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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 3 Issue 11
November, 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: Ensuring Access to Health Care; The Next Prescriber-in-Chief; Stem-cell Debate Another Division Between Bush, Kerry; The book, Learn to Relax; Outsourcing Doctors

=> Useful Links: 36,000 individuals applied to attend medical school in the 2004-2005 school year;

=>Dates and Reminders: Minority Student Medical Career Awareness Workshop; The Road to Medicine; Next Generation;

=>Success Story of the Month: David Schatz and Jonathan Bloom--Updates in Medical School

=> Question of the Month – "How do I prepare for interview?"

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!


October 14, 2004
From HK, our first Class 2005 applicant to submit her application this year to medical school.
"Look!! I don't think I have ever been more happy in my entire life! I cannot even begin to thank you...":
"Ok, HK, are you up this late? Are you ready? drum roll, please............Congratulations, HK! We're happy to inform you that you've been accepted into the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University!!! An official letter with more details will go out in the mail today. Hooray for you!"

October 26. 2004
Darcy Thompson called! She was soooo excited because she was accepted to Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, one of her top choice schools, today!

November is in the middle of interview season. And, this year, the primary and secondary (supplemental) applications are speedier than in the past. I suspect this is due to most medical and other health professions schools establishing direct communication via a web-based site. They communicate to let applicants know what materials are in their file on the web and after they pre-screen (or not--some schools send an automatic secondary to all applicants), they indicate how to enter their secondary online and you complete and submit by pushing a button (and sending money, of course). 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 more next year. So, Class 2006 applicants beware and be prepared NOW.

Inbar Suporta, is the first student who established an Advising year with us since our October Newsletter. We are sending her the book, Anatomy of an Illness -- Enjoy!

See this month's Success Stories about two of our Alumni and what they are doing...in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia!

Class of 2005 applicants, 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 all your schools now. Your competition already has! This is the most intense time you will experience as a pre-health student. Need help with the interview preparation?...This is what we do! 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 : Unless you live on another planet, you know there is a Presidential election November 2, 2004. We, at Lewis Associates, encourage all of you to VOTE.

Ensuring Access to Health Care (JAMA)
The 2 major Presidential candidates were asked to answer the question, "How would you ensure access to health care for the citizens of the United States?"

The Next Prescriber-in-Chief (HealthLeaders)
The President of the United States does more than sign the checks for the nation's healthcare system. He prescribes its arch and direction.

Stem-cell debate another division between Bush, Kerry (USA Today)
Since 2001, the debate over President Bush's decision to limit spending for this research has grown louder. With Nov. 2 nearly here, voters face clear differences in the stem cell policies set out by Bush and Democratic challenger John KerrHealth Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts May Increase Risk (Washington Post) Subscription required.
Health Savings Accounts, the latest untested flavor on the health insurance shelf, are giving consumers a stake in cost-cutting, but some advocacy groups say they increase exposure to risk.
Live discussion at 3 p.m. EST at: http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/zforum/04/ healthjareb102604.htm

FDA promises quick review of flu plan (Chicago Sun Times)
The Bush administration on Monday gave a guarded response to Gov. Blagojevich's request to buy flu vaccine from Europe. Illinois has agreed to purchase as many as 87,000 doses from wholesalers in the United Kingdom, provided the Food and Drug Administration approves.

Los Angeles hospitals need 25 percent more nurses (LA Times) Subscription required.
Los Angeles County's five public hospitals are more than 25 percent short of the number of nurses they need to fully comply with state laws on nurse-patient ratios, and officials doubt they can substantially increase the nursing ranks anytime soon.

The book, Learn to Relax (A Practical Guide to Easing Tension and Conquering stress) by Mike George (1998) may be one of those "self-help" books that will make a difference for those who have test anxiety and generalized anxiety. Some chapter headings include: world, Mind and Body; perspectives on stress, worry, built and conscience, positive thought, creative visualization. And, there are specific exercises to do throughout. I work with MANY anxious students. This may help you!

Outsourcing Doctors!
India's hospitals offer high quality at Third world prices: "With broadband Internet and the latest digital imaging equipment, Indian hospitals can now send X-rays to Mass Gen in Boston or MRI scans to Guy's Hospital in the UK for consultations. Combined with the country's low labor costs, that's drawing an increasing number of patients from abroad!" See Newsweek October 18, 2004 page E20.

L I N KS :
Number of Applicants to Medical School Increases
Washington, D.C., October 20, 2004 - The number of applicants to U.S. medical schools increased for the second year in a row, according to data released today by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Almost 36,000 individuals applied to attend medical school in the 2004-2005 school year, a 2.7 percent increase over last year's applicant pool of 34,791.

Black and Hispanic applicants contributed to the rise with 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent increases respectively. However, more significant was the number of blacks and Hispanics who entered medical school this fall: black enrollment increased by 2.5 percent, while Hispanic enrollment increased by almost eight percent. In 2003, black enrollment declined by nearly six percent, and the number of Hispanic enrollees dropped by nearly four percent.

Other highlights of the 2004-2005 medical school application cycle:

*Women applicants made up just over 50 percent of the applicant pool with 18,015 applications, outnumbering men for the second straight year
*Applications from men increased almost four percent to 17,712, the first substantive gain in six years
*The number of first-time applicants rose again this year to 27,185, a nearly four percent increase
*Hispanic enrollment gains were particularly pronounced for Mexican-American males, with 200 new enrollees this year compared to 156 last year



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

National Minority Student Medical Career Awareness Workshop and Recruitment Fair at the Association of American Medical Colleges Meeting
November 6, 2004, Boston Massachusetts, see www.aamc.org/diversity

Read The Next Generation at the New England Journal of Medicine
"I invite you to visit the premier issue of the Next Generation (www.NextGenMD.org), a free, nonprofit online publication written to help premedical students develop an understanding of the field of medicine. The Next Generation provides a glimpse into the world of medicine beyond television and popular literature by providing an overview of many issues facing health professionals today. The site contains information about the real-world experiences of physicians and explores issues at the heart of the medical profession. The site is written and managed by undergraduate premedical students. My colleagues and I, all editors of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), provide advice and oversight. NEJM is also providing the financial support for the site. All involved with the Next Generation hope that by providing information to students when they are formulating their career plans, we can interest the best and brightest in medical careers. We want the next generation of students, destined to become our future leaders, to be conscious of the critical challenges, debates, ethical issues and scientific discoveries in medicine, and to have a fundamental understanding of what a life in medicine entails."

The Next Generation features:
- Selected papers (understandable to the premedical student) from NEJM (free links to the papers will be provided)
- Q&As with the primary authors of research papers published in NEJM - Continuing series (e.g., "A Day in the Life of a Physician")
- Perspectives from influential people in medicine
- Tutorials and descriptive articles
- An online undergraduate journal club for discussions of topics in medicine

- Readers are invited to submit special feature ideas for possible publication. This is a novel and unique opportunity to generate dialogue between current and future physicians and scientists.

Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference
The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific will be hosting an Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference on Saturday, November 13, 2004 8:45AM-3:00PM.
The purpose of the conference is to educate interested students about the field of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. The agenda includes an overview of Osteopathic Medicine, presentations on the curriculum & admissions process, lunch & a campus tour with Western University students, a student panel and an explanation/demonstration of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM).
Western University of Health Sciences
Health Professions Center
521 East Third Street
Pomona, CA 91766
For workshop details and registration information, please print the registration form.
http://www.westernu.edu/bin/pdf/recr_august2004omac_061504.PDF . You will need Acrobat http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html Reader to access this material.
Please be sure to include the following:
Your Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, E-Mail Address, Program of Interest, the Info Session you Plan on Attending
Please view our campus map:
lhttp://www.westernu.edu/xp/edu/contact/location.xml for directions to the university. Attendees should park in lot 2-7 just east of the Health Professions Center (Building 4). To view student testimonials on this and other Western University programs, please click here.
Please feel free to contact me with additional questions.
Tricia Murdoch, MPH
College of Osteopathic Medicine Recruiter, Western University
(909) 469-5246


Touro University, California's Colleges of Pharmacy will be hosting an Open House on campus on Thursday, November 18th from 5:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.. Beginning with a wine and cheese "mixer," the program includes a tour of the campus, workshops on admissions and financial assistance and, best of all, a "up-close and personal" meeting with the Dean, Dr. Katherine Knapp.
The College of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) is unique nation wide as it combines 2 years of didactic instruction with a 2 year clinical component. This differs from the 3 and 1 national paradigm. This is the last year that we will be accepting direct applications as we will be joining PharmCAS next year. Direct applications are currently being accepted and interviews will begin November 24th to fill a cohort of 60 seats. This should come as welcome news to your students as the deadline to apply to most Pharm.D. programs is in November. We will continue to accept applications well into the Spring semester.
Touro University, California is a regionally accredited university located on Mare Island in the northeast part of San Francisco Bay. For addition information and directions to the campus, go to www.tumi.edu and click on "Open House". For a College of Pharmacy brochure, please email me at haight@touro.edu.
Donald Haight, Ed.D. Director of Admissions
Touro University, California Mare Island
1310 Johnson Lane, Vallejo, CA 94592



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

David Schatz and Jonathan Bloom--Updates in the fourth year of Medical School



See the April 2002 issue of Success Stories for David Schatz's journey to medical school. He was the "king of the wait list"....then came acceptance at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. He says "Hey Dr. Lewis!! Yeah, I am in my fourth year, going into child psychiatry next year, looking at programs out in California."

David Schatz writes to us from the University of Pennsylvania:
"So, faithful pre-meds, when we last left off, I was a first year medical student recounting my story of pain and suffering at the hands of various medical school admissions committees. In case your memory dosn't recall that last letter, I'll give a quick recap. After selling my soul to the medical school gods during my undergraduate career at Tufts University, I felt I was poised to be a candidate at most of the top 10 medical schools. And I was a candidate...if you include wait lists in the definition of candidacy. Out of the 10 schools that I both applied to and interviewed at, I was wait-listed at no less than 9. It was a heart-wrenching experience which I will never forget. Eventually, I got off the waitlist at UPenn, and I matriculated to this medical school in August 2001.

UPenn, it turned out, was an amazing medical school with a curriculum which was different from many other medical schools. Although most medical schools have two years of basic science, Penn only has a year and a half. This change gives Penn students more flexibility during their last year of medical school to travel, do rotations at other medical schools, do research, learn to play the bagpipe, or whatever your little heart desires (note: during interviews, stress that you have a BIG heart, not a small one, regardless of the truth.) Although I didn't appreciate this fact at first, now I realize how great it was. You see, I am one of those people who, while thinking biology was all well and good, never identified "loving science" as one of the reasons why I wanted to be a doctor. I prefered to read a good book on philosophy frankly. Thus, the basic science years of medical school really didn't captivate me too much. I even flirted with getting a law degree as well as an MD so I could defend doctors in malpractice suits.

During that first year and a half, the patients who I was going to take care of seemed very far away, and thus, it was hard to motivate myself. This all changed when I got into the clinics, where you become a member of a team of doctors, taking care of patients. Suddenly, the things I was good at and loved mattered. The person-to-person interactions and the analysis of most-likely disorders causing a person's symptoms. I kissed dreams of law school bye-bye. I was home in the world of patients, the world of medicine.

This is not to say, however, that these last two years spent in the clinics caring for patients have been some little dream life. Quite the contrary, the early goings in clinic were some of the toughest times I've had. The lack of motivation which pervaded my basic science years was replaced in the first two months of clinics with a complete lack of knowledge. Sure, I knew that Down Syndrome was caused by nondisjunction in one of the stages of maternal meiosis, but I couldn't recognize a child with Down Syndrome, and I sure didn't know how to take care of one. clinical medicine was so...different from the science of medicine. I felt lost in the hospital. It was only after a couple of months of basically being clueless, that I began to be able to combine the science with the art of medicine.

With my penchant for, shall we say, philisophical verbosity, it was no surprise that I settled on psychiatry as my specialty of choice. Specifically, I am interested in child psychiatry. I need to know why people become the way they do. I am currently applying to programs in California in a match system somewhat similar to medical school applications, except we have some say in which of the programs we like the best. It's sort of funny, since I completed my residency applications, I have been checking my mail box every day for letters from psychiatry programs. It all seemed so familiar, like de ja vu, but I couldn't figure out from where. Then I remembered: It was just like checking for letters from medical school. Then I smiled to myself. These things have a way of working themselves out, I remembered, just like the way I got into UPenn, which turned out so great. I haven't checked my mailbox for three days. Things will work out.
My final thoughts regard a couple of things to remember:

1. It WILL work out
2. Have as much fun as you can during your first year. You won't rememeber most of it anyways
3. Both Penn and UCSF have programs which cut off some of the basic science years in favor of the clinical years. I think this is an advantage.
4. The process of medical school admissions SUCKS for everyone. Hang in there.

Take care to all,
Dave Schatz MS4

Late-Breaking Update--Jonathan Bloom asked to interview at Massachussetts General in Boston!
See the December 2001 issue of Success Stories for Jonathan Bloom's journey. His mother recently wrote, "It's getting pretty exciting around here and I thought I'd drop you a post. Jon was one of the first to get his paperwork in for the "Match." Can you believe that? He has already received requests for interviews from Duke, Johns Hopkins, Pitt (they want him to stay and are being very vocal about it), Penn, UCLA and a couple other places I can't remember. He hasn't heard from Mass General or Brigham Women's in Boston or UCSF yet which are his top three schools but.... He's gotten very active with his Technology group so he will have something to talk about on interviews. He will take his boards 11/17 but will only have two weeks to study for them. He also had to trade away his Acting Internship in Medicine so he could take the boards. He will be able to take the AI later.

An Acting Internship is when the med student is put in a rotation where he acts as the intern - he is given greater responsibility and more intense training. The Pitt program is really pretty amazing from what Jon tells me. When he has worked with med students from other schools he is aware that he has been given much more opportunity and training in decision making and follow through. I believe each student gets two AI's in their fourth year, not positive about that, and I think it makes a huge difference in confidence. I have known many nurses who laugh about how new interns have all this book learning and yet know nothing. I think the students out of Pitt won't be like that since they have two full years of training on the floor, some of it in AI programs.

The fellowship he wants to take is actually in Critical Care. It is a program (at Pitt anyway) for intensivists and is based in the ICU setting, I think it will be a strong adjuvant to anesthesia and should make him a desirable candidate should he ever actually get a job. It would give him the variety he needs and the intensity he craves.

Incidentally, he has been loving Critical Care. Now he wants to take a Fellowship when he's done with his residency. I think he will be eligible for Medicare before he ever gets a real job - he'll be on Social Security before his student loans are paid!

He calls me so excited and he tells me about "running codes" and giving pressors and I just eat it all up. Thank you again for helping him to be in a position which gives him (and definitely me) so much happiness. He could never have done it without you.

With much affection and hope that you are experiencing good health and much joy." Cindy Wilkins, Proud mother of a future doctor!


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



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

I am often asked "How do I prepare for an interview?"

From the Stanford University 2004 SUMMA Conference:
The Top 10 Things to Remember About the Medical School Interview:

1. Get organized
2. Know your application
3. Practice Interviewing
4. Be confident, positive and passionate
5. Know the school where you interview
6. Put your best foot forward
7. Come with a question
8. Don't underestimate student interviewers
9. Remember ¨everyone is watching
10. Send a thank you note!

Ethical question for interview: What do you do when the husband of a woman living for 14 years in a vegetative state wants to remove her feeding tube, but her parents don't. Read the real story of Terry Schiavo in Florida. (Newsweek October 18, 2004; page E38).

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.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates, or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.

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