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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 12
December, 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: 27th Advisee Accepted into Harvard; Class of 2004 Progress Report;
MCAT Updates; AMCAS Updates; God and Health

=> Useful Links: Summer Programs; Inspiring Article

=>Dates and Reminders: PA Timeline; Pharmacy Programs

=>Success Story of the Month: Update on Raj Daftery - What's he up to now?

=> Question of the Month – What can I expect at my interviews?

=> Our Services

=> Contact



Welcome to Lewis Associates!

December is the Holiday Season. We continue to be thankful for friends and supportive professional colleagues across the US and the world. It is always nice to get Holiday cards and greetings from alumni, here are some messages from last year. From a Medical School Director of Admissions, "I just wanted to tell you how fortunate I feel to work with you. My relationship with you, both professionally and on a personal level, is very important to me." Donna Ni, now a 4th year student at Western University said: "Happy New Year to you and your family! I am very busy with the rotations, but I am doing well. Please come visit if you are up my way. Best wishes!" Lisette Oei, first year student at Oregon State University Pharmacy School said: "Thank you for all your great work over the past couple of years. I really appreciate your support, kindness and humbleness. I truly enjoy working with you. Have a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy and safe New Year to you and your family".

November brought travel. Dr. Lewis attended the annual Association of American Medical Colleges meeting in Washington DC and visited one of her alumni and the new facilities at St. Georges Medical and Veterinary Schools in Grenada.

Many of you are in the Class of 2004 application season, hopefully finishing your secondary applications and interviewing. 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 Julia Endrizzi, our Advisee for over 3 years! Her first acceptance is to Harvard Dental School ... and, that is where she is headed. Julia interviewed at 9 dental schools and, to date, has been accepted by 5 of them, being offered a $25,000 annual scholarship by one.

You may be doing research at NIH (two of my Advisees are currently there and I had dinner with them in November) or in other interesting programs, completing coursework, studying for the MCAT, 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!"

One of my Class 1998 applicants who attended Ben Gurion University in Israel, Aviva Zohar Fohrer says, "Hi Dr Lewis, I have been waiting to write you back and suddenly realized that a month has passed! Ooops. I just finished up a Kaplan course for the boards and came back to Philly last week. My husband is coming from Israel tomorrow and I am pretty excited to see him (did I mention I got married in May?). Anyway, a lot has happened in my life over the last few years and I would love to share it with you." So, look forward to one of our future Success Stories!

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

N E W S : 27th Advisee Accepted into Harvard; Class of 2004 Progress Report

First, we are very excited to announce that Julia Endrizzi is our 27th Acceptance to Harvard Medical or Dental School since 1985 when Dr. Lewis began advising pre-health students.

Our Class of 2004 Progress Report is now posted on our website: Class of 2004 Progress Report

See the Class of 2003 Final Report

MCAT Updates

The MCAT will open on January 2, 2004 - this is the earliest it has ever opened for the spring exam! A "must read" is the MCAT Essentials and the Revised Student Manual which are online www.aamc.org/students/mcat/about/start.htm

Most students now know that the Physical Sciences section is tested first, Verbal Reasoning second and that there are 5 fewer questions on the Verbal section and 3 more genetics/DNA-focused questions. National scores increased slightly for the PS, BS and VR sections this year. Average scores for matriculants in 2003 are: VR 9.5, PS 9.9, BS 10.2, writing sample P, science GPA 3.55, non-science GPA 3.70 and total GPA 3.62.

Scores are now automatically released and a student can now print your own "Official Score Report" from the Testing History System to send to Osteopathic and other schools that may want the report.

MCAT Practice Online Full membership through April 2004 includes access to 3R, 4R, 5R & 6R - all with Solutions, plus the additional features are available only online. You can also print-out the tests, but not the Solutions. This is the best value if you are interested in purchasing multiple practice tests ($80 for all).

A new Practice Test 7 will be produced, but the date has not yet been released. There is a MCAT discussion Board monitored by MCAT staff with over 900 test items. If you are worried about computer-based testing, don't be too concerned. It won't happen for the MCAT until 2006 or later.

New research into a Listening Skills videotaped test is underway, with the first prototype being shown at the AAMC meeting this November in Washington, DC. When would this be actually tested? Unknown, but it will not happen before 2006 if it does become part of the MCAT.

MCAT continues to flag scores of students who take the exam with an accommodation. When the medical schools were asked (76% response of 141 US and Canadian schools), if "At your school, does the presence of a 'flag' impact the weight that is given to an applicant's MCAT scores relative to other admission criteria", the response was 85% NO.

AMCAS Updates

As posted in our November 2003 newsletter, the applicant pool is "rebounding" by 3% over 2002. As more students are expected to enroll in college, the applicant pool is expected to climb for the next several years. As of November 30, 2003, the applicant pool was: 47,356 AMCAS initiated, 31,519 submitted, 24,208 processed. And, women medical school applicants surpassed men in 2003!

In 2004, added to the AMCAS are: U Texas Southwestern MD/PhD and Florida State U.

Changes for the Class of 2005
There will be a report for students who apply by have not yet taken the MCAT. Schools will now individually define what "Diversity" means to them, which replaces the underrepresented minority question.
New York U will use AMCAS.

AAMC revises Diversity Definition
" 'Underrepresented in medicine' means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population." Each medical school will be free to define for themselves what is underrepresented for them -- locally, regionally or nationally.

Newsweek November 10, 2003 issue cover story: God and Health ...

Is religion good medicine? Why science is starting to believe. A prayer a day may not exactly keep the doctor away, but the medical world is engaged in a new and intriguing debate over the effects of spirituality on good health. Inside the arguments on both sides -- and why so many Americans are asking their doctors whether god should be part of their treatment.

Note from Dr. Lewis: One of my Advisees entering medical school this year has a MA in Divinity from Harvard.

L I N KS :

Summer Programs! This is the application season for them - many have January and February deadlines

Paid internships across the U.S. (some pay for travel as well as up to $3,000 + for the summer!)


November 25, 2003 NY TIMES article: Barriers Fall for Disabled Medical Students
By LINDA VILLAROSA ... a Must Read!

As a fourth-year medical student, Jeffrey Lawler listens - really listens -as his patients run through their lists of physical complaints. When he touches a scar or feels for bumps, lumps or growths, he directs all of his focus into his hands, moving his fingertips slowly over skin, tissue and bone, occasionally pressing and prodding gently. A talking blood pressure cuff recites readings in an automated voice, and a nurse or fellow medical student lets Mr. Lawler know that a patient's temperature is hovering around 100. Mr. Lawler's hearing and sense of touch are extra-finely tuned, because he cannot look into a patient's eyes or see if a wound has healed. He cannot read the numbers on a thermometer, blood pressure monitor or his pager.

His eyesight began fading 20 years ago, as a result of the disease retinitis pigmentosa. By 1993, Mr. Lawler, now 43, was legally blind. Still, he took the medical college application test with the help of a reader and a scribe ad was accepted to Western University Medical Scholl in Pomona, Calif. he will graduate in June near the top of his class and hopes to practice physical medicine and rehabilitation. ...

In the past, students with physical disabilities were rarely accepted to medical school, and they rarely completed it. But now Mr. Lawler joins a growing number of students with disabilities who are thriving in medical school. Though no statistics document how many of these students are attending medical school o rhow many disabled doctors are practicing, experts in the field note that laws like the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 allowed disabled students access to every level of education and helped propel the current increase in medical students.

"Over the past several decades, the doors have opened for kids with disabilities to go to school, get diplomas and graduate, so we've seen huge increases in the numbers of disabled students in undergrad," said Martha Smith, project coordinator of the Center on Self-Determination of Oregon Health & Science University. A survey of the American Council on Education notes that the number of full-time freshmen with disabilities has increased to 11 percent from 7 percent from 1988 to 1999.

"As a result," Ms. Smith said, "these college students with disabilities are part of the next wave of students who say 'I can go to professional schools.' Over the past several ears, faculty members and administrators in health sciences programs have noted that they are experiencing an increase in the number of students with disabilities who are both applying and getting into medical schools and nursing programs."

Ms. Smith and colleagues at the Center on Self-Determination have trained faculty and staff members at about 25 medical schools in the last three years, focusing on ways to accommodate the students without sacrificing medical standards and patient safety...."

(For the rest of this article see The New York Times Archives. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30E10F63A5F0C768EDDA80994DB404482 There is a fee involved to view.)

September 23, 2003 www.DemocratandChronicle.com article:Deaf Doctor Rises to Challenges
By GREG LIVADAS ... Another Must Read!

Dr. Angela Earhart is in the middle of a 15-hour shift at Strong Memorial Hospital's obstetrics unit when she takes a call from a patient at home, complaining of pain.

"Have you been able to eat anything?" she asks the patient. "Is the pain worse than yesterday?"

Earhart, 28, looks to Kim Kelstone, not for advice, but to find out what the answers are.

Kelstone, a sign language interpreter who is wearing a headset and is listening in on the converastion, signs the patient's answers, and Earhart immediately asks her next question into the phone receiver.

It may be an unorthodox phone conversation, but it is second nature to Earhart, who is one of perhaps 40 deaf physicians in the country.

"So far, I haven't found anything that I can't do, Earhart said. "There may be certain challenges to face, but I always find ways to overcome them. I compensate through the use of interpreters, lip reading, special equipment and having an open personality and a strong desire to do my best."

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Earhart - who said her grandfather was a distant cousin of aviatrix Amelia Earhart - was born profoundly deaf to a hearing family fought for opportunities for her.

"The instilled the belief in me that I can do anything and encouraged me to be involved and do things as any average child would do," Earhart Said.

(This article is not archived, so if you are interested in reading more, email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com for more information.)



d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

PA program application Timeline
Online application begins May 5 of every year and students applying to PA schools, need to begin the process the Spring term 1 year prior to the year of the entering fall term (e.g. Student wants to enter PA program Fall 2006. Student begins the application process Spring term 2005 i.e. CASPA (Central Application Service PA) application submission around that time.), Those programs that participate in CASPA all have different deadlines for their applications. Interested students need to check with each program they want to apply to. Most programs close their applications around November/December. Secondary applications will be submitted during the summer and throughout Fall 2005. Interviews will be granted Fall 2005 and maybe into Spring 2006. GRE should be taken as early as Spring/Summer 2005.

Pharmacy programs
Online application begins August of every year and students applying to Pharmacy schools, need to begin the process the FAll term 1 year prior to the year of the entering Fall term (e.g.Student B wants to enter Pharmacy program Fall 2006. Student begins the application process Fall 2005 (Aug) i.e. PharmCAS application submission around that time.) Secondary applications will be submitted during the Fall 2005 term and into early Spring 2006. Interviews will be granted late Fall 2005 and into Spring 2006 terms. Students should take the PCAT in the Fall term (Aug-Dec) 2005. Taking the Feb 2006 PCAT is fine, but considered late.



s u c c e s s   s t o r i e s

Raj Daftery … An Update!

This is an update from Raj Daftery, entering class 2002 , Texas A&M Medical School (see his story in our 2/02 newsletter):

"Hi Dr. Lewis, Thank you for your letter a couple months ago. Things have been fairly crazy around here, but now that the dust has settled, I thought I'd finally try to get to this letter that's been on my mind for a while. ... Basically, the Health Circus project was born out of the ideas of another student and I who are pretty active in the Texas Medical Association. We sat down with the local CHIP advisory committee and tried to assess their needs. What started out as an idea to volunteer in our community transformed into a project targeted to meet the health needs of six surrounding indigent counties involving 40 volunteers from various disciplines and the raising of almost $20,000. I took us almost six months to raise the funds and lay the groundwork, but in the last four months of my second year, we were successfully able to establish events in 3 different counties serving the health needs of almost 300 children!

I think what made the project so successful was how well all the volunteers worked with each other, embraced their individual roles, and accepted the project as their own. When we started this project, we never dreamed it would grow to this size, and had we known beforehand, I suppose we might have been too intimidated to know where to start. But the project took on a life of its own. We started adding services and kept building new ideas, so that by the start of the first event, we were providing immunizations, healthy child screenings, CHIP/Medicaid enrollment, dental screenings, nutrition and mental health information, gun safety, water safety, cholesterol screenings, diabetes screenings, and more all with the added thrill of balloon animals, rides, games, clowns, and food; everything, of course, free of charge.

I think working so hard on this project is what actually helped me make it through my second year of medical school. Old habits die hard and you might remember how much I love to overextend myself ... I think it brings out the best in me. ... But, between Health Circus, the TMA, academics, and everything else, I think I found the balance I needed to motivate myself to get through what's been a very demanding year. Now that third year has started and the USMLE Step One is behind me, (I was pleased with my performance), I find myself doing what I've waited my entire life to do. So far, I've been through family, psychiatry, pediatrics, and now I'm currently on OB/GYN. I think pediatrics is my calling, but I guess I should technically wait until the rest of my rotations before I decide ... but when you know, you know.

Everything else has been going really well. I'm excited about my fourth year; I have big plans. I'll be on the Board of Directors for the student-run free clinic, hopefully I'll be doing a couple rotations abroad, and I'm crossing my fingers because I think I'd like to apply to programs across the country, including California. I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens. My parents are doing well, as is my brother. I told them that you had written me an email a couple months ago, and they said hi and they send their regards. I hope all is well on your side of the country. Between wildfires and elections, and of course the new application year, I'm sure life has yet to get dull for you.

Thanks for your letter, it was great to hear from you. I'll always be indebted to you for your efforts in getting me here. I love where I am, I love what I'm doing, and the future looks bright. Hope to talk to you soon, Raj Daftary".

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



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

"What can I expect at my interviews?"

What do you do if an interviewer asks where you have applied, been interviewed, accepted during a medical school interview?

I advise that you be straightforward in answering these questions and then sum up by saying, "I have applied to a diverse group of schools, so that I may be exposed to a wide variety of educational structures and when the interviewing process is completed, I will review all of the information I have accumulated and will make my decision accordingly, since I fully realize that my opinions about schools may change considerably during this process."

The interviewer who asks this question may be trying to gauge how carefully the applicant has thought about where he/she has applied. One Director of Admissions indicates, "We ask that question of most, if not all, of the students who we interview. We are simply trying to understand the considerations and thought processes that went into the student's selection of schools. In counseling prospective applicants, I strongly recommend that they create a broad list of schools that they are interested in, do the research and make an informed decision on which schools they apply to, and continue the same process when returning supplementary applications and considering acceptances. I find that a small number of students seem to be uncomfortable with this question, we realize that they should be informed consumers and will select the school that meets their needs."

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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