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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 2
December, 2002

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

=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

=> Important News and Useful Links - Alternative Medicine - Hot Topic; AMCAS welcomes New Director

=> Dates and Reminders - Latino Medical Student Association MCAT Scholarship

=> Important People, Schools and Programs - AAMC President examines trust in the medical profession

=> Success Story of the Month - Yale Physician Assistants Program - Shanon

=> Question of the Month - What are the MCAT Changes for April 2003?

=> Focus on a Health Profession - Alternative Medicine

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

At this, the Holiday season, we hope that your Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa celebration is meaningful to you and those you love. We serve those who wish to make their dreams come true if your wish to become a health professional. From Eva, 'Dr. Lewis, Thank you for guiding me through the post-baccalaureate application process. I know this isn't just a job for you.' From Elizabeth, 'Dear Dr. Lewis, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me this opportunity to work with Dr. X and to be your Advisee!'

If this is your application year (for Entering Class of 2003) and for Class of 2004 students who are planning ahead in your last year of preparation, you need to establish a well-thought out strategy that will carry you through the difficult times coming up. Let us know how we can assist you.

Congratulations to the entering Class of 2002 advised by Dr. Lewis -- 94% acceptance for our pre-health applicants all over the U.S.! See our website http://www.lewisassoc.com/ for the Class of 2002 Final Report including a Canadian acceptance.

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 can implement strategies that will 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 Advisees - highly 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.

Until the end of the year Lewis Associates will not only save you money and heartache on your application process, but you can also save money on your advising. You could save up to $500! Contact us for more information: drlewis@lewisassoc.com or (805) 226-9669.



n e w s   &   l i n k s

N E W S : Alternative Medicine - Hot Topic

Newsweek's December 2, 2002 cover story: "The Science of Medicine - Depressions treatments, Acupuncture and Herbs, Natural HRT plus Insights from Harvard Medical School". Inside are 30 pages about this topic: "With nearly half of U.S. adults going outside the traditional system for some medical care, what is the real science of alternative medicine? In this Special Report, Newsweek explores how acupuncture, herbs, tai chi and biofeedback have many doctors re-examining how they treat all of us." The sections are titled: Integrative Medicine, Children and Healing, the Mind and Emotions, and from Harvard: Cancer, Heart Disease, Osteoarthritis, Back Pain, Anxiety and Depression, and Reading the Research.

L I N K : Go to http://www.nccam.nih.gov/

AMCAS - New Director and new AMCAS

There is currently a 2 to 1 ratio of applicants to acceptances and it is estimated that this will hold for the Class of 2003. For the class of 2003, the web-application was launched in May 2002, and by the end of the first week in June about 20,000 applications had been initiated. Applicants began certifying and submitting their applications on June 10th, with nearly 500 submitted in the first 24 hours; 200 of these were sent almost immediately to the Verification queue since all their transcripts were on site already. AMCAS began transmitting applications to schools last July and by October 1st, 25,000 were verified. Current response time for your phone and email questions is estimated by client services to be 2-3 days.

JB Gordon started with AAMC on October 1, 2002 and presented at the national meeting that Dr. Lewis attended in San Francisco in November. Plans are underway to launch a version 2 AMCAS for the Class of 2004 based on the current AMCAS. The current 2003 AMCAS web-application will be run in concert with the new 2004 version 2 as a backup.

Changes for the Class of 2004 AMCAS are minimum: Applicants will be provided preliminary acceptance without parental tax data in the Fee Assistance Program and it is estimated that 1.8% of the applicants to this program will be granted (up from 1.2% this year). The actually form will be more user-friendly, but have the same components in use today: same length personal statement, 15 postsecondary experiences, etc.



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

Latino MCAT Scholarship

Latino Medical Student Association MCAT Scholarship deadline is February 23, 2003 ('02-'03 Janine Gonzalez MCAT Scholarship). This is generally to cover 50% of the cost of a test preparation course; eligibility includes commitment to pursuing a career in medicine and dedicated to serving the Latino community with at least 2 years at a 4 year-institution.

Application may be copied or downloaded from http://lmsa.net . Email inquiries to: docpeerez@ucla.edu



p e o p l e   &   s c h o o l s

AAMC President examines trust in the medical profession

In his address to the AAMC's 113th Annual Meeting, AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., voiced concerns about the public's loss of faith in the trustworthiness of physicians. Citing the abuses of managed care, the highly publicized actions of 'a few bad apples' in the medical profession, and the growing awareness of financial conflicts of interest in clinical research, Dr. Cohen warned that unless such trust is regained, the public and its elected officials will soon saddle the medical profession with onerous external oversight and regulatory burdens.

Dr. Cohen suggested that the academic medicine community take action in five ways to bolster public trust: root out medical errors; change the culture of graduate medical education; manage conflicts of interest in clinical research; restructure our health care delivery system into one that is proactive rather than reactive; and prepare tomorrow's doctors to deliver tomorrow's cures.

"Competence, patient advocacy, maintaining confidentiality - all these are important aspects of professionalism," affirmed Dr. Cohen, "but it is trust that lays the foundation for all the rest."

Information: www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/2002/021110.htm



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

S H A N O N - Yale Physician Assistants Program

June 2002: "I am doing well. Joe (my boyfriend) and I found an apartment on campus in a really neat area. I am so lucky to have the resources I have! Scott (Shanonís PA Mentor) is able to tell me what areas to live and tons of cool Yale info! I am getting really excited for this next chapter in my life. I found out Friday that I will receive a $16,000 scholarship per year from Yale. That makes things seem less stressful! I am so thankful how well things are going!"

November 2002 "Guess what! I will be staying with Andrea this weekend in Boston. The YALE/Harvard :) football game is Saturday and we and some of my classmates are going. It should be great to catch up. Joe and I are doing well in CT. It is starting to get really chilly! Around 35 degrees or so. We should be getting snow in a month or so. I am studying ALL the time, but we do manage to have A LOT of fun also! It is so amazing the amount of information you can learn in 4 months. I am almost halfway through with my didactic phase- YIPPIE! Then, time to think about what rotations I want to do and a thesis project."

Shanon has been my Advisee and now my alumna for over 4 years. Her parents divorced when she was a few weeks old; she has an older brother who was her primary father figure and a younger sister. Shannon had a difficult family environment and was the caregiver for her mother during much of her youth. In high school, Shanon developed as an athlete. She says, "The cross-country coach was recruiting: 'You will practice every day, go home tired, but notice improvements with every race. You will race every race no matter what level and will be rewarded every day in several ways.' This was all I needed to be sold. Now, I spent hours sweating. By my sophomore year, I became Captain of the cross-country team, received two varsity letters in cross country and track and field, and won the sophomore Athlete of the Year award. By my 17th birthday, I learned many important things. I knew my life had to center around taking care of and loving myself. I knew that only I can determine my worthiness. I decided that educating myself was the best way to achieve my future."

Shanon is the first in her family to attend college. She had no idea of what major to select. As Shanon says, "I picked my major by looking at the categories on the application and circling Foods and Nutrition because I thought the subject was interesting. After two semesters in nutrition classes, I learned that my interest was not in food but rather in the diseases accompanying malnutrition."

Shanon gained confidence in the difficult sciences after declaring a biology major and became a pre-physician Assistant student. As challenges got harder, rose to meet them successfully. For example, Shanon was selected to be an undergraduate TA for organismic biology and teach introductory chemistry workshops. Shanon says, "During my first year of college, I worked in an outpatient surgery center in Chula Vista as a medical records clerk and I found myself transfixed with patient history and physical reports and reading further through the operative reports. My curiosity transformed into an enthusiasm for medicine as I began pleading with the surgeons to allow me to observe surgeries during my school breaks."

Shanon worked up to 30 hours per week consistently while attending college and required effective time management skills. She became a clinical trials Assistant for her last two plus years of college in a large diabetes management program, which was presented at the American Diabetes Association and is a co-author for many research articles related to the Hepatitis C virus. Shanon's organic chemistry professor said, "Shanon was one of the brightest students in my class. Her perseverance, organization and common sense will stand her in good stead in any graduate or professional program."

Shanon says, "I found support in the Collegiate Union for Health Related Education (CUHRE), where I found many students with the same goals. As CUHREís Externship Coordinator, Recruitment Coordinator, Enrichment Instructor in biology and a Mentor, I have learned professional and personal skills that will help me be a leader."

Shanon has compassion about people and their problems and seems willing to listen. She recognizes the importance of counseling in medicine and has the personality to do it. She clearly is a good ìpeopleî person. With good fortune, Shanon encountered people who helped steer her in the right direction and put her on a sound academic track. Shanon became an academically-superior leader with interesting community service in the Special Olympics. Her receipt of California Governor Davis' "Opportunity for Womenís scholarship," capped many academic honors and recognized Shanonís hard work and personal courage.

Shanon's medical and patient care experiences include coordinating Diabetes (about 480 hrs) and Hepatology (about 1000 hrs) clinical study databases, phlebotomy certification (16 hours), UC San Diego Free Clinic (homeless, about 200 hours), Pre-Op at a Surgery Center (about 50 hrs), Mercy Day at Mercy Hospital free care for indigents from Mexico (5 hrs), observation and rounds with doctors (6 hrs), PA shadowing (about 25 hrs); total estimated over 1700 hours.

In Shanon's words, "Throughout my twenty-two years, there were many times when I considered giving up my goals, but the support of my family and friends helped me overcome the insurmountable. I would never take away those obstacles because being a Physician Assistant requires more than intellect. A PA must be in touch with reality in all types of situations. My experiences have made me less judgmental, and ready for a life of learning and giving.

Way to go, Shanon!!

If you wish to communicate with Shanon, email drlewis@lewisassoc.com



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

What are the MCAT Changes for April 2003?

Fri, 15 Nov 2002: You have been hearing for a year about the minor science CONTENT CHANGES, and the shortening of VR by five questions (see Lewis Associates Newsletter vol 1 issue 2 from December 2001), and the reinstatement of VR scores of 14 and 15. New PRACTICE TESTS reflecting these changes are under construction.

The new change is in the REPORTING of scores. AAMC is moving to the concept of "Full Disclosure," where they will report an examinee's "Testing History" rather than specific sets of scores. All 2003 and later MCAT scores will automatically be "released to AMCAS" and included in the MCAT Testing History Reports (THx Reports - formerly known as Additional Score Reports). Scores from before 2003 will be sent (or included in an AMCAS application) only if requested (or released) by the examinee - this change will not affect pre-2003 scores. The MCAT THx Report will show the dates of all of an examinee's MCATs, however.

The THx system will be an online system, as is the current Additional Score Report system. There will be some important differences. First, THx Reports will be FREE. Second, the THx system will SHOW scores - not just test dates. That way, students can find out their scores as soon as the information is available to the AAMC.

Early scores online for FREE. MCAT REGISTRATION will be online only. If someone finds that impossible, they may call the MCAT Program Office and an operator there will do the entry for them.

In 2003, the MCAT REGISTRATION FEE will be $185, an increase of $5 from 2002.

AAMC is raising the (top-secret) criterion for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program and expect to see a few MORE FAP approvals in 2003.

-Ellen R. Julian, Ph.D., Asst VP and Director of the Medical College Admission Test, Association of American Medical Colleges

We will feature an important question each month. Please submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions to drlewis@lewisassoc.com



h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n

Alternative Medicine

November 29, 2002: Georgetown University Medical Center announces a new M.S. program in Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM). This is a track within the highly-rated graduate program in Physiology & Biophysics, and will maintain all the core curriculum and academic rigor of the traditional graduate programs. The program is designed to teach students to appreciate the diversity of medical practices today, and at the same time, understand the great need for critical evaluation, research and education in this broad and sometimes controversial area.

Georgetown anticipates that graduates of the CAM program will go on to research careers (often after further, doctoral level education), various positions within the CAM industry, regulatory and administrative positions in the private and public sectors, or healthcare careers after (additional, appropriate education).

The Special Masters Program (SMP), founded in 1975, was at that time, the first formal program at a US medical center designed to enhance the academic credentials of students wishing to apply to medical school. Georgetown says, "We hope we can match the success of the SMP in this new endeavor - certainly, complementary & alternative medicine is now a field of enormous and growing scientific and economic importance."

Adam Myers, PhD, Professor & Director, Special Master's Program Georgetown University Medical Center
email: myersa@georgetown.edu
phone: 202-687-1766

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

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