Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 10
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
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
=>Dates and Reminders: August MCAT Scores, Osteopathic
=>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
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
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,
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
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 : 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*
Private Schools----- 67.8%
Percent at $150,000 or higher*
Private School------ 44.2%
Percent at $200,000 or higher*
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
Please note the following:
--We suggest that examinees pre-register at
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
--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 firstname.lastname@example.org,
or (202) 828-0690
Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference at Western University
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
-- 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
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 email@example.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
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
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.