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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 12
October, 2002

Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
Email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com 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 Forum

=> 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

=> Contact



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
Curriculum information
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 rruiz@aacom.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 memmert@westernu.edu 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 requirements.

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 memmert@westernu.edu or reviewing Frequently Asked Questions.

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 Anna’s story this month, then Brandon’s in November, then The Miller’s 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. Anna’s mother was a secretary and her father sometimes worked two jobs to support Anna’s 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 city’s All-Star soccer team ñ a real honor; she was quite the athlete.

Anna’s 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 couldn’t 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 I’m 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 Anna’s 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 Anna’s 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 to imaclewis@lewisassoc.com



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 if questions.

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.

Contact: Lross@aacp.org



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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