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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 11
November, 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: Applicants to U.S. Medical Schools Increase, Women the Majority for the First Time

=> Useful Links: Is the MCAT a Predictor of How Effective a Doctor You Will Be?

=>Dates and Reminders: Des Moines Interviewing in San Francisco, OAT has Toll Free Number, PA Directory

=>Success Story of the Month: Update from Todd Cook, Dacia Roland's* Story

=> Question of the Month – What Are Some Questions I Can Expect at my Interviews?

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

November is the Thanksgiving Season. October was a very strange month for us at Lewis Associates and we have much to be thankful for! The month began with a computer meltdown, jury duty for Dr. Lewis on a criminal case of robbery with a shotgun and ended with the largest fires in California's history coming to within 2 blocks of Dr. Lewis' home - 2 days of evacuation. 2200 families have lost homes in Southern California this month due to fires, including the parents of one of our Advisees. We send our warmest wishes and prayers to all who have sustained losses.

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! If you have not already done so, get your secondary applications submitted soon, because you are headed for missed 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.

Congratulations to Abtin Khosravi our first acceptance into an allopathic program, Vanderbilt and to Beau Braden our first acceptance into an Osteopathic program, to AZCOM and NOVA Southeastern! I love AbtinÉs attitude--he emailed me in September: "Thanks Dr. Lewis. I'm in Vanderbilt. I'm waiting in the admissions lounge. My interview is in 35 minutes. Let the games begin!" Then, in late October: "Hi Dr. Lewis, I had an action packed Friday last week. First, I had my Georgetown interview. I was impressed by their school, their curriculum, and medical philosophy. I think the interview went well and they will inform me in mid-December their decision. In the afternoon, I received a jaw dropping, weak in the knees inducing, I think I better sit down for this telephone call from the Dean of Vanderbilt School of Medicine to extend an offer of admission. I, of course, accepted. Lastly, my mom called and informed me I was offered an interview by Stanford. My poor mom, that day was more excitement than she could stand. In a period of two hours she found out I got in at Vanderbilt and then had been the one that opened the letter from Stanford. I had to calm her from her screaming and excited state so that she would not forget to breathe. I can't believe we did it Dr. Lewis! After all these years, it has finally happened. I could not have accomplished this without you and Alice. I know I have probably driven you crazy the last several months with all my calls and e-mails, but you have always been there with prudent answers and direction. And, I know you will continue to be as we go forth from here. I thank you, my parents thank you, my grandparents thank you, Abtin."

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 donÉt know what would have done without you!"

I tracked down one of my Class 1998 applicants who attended Ben Gurion University in Israel She says, "I just got an email from Meredith. She said she met you in California and you mentioned that you know me. I have you to thank for getting through medical school, and to where I am now. A lot has happened since we last spoke. I am currently in DC studying for the boards and am done with med school (!) and also got married in May!!"

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

Women the Majority for the First Time

Washington, D.C., November 4, 2003 - After a six-year decline, the number of applicants to U.S. medical schools is on the rise, according to data released today by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Almost 35,000 individuals applied to attend medical school in the 2003-2004 school year, a 3.4 percent increase over last year's applicant pool of 33,625. The main reason for the increase was the number of women applicants -17,672 - an almost seven percent rise over last year's total.

Some highlights of the 2003-2004 medical schools admissions process:
* Women made up the majority of medical school applicants for the first time ever
* Black women applicants increased by almost ten percent to 1,904
* The number of black applicants overall rose almost five percent to 2,736, but the number of blacks who entered medical school declined by six percent to 1,056
* Hispanic applicants increased by less than two percent to 2,483, while the number who entered medical school declined by almost four percent to 1,089

Among the applicant pool were 26,160 individuals applying for the first time to medical school, an increase of five percent over last year, constituting evidence that the previous decline has ended. AAMC says this rebound is likely to continue in the 2004-2005 school year based on the number of applications submitted to its centralized application service. Applications submitted to date through AAMC's American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) are up approximately five percent compared to this time last year. Currently, 117 medical school programs participate in AMCAS.

Since 1996, when the number of individuals applying to medical school peaked at 47,000, the total number of medical school applicants has steadily dropped between 1,000 to 4,000 applicants in each subsequent year. This six-year trend reached its lowest point with last year's total of 33,625 applicants.

The sharp decline of males applying to medical schools, a trend that started in 1997, leveled off this year. Male applicants totaled 17,113, about the same as last year's figure of 17,069.

Because of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, statistics on minorities underrepresented in medicine are likely to be carefully scrutinized for the next several years. While the total number of black applicants (2,736), rose almost five percent due to a ten percent increase in black women applicants (1,904), the number of blacks who were accepted and then went on to attend medical school (1,056) declined by six percent. The total number of Hispanic applicants (2,483) increased by less than two percent since last year, while Hispanic attendees declined by almost four percent (to 1,089).

"These latest figures contain both good and bad news for the medical profession. The decrease in minorities entering medical school underscores the need for redoubled efforts to attract a critical mass of students from diverse backgrounds in order to enhance the education of all future physicians," said AAMC President, Jordan J. Cohen M.D. "At the same time, the increase in total and first-time applicants is a reaffirming sign that the current generation of young people recognizes the attractiveness of medicine as a profession."

The Association of American Medical Colleges represents the 126 accredited U.S. medical schools; the 16 accredited Canadian medical schools; some 400 major teaching hospitals, including more than 70 Veterans Affairs medical centers; more than 105,000 faculty in 96 academic and scientific societies; and the nation's 66,000 medical students and 97,000 residents. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at: www.aamc.org/newsroom

Alumni News:
Last week we got an email from a long lost friend of one of our alumni mentioned in our newsletter. We reunited two friends who grew up in the Ukraine who had not seen each other for many years!

L I N KS: Is the MCAT a Predictor of How Effective a Doctor You Will Be?

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing 342 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02139
(617)864-4810 (617) 497-2224 (fax) e-mail: fairtest@fairtest.org



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

Des Moines University will be holding Interviews in San Francisco November 14 and 15. 800 240 2767 ext 1499
Email DOAdmit@dmu.com

Optometry Admission Testing Program (OAT) has instituted a toll free number for students' inquiries:
800 232 2159

Physician Assistant Directory on-line Program Directory is $35 at www.apap.org



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

This is an update from Todd Cook, entering class 2003, George Washington University Medical School (see his story in our 6/03 newsletter)

"Hello Dr. Lewis, How are you? It's been a long time so I'll try to give you the short and sweet. I'm having a great time at GW and I am just finishing up the first set of exams. Gross and Neuro come fairly easy to me as I have seen the material numerous times. It really is amazing how much I remember from Chiropractic school, including the goofy neumonics I used to memorize the abstract material. I have joined an ISCOPES group called Healthcare for the Homeless. We are providing educational seminars, blood screenings, and new shelter menus, which help to fight diabetes in DC's homeless population. Other than that, city life is treating us well and a ten minute bike commute to school is as good as it gets. Alexis found a great job as the marketing coordinator at the American Society for Microbiology! She is overseeing all of the graphics folks and making sure the journal layouts/ads are ready for publication. She walks five blocks to work and can come home to let out the dog at lunch. It really is amazing how things have worked out for us and I constantly think about how much you and Alice helped me. I met Mike, one of your advisees from San Diego State, and he is a great guy. Please let me know if any of your current advisees are headed to GW for an interview and I will gladly make them feel at ease while on campus. Take Care, Todd"

Dacia Roland's* Story!
June 2004, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine

I met this month's Success Story at San Diego State University in 1998 when she was searching for professional advising support. Dacia* was the Program Administrator overseeing four statewide childhood immunization projects through the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health. She had overseen a staff of up to 25 at one time, and wrote proposals. Dacia came to me because she wished to fulfill her dream of becoming a physician. I have known her now for 6 years. Dacia is blessed with superior intelligence, a hard work ethic and boundless energy. Significant strengths include her maturity, experience in education and working in teams (both leading and being a member), managing public health and populations-at-risk programs, strong organizational, communication and human relations skills. With her supportive husband, a positive attitude and a thirst for knowledge, a new baby, in her late 30's, she entered and has excelled in medical school!

Dacia was born in Toledo, Ohio, when her mother had just graduated from college as a Registered Nurse and her father was completing his pharmacy degree. The family moved to Phoenix when she was two years old. Dacia's father was a disciplinarian who wanted his children's respect rather than love. He decided to get an engineering degree when Dacia and her sister were young. It was the beginning of the end of her family unit and her father abandoned the family.

Dacia took charge of her family by age 13. She says, "I assumed the task of raising myself and my sister." Dacia always loved school but was bored in her early years. She says, "I remember feeling impatient waiting for the other children to learn things that seemed so obvious to me." In junior high, Dacia was finally placed in challenging honors classes with other kids at her level.

Dacia took a part-time campus job to help support herself. However, at the age of forty, Dacia's mother began having problems with her speech and memory. Dacia urged her to see a doctor, and it was determined that she was suffering from pre-senile dementia. Dacia says, "Once I learned what that meant, for the remainder of her life, my life was never the same again. With no one else to care for her, I brought her to live with me in Arizona and cared for her until her death. During her illness, which lasted five years, I was responsible for feeding, bathing, diapering and babysitting my mother. This latter task became very difficult because my mother would wander out of the house while I was sleeping and on more than one occasion I would scour the neighborhood in search of her. As she had lost her ability to speak and to swallow, it was necessary to feed my mother every two hours through a feeding tube. Finally, unable to hold down a job, work, and care for my mother, I wanted to take out a student loan. The catch, however, was that my father's financial information was required, because he claimed me as a dependent. My father refused to fill out the forms that would have freed me to care for my mother while I was not attending classes."

Dacia withdrew from college after trying to be a fulltime college student, a fulltime caregiver for her mother and working part-time. During that time her mother died. Dacia first gained the confidence to be premedical at this time. She wanted to apply to medical school while graduating from Arizona State University, but her father pressured her to begin to 'earn a living'. So, Dacia was unable to fulfill her dream to become a doctor then.

Upon college graduation, she worked fulltime as a Bio Engineer doing research and development in plasmapheresis and auto-transfusion. Dacia preferred to see the outcome of her engineering efforts with people. So she, again, considered applying to medical school, but was counseled that she was not a good candidate due to her age and moderate GPA. Her desire to work with people led to earning a teaching credential and teaching a wide diversity of adult learners in an ESL program. She really enjoyed this job, and says, for example, "It was incredibly satisfying when one student, after receiving a lesson on TB, elected to be tested, learned he had an active case, and sought treatment."

As a teacher, Dacia had time to develop some of her other passions, including music. She studied music theory and performance art; learned to sing and play instruments. She eventually formed her own band, performing various kinds of music as lead singer. She also wrote and developed a collection of poetry and short stories. She still felt unfulfilled and really interested in health care, so completed an MPH degree with an emphasis in Community Education. Her internship project with the American Cancer Society studied the theory that the potential for volunteerism could be predicted. During this time, Dacia wrote a proposal to the California State Chancellor's Office, which was funded to provide non-traditional vocational training to homeless women in Southern California. She says, "As a result of my program, numerous women were able to leave homeless shelters and begin new lives with good paying jobs in the trades." She was awarded Outstanding Health Sciences Graduate Student that year by her faculty.

In Dacia's words: "Perhaps my greatest joy is the family I have created. I married a man who is patient and supportive and who believes in me. My child fills me with wonder and I realize how lucky my son is to be raised by parents who deeply love each other." Dacia interviewed at many schools and selected Midwestern University at Arizona (AZCOM) and has been happy there.

In August 2003: "Greetings Dr. Lewis, How are you doing? It sure has been a long time. I'm doing my 3rd rotation of my fourth year presently. I'm doing a sub-internship at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale. Can you believe how time flies? In just a matter of months I'll finally be Dr. Roland. Why didn't you warn me how hard it was going to be!? :) From what I can tell, the fun is only just beginning...I've already had an offer for a spot in residency so that was very exciting and reassuring. It looks like we'll opt to stay here in AZ. I'm going for Family Practice but might do something crazy like submit one application for something out of reach like Derm just for the fun of it. Dale (husband) is doing great. He is doing his computer consulting part time. Ethan turned four and spent his mornings in Bible Camp this summer. He loved it and now that it's over both he and Dale are tearing out their hair."

In September 2003: "I guess I must have done something right with my personal statement as I've gotten interviews at all 6 programs I applied to. They're all local and I couldn't go wrong with any of them. My graduation will be on June 4, 2004 after which I'll be having a small get together at my home. If you happen to be in town, we'd love to have you! Not too much else going on. I'm tired all the time and can only imagine what next year will bring. Actually I'd rather not imagine. Take care and I hope you're doing well, Dacia"

*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.

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



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

"What are some questions I can expect at my interviews?"

Here is information one of our Advisees provided about one of her interviews this fall: "...The toughest interview was my first with a student. She pressed me on my interests (like Dr. Lewis had warned me about before), so I felt like I didn't have enough to impress her. I thought playing badminton and reading would be adequate, but she kept asking me "and? and? and?". Also, she asked me if there was anything that I wanted her to relay to the admissions committee for me, and at the time, I drew a blank, and said "no, everything that's really important is in my application". We had already covered my double major, my labor coach experiences, my research, and why I wanted to go into medicine. Upon reflection, I guess I should have told her why X school would be a good match for me. I think my answer made it seem like I wasn't very interested or enthusiastic about X. But I think my interviews with the doctors went a little better. They asked me more questions relating to how I interact with people. One asked me if I had to deal with a patient who didn't appreciate my services and how I dealt with that. She also asked me if I had to stay up nights in a row due to labor coaching. Another one asked me how I dealt with conflicts in running the Labor Coach Program. I think they wanted to know if I knew what the downsides of medicine were, and luckily I had examples of both..."

From a class of 2004 applicant: "I have to thank you because one of the ethical questions was very similar to an interview prep question that you had asked me -- a few twists on a 16 year old who comes in for an abortion. So I had already refined my answer in my head on that one thanks to your help. And he was very pleased with my responses to both ethical questions. Anyway, that went well, but a very long day."

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



l e w i s   a s s o c i a t e s   a d v i s i n g   s e r v i c e s

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.

On February 4, 2003, the mother of one of our Advisees wrote, "I wanted to just say hello and thank you for the help you gave my son. He has continued to excel and was given early acceptance at Pepperdine where he will pursue Sports Medicine with the goal of medical school. He has maintained a GPA of over 3.7 and has 19 units of college work completed and is taking 4 AP classes this year. He is also enjoying his life, which is the best of all. He has a part time job at the Living Room Coffee House and will be playing varsity volleyball again."

We have expanded Lewis Associates services to meet the needs of all types of students from pre-applicants to applicants including hourly advising support for specific needs. Click here.

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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