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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 10
October, 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: Student Loan Indebtedness, Diagnosis Goes Low Tech

=> Useful Links: Medical Student Debt, Dual Degree Programs

=>Dates and Reminders: August MCAT Scores, Osteopathic Awareness Conference

=>Success Story of the Month: A note from the islands - Toby Woods -- First year at St. Georges

=> Question of the Month – "How do I find the right schools for me?"

=> Our Services

=> Contact



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 now we have many requests for interviews from our Class 2004 applicants!

You may be doing research at NIH (two of my Advisees are currently there) or in other prestigious programs, completing coursework, studying for the DAT, or GRE or traveling or working to earn the funds to pay for application. If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician, dentist, PA, veterinarian, optometrist or pharmacist a reality --- Lewis Associates can help you. We have made the difference for hundreds of students over almost 19 years. Here is a quote from one of my Advisees who used the essay package for the AMCAS: "Dear Dr. Lewis, I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to you for all of the help and advice you have given me over the last few months. I honestly would have written an insufficient personal statement and prolonged my AMCAS application if you had not been here for me, to guide me. Thank you for taking the time to answer my never-ending list of questions and for keeping me encouraged throughout my summer of MCAT studies. I don't know what I would have done without you!"

For Entering Class of 2004 students, this is your application year. If you have not already done so, get your application submitted soon because you are headed for missing deadlines! 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.

Another long time Advisee sent an email in late September, "Hi Dr. Lewis and Alice, I really love UC Davis so far. The students and staff have totally exceeded my expectations for being diverse, supportive and truly caring. The prematric program was the best thing I did - I did not expect to actually make friends with people so fast, but we all are here for the same reason, and because most got multiple acceptances, everyone CHOSE to be here. The prematric let me work through being scared/intimidated, and now I know where to get help and from who. I already have tutors lined up (for free) for Anatomy and Biochemistry before classes even start so I feel very relaxed about that! Looking around at the people who got accepted, I feel very lucky to be here, and I can't help but think that without your (and Alice's) help, advice and connections, I honestly would NOT have made it here. I really believe that you made the difference for me. So thank you. You'll have good karma because of me and because of everyone else you've helped, and I mean it€Thanks, Michelle"

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 theClass of 2003 Progress Report

A class of 2004 applicant emailed to Dr. Lewis early in August after receiving an invitation to interview: "Thanks Dr. Lewis, for all of your diligent and faithful support through this process! I appreciate everything!"

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 imaclewis@lewisassoc.com 805-226-9669.



n e w s   &   l i n k s

N E W S : Diagnosis Goes Low Tech, Student Loan Indebtedness

Diagnosis Goes Low Tech
October 11, 2003 By DINITIA SMITH
The lost art of listening to the patient has inspired a burgeoning movement in Medical Schools: narrative medicine (you may need to register (it is free) to view this article).


Student Loan Indebtedness

Indebted Graduates, Class of 2003*
Mean All Schools------------$109,457 (up 5.4%)
Median All Schools--------- $105,500 (up 5.5%)
Mean Public Schools--------- $97,275 (up 6.4%)
Median Public Schools------$100,000 (up 8.7%)
Mean Private Schools--------$129,392 (up 4.5%)
Median Private Schools------$135,000 (up 6.3%)

Percent at $100,000 or higher*
All Schools----------58.0%
Public Schools------51.7%
Private Schools----- 67.8%

Percent at $150,000 or higher*
All Schools----------25.4%
Public Schools------13.2%
Private School------ 44.2%

Percent at $200,000 or higher*
All Schools-----------7.5%
Public School--------2.8%
Private Schools-----14.8%

Miscellaneous Information*
Percent graduates all schools with debt--------82.1%
Percent graduates public schools with debt--- 84.0%
Percent graduates private schools with debt---79.4%

Source: AAMC 2003 Graduation Questionnaire


L I N KS :

Medical Student Debt, Dual Degree Programs





d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

August MCAT Scores

Scores will be available to examinees through the MCAT Testing History (THx):

Please note the following:
--We suggest that examinees pre-register at
https://services.aamc.org/mcatthx if you haven't already done so. Registration is expected to be especially slow after the score release, for at least 2-3 days. Pre-registering will help examinees access the system more quickly the day the scores are released.
--The longest delays are expected immediately following the score release. Students are encouraged to wait to access their scores later in the week, if possible, when the on-line wait time is expected to decrease.
--Scores also will be sent via regular mail beginning October 14, so examinees will receive a paper copy soon after the release.

Examinees with questions about score retrieval contact mcat@aamc.org, or (202) 828-0690

Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference at Western University (Pomona, CA)

When: Saturday - November 8, 2003
Time: 8:45am - 3:00pm
Where: Western University Health Professions Center, 521 E. Third St, Pomona, CA 91766
Cost: $15.00 per person (includes lunch)

If you want to learn more about Osteopathic Medicine and meet Western University students, then this full day conference is for you! The agenda includes:

-- An overview of Osteopathic Medicine
-- Curriculum presentation
-- Admissions process
-- Lunch and a campus tour with Western University students
-- A student panel
-- Explanation/demonstration of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED The deadline to register is Friday - October 31, To view all the details and print the registration form, please visit web site:



s u c c e s s   s t o r i e s

A note from the Islands - Toby Woods -- First year at St. Georges

Toby came to me several years ago with a checkered undergraduate academic history, but was beginning to build a solid one as a post-baccalaureate student. We worked together over 3 years! Here is the beginning of his new medical school life.

Mid August 2003: "Hi guys, I am sitting outside the student center on campus, in a chair, writing this message. My laptop is on my lap! and the signal is wireless. I can walk around and the signal will not cut out. The signal is extremely strong and fast and definitely as good as broadband back home. Most students are talking on their headsets to people back home via Internet phone (It is free with Yahoo messenger). I am having a great time here -- everyone is very friendly and looking forward to classes starting. I have registered and picked up my books, of which there are 14! I just got back from a snorkeling. I went with a chap named Ryan from Tampa Bay, and we saw a five foot sting ray as well as a large octopus. There are many Royal tangs, wrasses, and sea fans. I have been hiking in rainforests, touring ancient French/English forts with cannons, and visiting plantations. It really is the pirate-like Caribbean one imagines, huge dense forests with hills crashing into turquoise water. I met the Dean today and attended a reception complete with steel drum band and dancers. I love it here... The student body is very diverse. I met a girl from Albania today, and a chap from Nigeria yesterday. Last night at a party, I overhead a conversation between two Trinidadians and was amazed by their slang terms and accent. I have already been invited to visit new friends in Japan and Italy! The Grenadians are quite friendly. They are descendants of dark skinned West Africans, and many look like rastafarians. They speak with a Jamaican British accent too. The 'reggae buses' travel between here and the supermarkets etc. and it is really fun to sit up front and take the turns. Camouflage clothing is illegal too, and the Royal Grenadian Police will ticket people for wearing it. I am looking down the gazebo's hallways and can see an old boat like the Star of India navigating a channel between Grenada and an offshore island...the sun is about to set. Funnily enough, there are stray goats, cows, cats, and dogs all over the island. If a cow has a rope around its neck, it has an owner. If not, it is free to take. I will most likely stay here over Christmas break (three weeks) and take an advanced open water scuba class. I feel this whole experience will be over too soon so I should take advantage of it. Finally, most U.S. students are from California or New York. I have met five San Diegans and three former Cornell students. The veterinary school is very nice (87% female, 13% male) and has only 80 students. Med student forms the majority at 230! The students say the curriculum is HELL, as in eight hours of class followed by five hours of studying. I guess the rate of attrition is 20% while another 15% 'decelerate' to four versus five classes to ease the course load. I hope I will complete the program in 4 year as opposed to 4.5. External rotations in London sound feasible, and upperclassmen recommend doing them during the fourth year. OK, tomorrow is the white coat ceremony, which marks my passage into the profession. I am sure next time I write I will not be so enthusiastic, since orientation will be over."

The following week, "First week of classes is over and everyone is overwhelmed. Everyone is getting used to studying ~10hrs daily for the first time! I am thrilled to be a student again, and love the information."

And, early September, "I am doing really well in all of my classes and have my first unified exam in a week and a half. I really love anatomy and expect I'll do well. This is great since it is worth the most credits. All the Biochem and Anatomy teachers are British and the school is absolutely top notch. Each department has roughly five to ten faculty, who rotate according to their specialty. Dr. Abrahams is a visiting professor from Cambridge who wrote our textbook! He stands next to us in anatomy lab (while dissecting), along with the Dean of Students, Vishnu Rao. The teaching tools are very modern as well. ... My roommate and I are getting along very well. We went shopping last night and bought Weetabix and McVitie's digestives, some uniquely British foods."

If you wish to communicate about international medical schools or other issues, email to Dr. Lewis to contact Toby: email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com



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

"How do I find the right schools for me?"

Here is one medical student's opinion: "Finding a school is a rather individual process and the school that is perfect for one person is not necessarily the perfect school for someone else. We often make broad assumptions that if someone attended school A with an excellent reputation and someone else who attended school B with a lesser reputation, the person who went to school A must be smarter/have a better education that the person who went to school B. In my class, I have seen people who work hard and gain a great deal from classes, and others who expect to be 'spoon-fed' everything and learn much less, all from the same school. Interesting?"

So, there are many criteria for selecting school--and I believe that they should be very personal, especially in your prioritizing of them:
Geography, cost, curriculum, learning style, grading system, faculty, special programs e.g. MBA, MPH, PhD, facilities, clinical opportunities, etc. What is most important to you personally? You should not want to attend a school just because a family member went there or because of some prestige value. It must be a 'good fit'.

From a Class of 2004 applicant:

"I was wondering why thank you letters to members of the admissions committee after interview should be hand written. I feel better typing it. It looks less sloppy than my writing. I structured it like a business letter and basically just said thanks for being welcoming, learned a lot about the school."

Indeed, first it is to your advantage to always be professional and 'nice' to those you interact with during the entire application process -- and that includes secretaries, janitors and peers. The 'post-interview' thank you letter should be sent to the Committee and be very simple, indicating that you appreciate their time and effort in considering you seriously and that you enjoyed your experience at their school---only 1-2 sentences. The key is to get your note to the school quickly, within a day or two after interview. It is not so important whether or not you type or handwrite the note.

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.

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