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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 3 Issue 10
October, 2004

Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
Email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com with your comments. Enjoy!

=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

=> Important News: September 27, 2004 edition of Newsweek; A New Style in the Operating room; Study shows savings from cutting insurance and drug industry waste could fund health care for all; Kerry: Expand federal research using stem cells; Domestic Issues Pushed to Front of Campaigns; Bill would tighten controls on purchasing by hospitals; Average medical school debt increases by more than five percent; Promise and peril of Vioxx cast harsher light on new drugs; Physician-candidates inspired by health climate to practice politics; Two Americans Win Nobel Prize in Medicine

=> Useful Links: Financing your education; American Osteopathic Assocation; Interviews, Interviews, Interviews!

=>Dates and Reminders: Osteopathic Medical School Forum San Francisco and Washington DC

=>Success Story of the Month: Abtin Khosravi - Taking Johns Hopkins by storm - Class 2004

=> Question of the Month –How does one integrate marriage and family into medical school?

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

October is begins interview season. This year, the primary and secondary (supplemental) applications seem to be speedier than in the past. I suspect this is due to most medical and other health professions schools establishing their communication via a web based site. They communicate to let applicants know what materials are in their file on the web and if they prescreen, they indicate how to enter their secondary online and you complete and submit by pushing a button (and sending money of course). Well, not all schools act in this way. Just last week, Harvard has completed its prescreen and send a paper secondary to selected applicants. In any case, it is terribly important to get all letters plus secondaries in ASAP .... even more so this year than last. And, I predict that it may even speed up a bit more next year. So, Class 2006 applicants beware and be prepared NOW!

See this month's Success Story about Abtin Khosravi. He is doing well at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore!

For Class of 2005 applicants, you are now very behind if you have not established a well-thought out strategy to carry you through the difficult application process. You should be completing all secondary applications, and submitting your letter packets to complete your file at most schools now. Your competition is! 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 ... sooner is now!

For Class of 2006 applicants, we have TIME ... a precious commodity. Time to plan, to locate and use new opportunities, time to live up to your potential! I am working with my Class of 2006 students to begin writing their application personal statements now. Is this what you are doing?

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 over 700 students over almost 20 years.

What are your chances?
If you want to change your career or reach your new 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 with your personal Assessment!

You may be like our Lewis Associates Advisees---highly motivated and intelligent, but needing focus, guidance and specific technical expertise. Dr. Lewis 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.

Eric T. Lee, one of our Class of 2004 applicants who had previously applied without success wrote to us on July 20: " ... I would just like to send along my eternal gratitude. The medical school application process is a daunting one as I am sure you know and I obviously had little success at it until I began working with you. I received 2 acceptances and several wait-list options, which means my medical school dream has actually come true. .....Once again, thank you so very much for your time, patience and guidance..."



n e w s   &   l i n k s

N E W S: Check out the September 27, 2004 edition of Newsweek titled: the New Science of Mind and Body!! Sections on Forgiveness and Health, Stress and Infertility, Rethinking hypnosis, Clues to Heart Disease, Being Mindful, Cancer Care ... and much more ... including depression, the relaxation response, etc.

And, on my bookshelf this week, I found a copy of Anatomy of an Illness (as perceived by the patient) .... Reflections on healing and regeneration by Norman Cousins. This was published in 1979. In 1990, I introduced Mr. Cousins as the keynote speaker at the National Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) meeting in San Diego, which I chaired. Mr. Cousins was a Professor at UCLA (no doctorate nor MD degree behind his name and established the discipline of immuno-psychopharmacology. He used laughter to address his illness .... and much more.

I will give the next student who establishes an Advising year with me, my copy of Anatomy of an Illness!

The 9/20/04 Newsweek article, "A New Style in the Operating Room"
is subtitled: "Stoic, macho surgeons, like the one who fixed Clinton's heart, are part of a fading breed". Fewer 4th year med students are selecting general surgery as their top-choice specialty.

Study shows savings from cutting insurance and drug industry waste could fund health care for all
(Source: Jobs with Justice)

On October 7, Jobs with Justice will release a new research report showing how the money wasted on private insurance red tape and protecting drug company super-profits could be used to provide affordable health care for all.

Kerry: Expand federal research using stem cells (CNN)
Democratic Sen. John Kerry said Monday that President Bush has sacrificed hopes for disease cures offered by stem cell research to "extreme right-wing ideology."

Domestic Issues Pushed to Front of Campaigns (New York Times - Have to register to view)

With a barrage of new advertisements and speeches, Senator John Kerry's aides are moving to shift the battle to what they said was stronger ground - domestic policy - as the two candidates head into a second debate that is expected to focus on the economy, job creation and health care

Bill would tighten controls on purchasing by hospitals (New York Times - Have to register to view)
The Senate has introduced a bill that would give the government new powers to regulate the sale of medical products to hospitals, a part of the healthcare economy where numerous abuses have been uncovered in the last two years.

Average medical school debt increases by more than five percent (AAMC STAT)
The average debt of graduating medical students increased in 2004 by 5.3 percent, according to data recently released by the AAMC.

Promise and peril of Vioxx cast harsher light on new drugs (Washington Post - Have to register to view)
The abrupt withdrawal of the best-selling painkiller Vioxx is an event rich in ironies and lessons that may ultimately lead to a rethinking of the way drug safety is evaluated in the U.S.

Physician-candidates inspired by health climate to practice politics (American Medical News)
Politicians aren't addressing the health care system's problems, say doctors who are taking up the fight themselves.

Two Americans Win Nobel Prize in Medicine (New York Times - Have to register to view)
Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine today for shedding light on the olfactory system.

L I N KS :

Financing your Education.

The American Osteopathic Assocation is the parent body of the osteopathic profession.

Interviews! This was posted last month, but it's a GREAT site, not only has medical school feedback, but also dental, pharmacy and international schools.



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Osteopathic Medical School Forum

AACOM Announces Osteopathic Medical School Forum The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine will host an Osteopathic Medical School Forum. The event is designed to introduce osteopathic medical education and the 20 Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and 3 branch campuses.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
San Francisco Marriott
Golden Gate Salon C1-C2
San Francisco, CA

* Admission requirements, statistics, and application procedures
* Curriculum Information
* Student Panel Discussion
* Osteopathic Physicians
* Admission Directors
* Question and Answer Session

For additional information and to register for this free event, contact Jennifer Richardson at jrichardson@aacom.org
or (301) 657-7886.


This is one of several forums to be held nationally for prospective students, health professions advisors, and the general public who are interested in learning more about osteopathic medicine and osteopathic medical education. Registration is free and open to the public. For more information and to register for this event, please contact Jennifer Richardson at jrichardson@aacom.org.

Washington D.C. Event:

Thursday, November 18, 2004
6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Georgetown University
School of Medicine
Med-Dent Building, Room C-104

Remember Registration is FREE. RSVP by November 1, 2004.

For additional information and to register for this free event, contact Jennifer Richardson at jrichardson@aacom.org
or (301) 657-7886.

A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) is a physician trained and licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in all 50 states. D.O.'s focus on the whole person and consider all facets of a person's life when treating illness, disease and injury. In addition to using all forms of standard medical treatment, D.O.'s are trained to use osteopathic manipulative treatment to help diagnose injury and illness, to alleviate pain, and to promote well being. Osteopathic physicians work in partnership with each person to help promote health on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) is dedicated to the advancement and enrichment of osteopathic medicine. The association serves the colleges of osteopathic medicine, their students, and applicants through its application services, finance, government relations, communications and member services, and research departments.



s u c c e s s s t o r i e s

Abtin Khosravi - Taking Johns Hopkins by storm - Class 2004

I have known Abtin for 4.5 years! He was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981 and grew up there during the Iran-Iraq war. His father is a chemical/electrical engineer who worked on circuit boards for oil-rigs for the Shah of Iran and his mother is trained as an accountant. Abtin's grandfather was from a poor family in Northern Iran, entered the Shah's Army in order to pay for his medical education, then spent his entire career as an army physician in family medicine. Abtin is an only child whose first language is Persian; he learned English about age 5 and French at age 7. His father immigrated to the U.S. when Abtin was 4, and he and his mother moved when he was 7. From ages 4 to 7, Abtin and his mother lived with his maternal grandparents'. Abtin says, "They had lofty expectations and instilled in me a high standard of academic achievement marked by the fact I started my schooling one year ahead of other children my age. While my outgoing personality pestered my teachers, my academic performance was one of the highest of my classes." In the U.S., Abtin's father developed his own photo-processing laboratory, which services accounts like little league teams and does professional work for the Hollywood film industry. Abtin developed the digital processing part of this business and his mother works in it also. Abtin worked evenings and weekends in his parents' photo lab starting in his sophomore year in high school. He worked about 20 hr/wk during the academic year up to fulltime summers.

Abtin recalls during his early years in Iran the government had a policy of brainwashing children by screaming political information to them at school. Abtin learned English quickly upon moving to the U.S. in the middle of second grade, then entered Le Lycee, a French School in Los Angeles. He took French every year, and enjoyed history, math and sciences. He says, "I developed an affinity for reading at an early age. Early on, I was aware of my affinity for the sciences. I loved studying about nature and my school offered well-developed courses to feed my curiosity from tectonics to ecology and anatomy."

One summer, he attended Space Camp at the NASA Johnson Space Lab in Huntsville. Here, he carried out mock mission projects e.g. sky-lab and did problem-solving exercises with about 100 other peers. He says, "I learned the history of the space program and experienced the physical and mental preparation astronauts must undergo to prepare for a mission. On one mission, I served as a mission specialist on the shuttle Discovery. I was in charge of deploying a satellite using the shuttles robotic arm. On another mission, I served as a scientific officer on the space station Skylab. I was responsible for carrying out an array of experiments while dealing with unexpected problems aboard the station. This experience solidified my love for science. I loved taking lessons from textbooks and using them in real applications." He took AP classes earning 28 quarter units for college during high school and graduated in 1998 as Valedictorian with a 4.3 GPA.

In 9th grade, Abtin was on the JV basketball team and in the 11-12th grades he was on the varsity team. Abtin says, "My coaches taught me how to prepare physically and mentally for a game. They emphasized focusing energy on controlling my actions on the court rather than worrying about my opponents'. I had to teach myself through trial and much error how to control my emotional responses. I learned how to keep poised and focused in the face of adversity and success, and how to contribute to my team in ways besides scoring. As I progressed through high school, I took on greater responsibility for the team and was team captain my senior year. This position demands taking responsibility for making your teammates better. Doing this entails self-sacrifice and exemplary behavior to motivate others to legitimize your demands of them. I had to be the first to practice and to games; I was involved in creating the game plan for each contest; and had to perform at a high level on the court. While demanding, I enjoyed the challenge and was awarded a first team all-league designation by the league's coaches for my effort."

Abtin ran for AS VP and lost due to giving a poor speech, so he took the Dale Carnegie Human Relations course at age 17. Abtin improved his public speaking skills and gave a strong Valedictory speech for an audience of 500. Abtin says, "Taking the Dale Carnegie Course had another benefit for me. Since age 16, I have worked in my parents' business as a graphic designer and digital imager. Working in the business world demands a certain level of professionalism and people skills to complement technical proficiency to ensure success. Using the problem-solving skills and people management tactics I learned in this course, I used them to form lasting relationships with my clients (one of whom wrote a letter for Abtins application to medical school!). I enjoy the challenge of a new project and finding the answers to the needs of my clients. I have done work for entertainment companies, the City of Beverly Hills and many private clients. Working on the computer allows me to push my creative boundaries while integrating new technological advances to better serve my clients. Working has taught me powerful lessons about listening to others and meeting obligations. Taking these ideas into college has been very useful."

Abtin entered UCLA and selected a neuroscience major and was in the Honors program in his first year. His father advised Abtin to focus his energy to something he loved and said, "if you love biology and want to study it for a career, you should work on your skills in that area. If you do this, you will find inspiration to reach your goals. Abtin says, "This impacted my future by framing my actions. Deep down, I loved the biological sciences and learning about the human body." Thus, in spring 1999, Abtin began volunteering at USC County Medical Center 8 hr/wk with an Internal Medicine doctor. In January 2000, he moved to the ER at USC for the graveyard shift. He took an EMT-1 course (competitive entry) winter 2000 at UCLA and became EMT-certified.

In Abtin's second year at UCLA, he began taking a Persian language course. He says, "I had forgotten much of my native tongue after we immigrated to the US. I could no longer read or write it and had only basic verbal command of the language. I saw the opportunity to reconnect with my heritage. In spring of 2000, I joined an Iranian student group called the Persian Social and Athletic Club and in the fall, I helped turn it into an officially-recognized social fraternity. This ethnic-based fraternity allowed me to connect with other Iranian students to explore my cultural heritage as an active part of the local Iranian youth community. We engaged in charitable programs, planned programs for the Iranian New Year's and participated in community outreach with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs office. In fall 2001, I was elected President. As one of the most challenging endeavors I have ever taken, I learned a lot about myself and the qualities of a leader. A leader has to have crisis management skills to accommodate for unexpected change. Leadership forced me to use my strengths and manage around my weaknesses. I am a good communicator and planner, but am non-confrontational; this demanded asking more vocally-forceful members to keep the group focused. I believe a good leader must place his pride aside and delegate authority responsibly. This experience had a dramatic formative role in my life that will affect how I will interact in a medical team."

In spring 2001, Abtin's maternal grandfather suffered a debilitating stroke in Iran. This event motivated Abtin to enter neuroscience research in the area of neural repair to help victims of stroke and spinal cord injury. He tested the efficacy of degradable biopolymer spheres as neurotrophin delivery systems in spinalized mice. Abtin says, "I am now a part of the knowledge-finding process. I am developing information that hopefully one day will find itself into a textbook. In the lab, I learned immunohistochemical analysis of tissue. It is funny how far I have come since I fainted during my first dissection in elementary school. Now, I excise mouse spinal cords regularly. I love analyzing data and designing new experiments. This enjoyment of research prompted me to write a senior honors thesis. As a departmental and college honors student, I presented my findings at the Southern California Biomedical Engineering Symposium. I finished my degree with highest honors in Neuroscience from the Department, and the College of Letters and Science. Honors students may become departmental scholars, which allows you to concurrently work towards a master's and undergraduate degree. I am the first student granted this title by the Department of Neurobiology." Abtin completed his MS in one year.

I encouraged Abtin to follow his heart, which led to a minor in Near Eastern studies. He says, "I took advanced language courses and studied some of the greatest literary and philosophical works of Iranian scholars. I was surprised and excited by the deep sophistication of these bodies of work and their relation to Western thinkers. The works of Avecenna influenced Western medicine into the modern age and his philosophical ideologies trumped Des Cartes hundreds of years before he penned 'Cogito Ergo Sum.' I learned about the Iranian empires and how wars with the Greeks and Romans defined these ancient civilizations. Learning about my roots has provided me with a greater understanding of myself." Additionally, Abtin shadowed a physical medicine Rehabilitation physician at the Long Beach VA Hospital. Abtin was involved in community services including interning for the AIDS project Los Angeles where he helped clients find housing resources and connected them to health education programs.

In summary, I watched Abtin mature as a college student from not quite sure of his direction to a very focused premedical leader who "takes charge" and made opportunities for himself. To complete the Neuroscience M.S. degree, Abtin took 56 quarter units last year. Essentially, he completed a 2-year program in 1 year. It was a joy to support and advise Abtin. He drove 2.5 hours one-way to attend 2 of my CUHRE Alumni Conferences in '01 and '02. In Abtin's words, "During my time at the AIDS Project, I have gained a greater appreciation for the influence of life forces on the ability of patients to deal with and adhere to a treatment regimen. I believe these experiences will make me a more sensitive doctor, one who considers psychosocial factors in my patients' lives to find workable solutions for their needs."

Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact Abtin: imaclewis@lewisassoc.com



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

How does one integrate marriage and family into medical school?

Here is part of the answer by Sue Wiepert. Go all the way back to November 2001, to my first newsletter to see Sue's success story. She was just married this fall, in her 4th year and says: "I have already been accepted into an early acceptance type of program at UB in the pediatrics residency. The program is called General Scholars and is for 3 students in the class who know they want to stay in Buffalo. You apply at the end of your 3rd year and go through the interview process like the regular residency applicants do. The program includes completion of a research project by the end of 4th year, and also allows continuity clinic in a pediatric office to start in 4th year versus the intern year. I will have an extra year of clinic time with children that involves going to the same clinic once weekly throughout the year. I will stay at this same clinic throughout my residency. No ERAS application for me, so my time off in 4th year has been for the wedding and Christmas shopping in December! I am considering a combined program in pediatrics/physical medicine and rehabilitation at UB. The directors of both programs have encouraged me to do this especially with my background in PT. There is a strong need for pediatric rehabilitation physicians from what I understand, and they have offered to design this combined program for me. I was shocked when this occurred! I would be the only resident in the combined program, but Buffalo has well-established pediatrics and physical medicine residencies that it is definitely possible. I am intimidated by the thought of 2 residencies, and 2 board exams, and have not fully decided on whether to pursue straight pediatrics versus the combined program. The combined program would involve 2 extra years as well. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell where the job opportunities for pediatricians in this area will be. The combined program will definitely offer more opportunity as I could choose general peds, pediatric rehab, or a little of both. It seems that almost half of the students in my class want pediatrics, so I think I am leaning more towards the combined program for that "edge". I also like the thought of using my background in rehab. My fiance thinks the combined program may be the best route- he puts it this way- 'When you get sick of seeing kids with runny noses, you can try the rehab aspect. When you get sick of that, go back to the runny noses if you want'."

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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