Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 12
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
n e w s & l i n k s
N E W S : 27th Advisee Accepted into Harvard; Class of 2004
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
"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,"
(This article is not archived, so if you are interested in reading
more, email email@example.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.
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates,
or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.