Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 1
=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
=> Important News and Useful Links
=> Dates and Reminders
=> Important People and Schools
=> Success Story of the Month
=> Question of the Month
=> Focus on a Health Profession
=> Our Services
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
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 Adviseeshighly 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 a n d l i n k s
N E W S :
"Top 10 Medical Schools"
Each year U.S. News and World Report provides
an Allopathic medical school ranking embedded into a larger special
section about graduate and professional programs and trends for these
careers and their educational pathways. This year, the rankings include
the "top 50" schools for both primary care and research. And
there is a "Top 10" for each of the categories: Womens
health, Rural Medicine, Family Medicine, AIDS, Drug-Alcohol abuse, Geriatrics,
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. I advise you carefully read the Methodology
section! I always caution my Advisees to define for themselves the most
important criteria that they want from their medical education. Just
because a school ranks in the "Top 10" this year, doesnt
mean it is a good match for you!
L I N K S :
AAMC STAT Useful Link of the Month
This is the Association of American Medical Colleges
weekly electronic newsletter, emailed free to subscribers over the Internet.
"AAMC STAT" offers brief and immediate summaries of the latest
news from around the country important to the academic medicine community,
plus information about new AAMC activities, initiatives, policy statements,
publications, data releases, etc.
d a t e s
D E A D L I N E S:
Applicants - you should be aware of the timeline for
application (link to my timeline doc). The word, "deadline"
should NOT be in your vocabulary! Make certain that your college transcripts
plus primary AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, VMCAS, or CASPA application is
filed in a timely fashion with transcripts and submit all secondary
materials, including your letters of evaluation within about two weeks
of their request.
C O N F E R E N C E S:
(HCOP) CUHRE Eleventh Annual Alumni Conference: "Communication
in Medicine", February 9th, 2002, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. at
Casa Real, Aztec Center, San Diego State University. Register with Chris
Scott, Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $20 non-CUHRE member. First 100 students will be registered. Keynote
Speaker: Dr. Ted Ganiats is professor and vice-chair of the department
of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine. He
is also the Executive Director of the UCSD Health Outcomes Assessment
Program. Dr. Ganiats did his undergraduate work at UC Davis and all
of his medical training at UC San Diego. In the past he has been the
Chief of the UCSD Division of Family Medicine and he has chaired the
Commission on Clinical Policies and Research for the American Academy
of Family Physicians. He was participated on over 20 national clinical
practice guidelines and has over
100 publications. His main research interests are in
quality of life measurement and cost-effectiveness.
p e o p l e & s c h o o l s
S T . G E O R G E ' S University Medical School
I visited St. Georges University medical School
in Grenada in late September 2001. Over the 16 years I have been advising
Pre-health students, I have visited this campus several times, beginning
in 1991. The campus, faculty and student body have grown tremendously
during these years. St. Georges takes two entering classes per
year- in August and January of about 285 students in medicine and 64
students in veterinary medicine. Drs. Joseph Allen (Chief resident in
Family Medicine in New Jersey) and Erik Lacy (second year Emergency
Medicine Resident in Michigan) are representative of the achievements
our St. Georges alumni. Dr. Allen is planning to share a medical
practice post-residency in his home neighborhood in San Diego.
I have long held that St. Georges University is
an "American quality" school. It just happens to be in the
Dr. C.V. Rao, Ph.D., Dean of Student Affairs, discussed
strengths of the medical program with the advisors:
1. St. Georges is primarily a teaching institution.
They hire faculty who enjoy teaching and do it as a complete commitment.
they have about 110 fulltime teaching faculty in the medical school
who are augmented by up to 150 visiting faculty each semester. Visiting
faculty are experts in their specific teaching areas. At St. Georges,
students are saturated with great teachers. Anatomy, alone, boasts eight
fulltime teaching faculty.
2. Facilities at St. Georges are top notch. There
are state-of-the-art laboratories with gigantic screens to teach histology,
for example, and low student to cadaver (6 to 1) ratios is the rule.
One of the newest buildings is Pathology-Microbiology.
3. They have more flexibility for program development
and shifting than do most medical schools in the U.S. Thus, if the
faculty or administration see a need or a problem, they can address
4. Their USMLE Board I first-time taking pass rate
was 93% in 2000 (308/317) and has been near this level for the past
5. Their graduates enter competitive residency programs
and do well, including specialties like surgery and emergency medicine
(http://www.sgu.edu/ go to search
s u c c e s s s t o r y
S U E W I E P E R T - Doctor-to-be Class of 2001:
Sue has been a practicing pediatric Physical Therapist
for about 8 years. Her "magic acceptance phone call" came
in mid-August 2001, taking her off the waitlist.
In a recent email she says, "Hi Dr. Lewis. I just
finished my first week at medical school. I dont think I have
ever been quite as busy as I have this week, although I know it will
only get worse! We had an extensive orientation the first four days,
and social events every night. It was busy, but just wonderful! My class
is generally young with an average age of 23, but there are a few of
us that are in our 30s. Everyone is very friendly, and very supportive
of each other. Lunch was provided for us everyday this week - I no longer
like pizza as much as I did, but it was nice of them to have something
for us. There are two other physical therapists in the class. Everyone
keeps telling us that they are going to be in our group for anatomy
lab, as they know that we have already worked on cadavers. My first
class, which started Thursday, is on evidence-based medicine. It is
taught by the department of epidemiology, and will be finished next
week. The new curriculum is interesting, and broken into system-based
modules. This first module only involves principles of research design,
and our other coursework will not begin until the week after next. I
do not have formal classes in the afternoons from Tuesday to Friday,
and Monday afternoons involve going to a clinic to shadow a physician.
We tell the school what population we would like to see first, as well
as the location. I am thinking of a placement in a rural or suburban
pediatric clinic for my first preceptorship. Everyone has been very
accommodating to the first year students, and I cant tell you
how many times we have heard "we are here to help you". The
second year students have been wonderfully supportive, and have even
started a beeper service for the first years. If we have questions or
difficulties, there is always a second year student available via beeper.
The first day, I found myself staring at the poster that welcomed the
first year medical students. I still cant believe that I am now
here. I am so ecstatic about this! I truly believe that this would not
have been possible without your guidance, Dr. Lewis. Please let me know
if I can be of any help to you, as I imagine that many prospective students
contact you just as I did two years ago. I will keep you posted from
this end, and please keep me posted on how you are, as well".
Sue is typical of our Advisees: committed, motivated,
intelligent. She is part of our Lewis Associates Family and a true Success
Story. If you would like to ask Sue a question, please email us
and we will forward it to her.
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
If you are submitting secondary (supplemental) applications
or preparing for interviews, that ever-present question looms, "Why
do you want to be a doctor? (you can insert physician assistant, dentist
or veterinarian in there as well). Someone, somewhere will ask and you
need to be ready with an answer. If you say you want to help people,
the devils advocate might say, "Why not become a social worker,
teacher, physical therapist?" You need to articulate the difference
between the type of "help" you think you will provide in medicine
as opposed to many other helping professions. You will be challenged
to be honest and to relate your experiences to your career objective.
For example, "What have you done to make anyone believe you understand
what this career is about?" Generally, if you have a long-term
demonstrated record of involvement with medically-related and other
experiences helping people, your motivation becomes easy to describe.
So, what is the answer? It usually becomes very personal--description
of a personal health incident or family member in the profession, or
how you see problem-solving in this challenging arena, or life-long
learning, or meeting the needs of a specific community or meeting needs
in a specific setting or by a specific discipline. The more you have
done, and the more "self-knowledge" you have, the easier it
becomes to answer this question.
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send email to
and label your subject as "Question of the Month". I prefer
the separate address idea.
h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n
D E N T I S T R Y:
"Preparing for the DAT" should be termed more
correctly "Practicing for the DAT". After a summer of taking
a full length DAT every week for eight weeks, I was prepared and comfortable
for my real DAT exam. Obtaining the three full-length computer exams
from scholareware.com was
a good strategy for me. The format of these tests and their level of
difficulty greatly aided my confidence level during the real DAT. In
addition to that resource, the Kaplan DAT test prep program was a major
to Kaplan is here). The center provided me with many practice tests,
although not all were on the computer. Nonetheless, Kaplan study guides
and lessons helped me review general chemistry in depth, a subject that
I had not touched in over a year. I highly recommend the scholarware.com
tests, and if one has the funds, I would recommend the Kaplan program
or at least the Kaplan DAT prep book.
-Binita Patel, Pre-dental Student and
Lewis Associates Advisee
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.