Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 12
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
=> Important News and Useful Links - First Acceptance
for the Class of 2003, US Health Coverage, and Dual MD degrees link
=> Dates and Reminders - Osteopathic Medical School
=> Important People, Schools and Programs - Western
University's College of Veterinary Medicine is accepting applications
for Fall 2003
=> Success Story of the Month - Anna and Brandon
Miller, Doctors To-Be and New Parents!
=> Question of the Month - How can I study effectively
for the MCAT?
=> Focus on a Health Profession - Pharmacist
=> 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 for Class of 2004 students who are
planning ahead in your last year of preparation, you need to establish
a well-thought out strategy that will carry you through the difficult
times coming up. Let us know how we can assist you.
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
and our first applicant accepted to medical school - Congratulations
to Todd Cook! This is the most important and exciting year of your life!
Quality of GPA and test scores, timely application submission, Letters
of recommendation collection, selection of appropriate schools and secondary
applications---timing and quality of application account for 99% of
an applicantís chances. Are these factors easy to address? No!
That is why advising is important.
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 : Todd Cook, non-traditional applicant - change
of career, older, and re-entry into college - is our first accepted
Class of 2003 applicant! He is accepted into University of Health Sciences
College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City. And, he continues to
interview at many schools. Yea, Todd!
Health Coverage Falls - Washington Post
The number of Americans who lack health coverage has begun to increase
again after a two-year decline, according to federal figures to be released
today, which suggest that the faltering economy propelled another 1.4
million people last year into the ranks of the uninsured.
Sec. Chao Calls on Congress to Pass Association Health Plan Legislation;
Census Shows Number of Uninsured Americans on Rise - US Newswire
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today called on Congress to
pass Association Health Plan legislation to help the increasing number
of uninsured Americans gain access to health insurance. The Commerce
Department's Census Bureau released numbers today showing the number
of uninsured rising by 1.4 million to 41.2 million people.
L I N K S : Useful Link of the Month
For information about joint MD degree programs at US medical schools,
go to the recently enhanced section of the AAMC student Hub Website.
In this section on combined degree programs, a newly-implemented and
continuously developing searchable database permits you to search by
school or by program for a wide variety of combined degree programs.
d a t e s
Osteopathic Medical School Forum
Thursday, October 3, 2002 at 6:30 PM
USC Taper Hall, Room 101, Los Angeles, CA
Admission requirements, statistics, and application procedures
Student panel discussion
Osteopathic physician panel
Admission Directors from Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Question and answer session
For additional information and to register for this FREE event, contact
Robert F. Ruiz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 968-4148.
p e o p l e & s c h o o l s
Western University's College of Veterinary Medicine
is accepting applications for Fall 2003!!
As the October 1, 2002 application deadline approaches, here are some
important details. This information is also important for FUTURE applicants.
STUDENTS CAN TAKE PREREQUISITE COURSES AT OTHER SCHOOLS IF NOT AVAILABLE
AT YOUR SCHOOL. Prospective students stating that their school does
not offer one of the courses required are advised to locate and enroll
in the course at another university/community college to satisfy prerequisites.
If a student isn't sure if a course will be acceptable, they can fax/email
the specific course name and its corresponding course description to
Michelle Emmert, Director of Admissions, at email@example.com
or fax 909-469-5570 and she will have it reviewed.
STUDENTS CAN APPLY NOW AND STILL HAVE COURSEWORK IN PROGRESS. Students
applying for Fall 2003 can have coursework in progress during the Fall
2002 and Spring 2003 semesters. Some prerequisite courses have a limit
on the number that can be in progress during Spring 2003. Please refer
to the admissions
APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WEB. Students wishing to apply for
the class entering in Fall 2003, must complete the online application
at http://wsprod.westernu.edu/vetmed/index.html Type in their information,
print, sign the application, and send it to the admissions office in
a single application packet. Please see the application checklist for
details on what should be included in the application packet.
Any difficulties managing the technical aspects of the web-accessed
application can be solved by contacting Michelle Emmert, Director of
Admissions, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or reviewing Frequently
We also encourage you to visit the new Prospective
Student Web Site and see "Frequently Asked Questions."
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
A N N A A N D B R A N D O N
M I L L E R : Doctors-to-be and new parents
Anna, Brandon, and Dr. Lewis--May 2005 Kansas City
Please, first go to the link "Dual
Success Story" to read of Anna and Brandon Miller.
First Annas story this month, then Brandons in November,
then The Millers story in December.
I received a birth announcement for Zachary Wayne Miller on August
29, 2002 - success comes in many forms!
Anna was born in the Philippines where she lived with her parents and
large extended family until age 8, when they immigrated to Ontario,
Canada, to start a new life. Annas mother was a secretary and
her father sometimes worked two jobs to support Annas older brother
and Anna. She attended a strict Catholic elementary school. There were
lots of hardships in the Philippines. She says, "As a little girl,
I sat watching with my brother and cousins as our parents helped by
passing buckets of water to control house fires. Growing up in such
an environment allowed me to see people cope with hardship and do with
what they have."
Snow was an interesting change when the family immigrated to Canada,
and learning English and French was a challenge. Her parents spoke Tagalog
at home. Anna was on the citys All-Star soccer team ñ a
real honor; she was quite the athlete.
Annas family belonged to the Filipino Association, and for many
years she was involved in dancing which included the famous Filipino
bamboo stick dance called, "Tinikling. She says, "Being
part of the dance crew involved performing in front of thousands of
people in parades. When I turned 18, I was selected to represent the
Filipino Association as Miss Filipino-Canadian for 1986. I learned leadership
skills when dealing with event organization, and following through with
what is expected of you." Also, Anna volunteered at a nursing home,
feeding, walking and providing company for the elderly.
Anna attended a Catholic high school on the standard 5 year Canadian
system; the final year of Canadian high school is equivalent to the
first year of college in the U.S. She participated in raising money
for the homeless, including other immigrant families. In the 11th grade
she was one of four selected to attend the Terry Fox Center in Ottawa.
She says, "Terry Fox is a Canadian National Hero who lost one leg
to cancer. He raised money for cancer research by running across the
entire country from the Atlantic to the Pacific with the use of a prosthetic
leg. I felt proud to be a Filipino-Canadian."
In San Diego, she met her first husband who was a Navy Air crewman.
In 1990, Anna enlisted for 6 years in the U. S. Army Reserves. She says,
"Boot Camp was a great experience physically and mentally. I enlisted
as a Laboratory Specialist, but we were taught that we were soldiers
first. We were taught to shoot our weapons, throw hand grenades, get
physically fit and disciplined to do every task required. I managed
to become a squad leader in charge of accountability and received recognition
for my skill in weapons firing and grenades where I display expert medals
on my uniform."
Anna earned a certificate in medical technology and went to Texas to
support Operation Desert Shield; it was here that Anna matured. She
became especially close to an officer with AIDS who died during her
time as a Phlebotomist. She says, "Michael was a thirty-two year
old officer who had a bad experience with a prostitute and was exposed
to the AIDS virus through unprotected sex. Michael was married with
a little boy. As I entered his room that first time, I could feel myself
trembling because I was afraid that I would expose myself to the virus.
As I walked toward him, he turned his head to look my way, and I was
hoping that he couldnt see the fear in my eyes. He looked down
toward his feet in disappointment, which is a natural response to anyone
carrying the phlebotomy tray, so that put me at ease a little. I started
by saying, 'Hello, Michael, my name is Anna and Im here to draw
some blood. When I was done, I stayed with him and held his hand
while I asked him questions about pictures that were displayed in his
room. There was a picture of him in his Army uniform from several years
prior, how sad that this had to happen to him. He was on morphine, and
sometimes there was little response - all he could do was smile."
"After that initial meeting, my fear of dealing with AIDS patients
was gone, and I made it a point to say hello to Michael everyday even
if he wasn't on my list. Michael's condition worsened every day. He
retained so much water that below his waist was swollen and his skin
was jaundiced. In March 1991, Michael passed away. This was a sad day
in the hospital because so many people had grown to care for him. I
learned so much from this experience. Michael taught me how to look
beyond the disease and see that there is a person in there: A person
who is afraid, looking for support and compassion. He touched my life
and thoughts of his ordeal are what motivates me to want to help people."
Anna says, "I came out of Desert Storm a changed person and looked
at people living with AIDS and other diseases differently."
Upon my return to San Diego, Anna worked as a Phlebotomist in a facility
serving a gay community and volunteered packing groceries for AIDS patients
too ill to leave their home. In 1991, Anna had a baby girl and she says,
"for awhile, I was working, going to school and serving in the
Army Reserves. It always amazed my friends how I could do all that,
and sometimes it got challenging to juggle so much. I returned to school
full-time in 1992 and transferred to San Diego State University."
In 1995, Anna became a single Mom, still working, drilling with the
Reserves and going to school. This is when Anna entered one of my programs
and she met her husband, Brandon - they were both in our small, facilitated
learning groups called: "enrichment instruction", for organic
chemistry. Anna was re-energized by Brandon to become a strong premedical
student and started going with the Flying Samaritans to Tijuana, graduated
and landed a full-time job in a Biotech firm in a department called
Biological Process Improvements. Anna says, "This group was disorganized.
I used this to my advantage and took on multiple projects, which allowed
me to become a leader. I joined the Genetic Systems group, which developed
new molecular biology products. Within 3 months, I was promoted to a
Research Associate. Working in Genetic Systems, my work and contributions
to projects got published several times and I was selected to represent
our company in an ad for a mammalian expression systems called Complete
Control, which allows for precise, reliable and controlled expression
of genes. This ad was featured in journals such as Science, Nature,
Cell and Biotechniques and I also wrote an article in the newsletter
for Dr. Lewis' student organization, CUHRE, on transformation of DNA
using competent E. coli cells, XL10GOLD.
Working in research, I learned much about professionalism and the processes
that turn an idea into a useful product. It was inspirational to work
with such creative and intelligent people. I experienced intellectual
challenge, which led to the development of critical problem solving
skills that I will have for a lifetime. However, my heart remained dedicated
to fulfilling my dream of becoming a physician. I missed the patient
interaction and satisfaction that comes with helping those in need."
Real-life experiences tested Annas dedication to medicine and
gave her the strength and courage to become a doctor, sometimes against
the odds. Her commitment to medicine is complemented by a keen sense
of integrity. To persevere through a divorce while
being singly responsible for a child requires a strong commitment.
Anna was also a Peer Advisor for CUHRE. Anna now has a strong family
support team. She says, "We look to each other for encouragement
and stability during difficult times. Brandon's family was incredibly
supportive and she says, "We feel that our support for each other
will provide a stable foundation to assist us in reaching our dream
of becoming physicians."
The admissions process is never easy-and for a couple it is doubly
hard to be competitive at the same school in the same year. Anna took
the MCAT twice and her second scores actually declined. We did not understand
why. So, my talking with the University of Health Sciences College of
Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City about Anna and Brandon was very
important so that the school would take a closer look at two very committed
applicants who were a couple. Their interviews went very well- who would
not be inspired by Annas motivation and persistence -- if she
were taken seriously.
More next month about Brandon!
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
How can I study effectively for the MCAT?
Wow-that is a very complex question-and is really dependent on each
individual student. Whether or not you can afford a commercial preparation
course is a consideration, where your personal strengths and weaknesses
lie is important, when you took all the premedical courses and what
grades you earned and how difficult they were - are all important. What
were your SAT or ACT scores? Or, if you took the GRE, what were those
scores? Are you a strong test taker? Is English your first or second
language? How much reading do you do outside the sciences?
Lewis Associates has designed a tracking sheet to motivate you to be
accountable for your study and preparation for the MCAT that we check
weekly with you. And give you specific feedback. Generally, I tell my
Advisees that it will take about 300 hours of study over several months
to feel confident about the test content and test taking skills.
It is important to get a baseline reading on your skills - the commercial
courses do this, but you can do it for yourself using an AAMC-released
exam or a full exam from one of the many MCAT preparation books you
can purchase. Look at our Online Bookstore
and shop around for books that will be helpful to you and make certain
that you give yourself plenty of time to study! Remember, treat the
MCAT as though it were 12 units of coursework! 300 hours divided by
12 weeks is 25 hours per week!
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
PharmCAS Web Site - http://www.pharmcas.org
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is pleased
to announce the launch of the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS)
web site. The web site includes important information about the PharmCAS
process and features portals for advisors, applicants, and participating
pharmacy institutions. PharmCAS will allow applicants to use a single
application and one set of materials to apply to multiple Pharm.D. degree
programs. The service is scheduled for launch in spring 2003 for fall
2004 enrollment. To date, 41 pharmacy institutions will participate
in PharmCAS during the first year. Contact Libby Ross, Director of PharmCAS
and Student Affairs, at Lross@aacp.org
There has never been a better time for students to consider a rewarding
career in pharmacy. The demand for trained pharmacy professionals has
increased dramatically in recent years due to the rapid growth of the
health care and pharmaceutical industries, especially for the growing
elderly population. The number of pharmacists in health care services
is also increasing as pharmacists become more actively involved in drug
therapy decision-making for patients of all ages. The Pharm.D. degree
program requires at least 2-years of specific pre-professional coursework
followed by 4-academic years (or 3-calendar years) of professional study.
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.