Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 2
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
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
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
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:
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,
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: email@example.com
p e o p l e & s c h o o
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."
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n
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
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
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