dr. Reeb.
I didn't get into a U.S. medical school the first time I applied, or
the second. But I didn't give up, and completed my Masters degree in
molecular biology. Still, my third attempt drew no interest here at
home. So I applied to St. George's University on the advice of Dr. Lewis,
and went offshore for my medical training. It was the best thing I ever
After two years in the Caribbean, I went to Bath, England, for 6 months,
moved to Brooklyn, New York for a year, and finished my clinical rotations
in Oakland, California. The match put me in New Jersey for my residency
training, during which time I decided I liked sports medicine enough
to apply for additional fellowship training.
Well, to make a long story short, here I am back in San Diego after
my seven-year odyssey of medical school and residency training. I kept
in touch with Dr. Reeb, and have joined him in private practice. I'll
complete that sports medicine fellowship I always wanted to do with
UC San Diego part-time over the next two years. Did I also mention that
my wife and I managed to have three beautiful kids along the way? I'm
back where I started, living at the beach, with a great job and a young
family. Just like I planned all along.
My advice to young, aspiring-physicians is to make a decisive conscious
choice first, then plan the journey to your destination. Seek out Mentors.
Be open to alternate routes to reach your goal. You might have fun along
Joseph E. Allen, M.D., M.S.
Family Medicine Private Practice, Point Loma, California
Sports Medicine Fellow, University of California, San Diego 02-04
Team Physician, Point Loma High School
Chief Resident, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center-Mt. Sinai
School of Medicine
Family Medicine Residency Program 2001-02
St. Georgeís University School of Medicine, M.D. '99
San Diego State University, M.S. '95, B.S. '91
Point Loma High School '84
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
What are my chances of entering a California medical school
if I am a California resident?
The majority of California residents who apply to the 5 state medical
schools in California are not accepted, but often enter private schools
in California and more often, around the country. It is important for
potential applicants to be up to date on the huge numbers of applicants
in California. Read the Medical School Admissions Requirements handbook
that is published annually. Each of the University of California schools
have between 2500 and 4000 in-state applicants, of whom a maximum of
530 (and often many fewer) at any school are interviewed.
Many of the UC schools this year sent secondary applications to only
about 25% of their applicants. At the private schools in California,
where in-state residents are not necessarily given priority, in the
entering class of fall 2000, Stanford had 2262 applicants, of whom 44
entered the medical school (they had more out of state applicants, 3684
of whom 42 entered. Loma Linda (religious-based school) had 1724 in-state
applicants, of whom 74 entered and 1802 out of state applicants, of
whom 85 entered. USC had 3358 in-state candidates of whom 134 entered
and 2087 out of state candidates of whom 26 made up the total class
of 160. There are also two private Osteopathic medical schools in California
ó Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Bay
area and Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pomona
in the south.
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions
h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n
Physician Assistant : how competitive is it?
Physician Assistant admissions is just as competitive and sometimes
more so than Allopathic and Osteopathic medical admissions, as some
programs average 10 applicants for every seat they have. PA school is
NOT easy. Most programs are 24 to 36 months long including 12 months
of clinical internships. Literally, the medical model is taught and
some schools share classes with medical students and PA students together,
like at NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. PA students will complete
their program faster than medical students. Granted, that may mean PA
students donít have the depth of knowledge that the medical students
do, but they have studied most of the same subjects. Over 40% of the
PA programs now are Master's level programs, which also means that students
must maintain a 3.0 GPA to progress. Most programs will convert to the
Master's level in the next five years. By 2007, most if not all programs
will be at that level.
PA programs want students who are dedicated to being a PA. If a student
really wants to use PA school as a stepping stone to medical school,
they will not be viewed favorably. PA's know their role and like what
they do. They want others who feel the same about the profession to
enter it. Make certain that you investigate the role of a PA; shadow
a PA for several hours and days. Many PA schools require shadowing experience
as part of their application process and it will help you make a career
decision and to fulfill the admissions requirements. Once you see what
a PA can and cannot do, you will have clearer idea of your goals.
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.