Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 4 Issue 6
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
AMCAS and AACOMAS now Accepting Submissions; Medical School Admissions Requirements
for 2006-2007 now available; Stress Reduction with Dr. Allman
Financing your Medical Education
Dates and Reminders:
Paper OAT ends October 15; AADSAS 2006 goes live
of the Month: Dr. Robert Carpenter
the Month Foreign Course Work and Post-Secondary Experiences
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
June is the month when the AMCAS and AACOMAS and AADSAS open their electronic
online applications for submission for the Entering Class of 2006.
Hopefully, those in the Class of 2006 have input most of their grade, essay
and other data during the month of May but applicants can continue to do so
into June and beyond. Class of 2006 applicants should have been working very
hard to collect all appropriate letters of recommendation, working diligently
on application essays (you may have more than 1!), and developing a draft
of post secondary experiences -- all this balanced with working (for pay),
doing research, clinical experiences and perhaps full time class work.
Hey--that is a ____ of a lot to do!! You're right. So, having a specific personal
strategy makes all the difference so one does not collapse due to the sheer
enormity of it all. I predict that the Class of 2006 application process will
be FASTER this year than the accelerated Class of 2005 process. So, Class
2006 applicants beware - your preparation should be well underway already!
89% of our Class of 2005 applicants have been accepted, and
are hearing from some last minutes programs.
Our 29 Class of 2005
applicants have interviewed at 175 schools (that is more than 6 interviews
per applicant!) including the Texas schools, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Hawaii,
UCLA, UCSF (and MANY more). This year's applicants have been accepted
to many schools, including Drexel and George Washington Medical Schools; Western
University and NOVA Southeastern Osteopathic Medical Schools;
UCLA, Mayo and Baylor's MSTP program; Boston University and Case Western Dental
Schools; USC and Penn State/Jefferson BA-MD program;
and several MPH, Postbaccalaureate, and MS programs. This
year a Naturopathic applicant was accepted into her first
choice program--National University of Naturopathic Medicine!... and the list
In order to be a competitive applicant, one needs to have submitted a quality
(as evaluated by your experience and your GPA/MCAT/DAT/GRE etc. profile) application
in a timely fashion---this requires a well-thought out strategy to carry you
through the difficult application process. You should complete all secondary
applications, and submit your letter packets to complete your files at all
your schools by October at the latest. Your competition did! 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.... sooner is now!
Class of 2006 applicants, we are now running out of time....a very
precious commodity: Time to plan, to locate and use new opportunities, time
to live up to your potential! Many times, I locate clinical or service experiences
for my Advisees…but they need the time to DO them!
For those who choose to wait to begin these tasks in June, or even
later, you do yourself a big disfavor. Who do YOU know who can whip out an
essay in a week on top of gathering many letters of recommendation (remember
that the writers may not be at your beck and call, nor even be in the US when
you get around to asking them) and developing your experiences, while deciding
if you need to take the MCAT or DAT in the summer---these tasks hold your
future in the balance!
If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician, dentist,
Physician Assistant, veterinarian, optometrist or pharmacist a reality ---
Lewis Associates can help you. We have made the difference for over
700 students during the last 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), received the 1990 NACADA Outstanding Institutional Advising Program
in the U.S. and directed her own Health Careers Opportunity Program grant
for 6 years, bringing $1 million to her university.
Dr. Lewis teaches Professionalism, Leadership, and Quality, and sets high
standards for her Advisees.
Lewis Associates will save you money and heartache on your application
Contact the experts! For more information email email@example.com
or call 805-226-9669 and ask Zakiya to set up your first appointment.
Eric T. Lee, one of our Class of 2004 applicants who previously applied without
success wrote to us: "ÄI would just like to send along my eternal gratitude.
The medical school application process is daunting, 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 this year, which means
my medical school dream has actually come true. Ä Once again, thank you so
very much for your time, patience and guidanceÄ"
Carly Gardner's parents recently wrote, "Thanks for
all your help - we would have been lost without you! The final decision is
probably the toughest! Carly should be so lucky! Thanks again. -Roy and Sue
Gardner" Carly was accepted at 8 schools including USC,
Case Western, and UT Southwestern (50K Scholarship), and was waitlisted at
n e w s & l i n k s
N E W S-HOT
TOPICS for premedical students:
are ready to submit now!
Go to Our Links Page for
the AMCAS 2006 worksheets, very long instruction book, tips and cycle in pdf
format and for the link to AACOMAS.
Visit the power point presentation about how to use the 2006 AMCAS on our
School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) for 2006-7 is OUT…and
it is the first time for a major overhaul in my memory. I advise all serious
Class 2006 applicants for allopathic programs in the US and Canada purchase
it ASAP. At $25.00, it's a steal.
Chapters 1-9 were completely updated, presenting a chronology of events in
the life of a medical school applicant and student, from required premedical
coursework to pre-application considerations, to application, matriculation,
graduation and beyond. Website references are provided and Chapter 5 gives
voluminous applicant and matriculant data about performance on the MCAT, GPAs,
major, gender, age, etc. MD-PhD programs and training of physician-scientists
is in a new chapter (11). School-specific pages now include a batch of very
informative graphic and tabular information about required courses, MCAT scores,
even residency matches of graduates. A plethora of really helpful
stuff! I advise getting it ASAP.
I work with so many students who have significant fears and anxieties
about their abilities, their goals, their future. I believe that
Dr. Brian Alman's self-hypnosis tools can be extremely valuable
to you. In fact, I am using Dr. Alman for my own weight loss and stress management.
Dr. Alman is the author of 5 self-help books. His newest book is called, Keep
It Off (Dutton 2005). He is in private practice in Encinitas,
California and he has taught workshops to Apple Computers, Harvard Medical
School, Kaiser Permanente, Kraft Foods, NFL, Novartis, Pfizer, Positive Choice
Wellness Center, Procter & Gamble, Scripps Clinic, Sprint Telephone, University
of California, University of Paris, etc.
From Dr. Alman's 4/29/05 workshop at Kaiser Permanente Positive Choice
"The Power of Self-Mastery" Techniques for weight loss, pain control,
stress and healing. Dr. Alman taught a group of 40 people 4 techniques; here
1. The simplest technique that can be used anywhere, anytime
to quiet a "busy" mind, and look for answers inside yourself: Count
from 0 to 100 and back to 0 again with 1 goal in mind, taking about a minute.
2. Breathing patterns: Cravings have a specific breathing
pattern e.g. rough or shallow. If you change your breathing pattern consciously,
the craving goes away. Inhale and at the top of the inhale, have a quiet moment
where you focus on a goal, then exhale during which say your name or another
short word, and at the end of the exhale, find a peaceful feeling. Repeat
this for 5 to 10 minutes.
L I N K S :
Financing Your Medical Education
The latest student financial aid resource is now contained on the recently
updated, Financing Your Medical Education Web Page. It is jam packed with
debt and other financial calculators and help for premeds to medical students
d a t e s & r e m i n d e r s
Last Chances for Old Rates:
For the first time in over 3 years, Lewis Associates is raising its
prices. On July 1, 2005, the following prices will go into effect:
For a full description of services and rates visit our Services
Paper OAT ends October 15, 2005
The last administration of the written Optometry Admissions Test (OAT),
will be October 15, 2005. Now that the computerized version of the OAT is
available, the written version is being phased out. After October 2005, the
OAT will ONLY be available in a computerized format. A computerized version
of the OAT is available now, with testing available year round where an examinee
can select the date, time and place to test. You receive your scores immediately
after the test at the test center: www.opted.org
AADSAS 2006 available
May 16, the AADSAS 2006 application became available online.
One week later, more than 4,000 individuals already created online accounts
to initiate their AADSAS applications and 300 applications already were submitted!
AADSAS has begun transcript verification as part of the service that it provides
this year, and is off to a fast start receiving official transcripts and large
numbers of letters of recommendation. It appears that the cycle is getting
off to a very fast start, and that applicants have heeded calls to "apply
Applicants with questions should contact ADEA Customer Service at 800-353-2237,
202-289-8123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
WOW…May has been another
I attended the graduation of Dr. Jonathon Bloom (see
December 2001 Success Story) in Pittsburgh,
meeting many of his very proud extended family who share his well -earned
success. Jonathon is off to do a transitional Internship year at Mercy
Hospital of Pittsburgh and an Anesthesiology Residency at Massachusetts
General Hospital in Boston.
Congratulations to Olga Rosito, who enters a doctoral
program in clinical psychology this fall, and her husband, Michael.
They just had a baby!
Dr. Robert Carpenter
Now, the story of one of our "older alumni", Dr. Robert Carpenter, who is
in the US Navy:
"I was ready to submit my applications to medical school. I had carefully
chosen about 16 allopathic schools, which I thought included a broad range
of possibilities from –shoe-in” schools to dream schools. I met with Dr. Lewis
for one of my final pre-med advising appointments before submitting applications;
she dealt me a challenge. During this visit, she informed me that I must include
a few applications to Osteopathic schools. Yikes! It was months before time
to submit applications and I hadn't even thought about D.O. schools. Well,
I did some research and found, of course, that I needed a letter of recommendation
from a D.O. I worked with M.D.'s at Grossmont Hospital but didnêt know any
D.O.s. I did some asking around at work one night and discovered that the
Chief of Staff of Grossmont Hospital was a D.O.! I soon found myself sitting
in his office explaining my situation. I told him how I had chosen 4 Osteopathic
schools to send my application to and needed a letter of recommendation. He
agreed to write me a letter and recommended that I apply to his Alma Mater,
KCOM. HmmmÄok, I hadnêt thought about Kirksville until then. Where is Kirksville?
The day came to submit applicationsÄ16 Allopathic schools and 5 Osteopathic
schools (with the addition of KCOM). Weeks went by, then months. Finally,
I got an invitation for an interview...rather early in the application cycle,
sometime in September. It was from Missouri...KCOM. I went to the interview
and was totally impressed. It felt as though the KCOM staff were selling themselves
to me rather than probing me to see if I was good enough for them. Several
weeks later, I accepted their offer to join the Class of 2000 and breathed
a sigh of relief...my medical school application anxieties were over. I never
got an invitation to interview at any of the Allopathic schools that I applied
With Dr. Lewisê help and expert advice, I gained acceptance to medical school,
went on to join the Navy, earned the Navy Flight Surgeonês Wings of Gold,
and will soon begin my residency in internal medicine.
Thanks Dr. Lewis!
Robert J. Carpenter, D.O. LT, MC(FS), USN"
More of the story:
Rob was born in San Diego County, the eldest of 4 siblings (he has 3 younger
sisters) to a Highway Patrol Officer father and police dispatcher (now legal
secretary) mother. The family lived in a mobile home in a rural area where
they raised chickens, dogs, horses and a cow. When Rob was age 7 he began
riding horses competitively in the local gymkhanas. His family moved to a
rural northern California town, Placerville, close to several relatives, when
he was about 8. The community was friendly and a focal point was the lake
where BBQ's and swimming occurred all summer. Rob's parents divorced, and
he and his sisters and mother moved to rural Oklahoma to be near friends.
There was some wrangling about child custody, but their father kept in close
Rob's mother took the children back to San Diego County where her parents
lived after his mother's boyfriend became abusive. At age 10, Rob entered
a Catholic elementary school with his sisters, then followed the Catholic
high school. In his junior year, Rob became a representative to the student
council and joined the volleyball team. He graduated with a 3.8 GPA even though
he worked up to 20 hours/week as a veterinary technician, doing yard work
and assorted odd jobs. Even more amazing, is that Rob has allergies to animals,
but enjoyed working with them in spite of his own discomfort. Upon high school
graduation, Rob rented a room from his veterinarian employer.
At San Diego State University, Rob declared a psychology major and considered
becoming a doctor, but because of lack of confidence during his freshman year,
he says, "I felt that it was beyond me. I made a couple of appointments with
Dr. Lewis, both of which I missed. I remember, because she wouldn't let me
forget about it! But that was good because it made me be more conscientious
about appointments and commitments that I make in all aspects of my life."
Rob became one of my most reliable Advisees, which is why I selected him to
be a Peer Advisor in my office, and a student Coordinator for my Topics in
In Rob's second year in college he volunteered in a hospital ER, then was
selected for a Premedical Externship at a hospital where students rotate through
10 departments. He observed the birth of a baby, several deaths, gang-related
injuries, etc. and particularly enjoyed assisting a hand surgeon reconstructing
tendons. Then, Rob was trained in phlebotomy. He says, "I was employed by
Student Health Services for 3 semesters where I enjoyed teaching other students
how to draw blood. Working at Student Health Services taught me about the
workings of a clinical laboratory. After I received my phlebotomy certificate,
I applied for a phlebotomy position at Grossmont Hospital 3 times that year.
Finally, I was called in for an interview and I began working. I learned so
much more at Grossmont. The greater, more acute patient population at Grossmont
demands more intensive laboratory testing and special collection procedures
that I hadn't learned at Student Health Services. Also, I learned about all
aspects of the hospital from housekeeping to radiology to intensive care nursing.
When I started at Grossmont, I expressed a desire to draw blood from ER patients.
My supervisor accommodated me and I enjoyed spending much of my time in the
ER where I have a closer relationship with the doctors than is possible in
other parts of the hospital. Also, I learned the jobs and responsibilities
of other support staff including the unit clerks and emergency medical technicians.
When I am not busy drawing blood, I help the rest of the staff with their
jobs. Eventually, I became interested in the testing of blood that had been
collected. At Grossmont, blood draws are scheduled in the various departments
to help the medical technologists. I expressed interest, and was promptly
trained in chemistry and microbiology. " At the time of application, Rob's
job at Grossmont was scheduled between phlebotomy, chemistry, and microbiology.
Rob also became active in campus politics. He was AED Honor Society Vice President,
then President, and in Mortarboard, a national service organization. As AED
President, Rob secured an office, computer and printer for the club, arranged
a premedical externship at a local hospital and organized our annual spring
MCAT lunch. He says, "As a result, I became more responsible and learned to
motivate others. Through AED, I also joined the College of Sciences Student
Council (CSSC) because at the beginning of the semester, AED did not have
a representative to attend CSSC meetings. Therefore, I served as our representative
the first few meetings, until we found another one. We did find someone to
take my place, however, the CSSC did not have a secretary and asked if I would
be serve as secretary the rest of the semester; I agreed. This experience
introduced me to student government. I became interested in the matters brought
before the council, the Associated Students election, and attended many meetings.
My only regret is that I didn't start my leadership earlier. My interest was
so piqued that I ran for President of the College of Sciences Student Council
Rob joined our local Flying Samaritans group of doctors, dentists, nurses
and other volunteers who treat the indigent in Mexico. He says, "The clinic
where I participate is located in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. It is a new chapter,
which I helped to found. In the beginning, we were holding clinics at a residence.
In January, 1995, we were invited by a local physician to hold our clinics
in her small hospital. My greatest contribution to the clinic was to arrange
to have their laboratory testing done at Grossmont Hospital. I approached
my supervisor who approached her supervisor, and to my surprise, they were
willing to do the testing free of charge. In fact, they offered to donate
any supplies I needed to collect specimens. My role at the monthly clinics
is to collect specimens from patients as ordered by the physician, and transport
them to Grossmont. I enjoy a great feeling of accomplishment when I participate
in these clinics. The patients who seek our care would not get medical care
otherwise, so anything that we do is greatly appreciated."
In his Committee interview evaluations, his faculty indicated that Rob is
intelligent and thoughtfully answered questions. On questions regarding abortion,
euthanasia, capital punishment, he was consistent with his philosophy that
an individual's decision and rights should be protected. His philosophical
stance on these issues comes through quite positively and he has a good appreciation
of medicine. His clear commitment to being a physician is backed up with excellent
experience and strong motivation. Rob had to support himself throughout college
thus, he had to work many hours, which affected his academic performance.
In his last year, when our Alpha Epsilon Delta President resigned due to family
obligations, Rob stepped in to take her place. He did an excellent job of
leading our Premedical Honor Society in providing service to the university
and promoting professionalism and camaraderie among our pre-health students.
Rob even completed ground school for pilots and was trying to find the time
and earn the money to buy flying time to complete his license. Although Rob
worked significant numbers of hours weekly while attending college, he earned
a strong GPA and was an outstanding student leader. I was impressed with the
initiative Rob showed, the follow-through and reliability he brought to each
job he tackled, with his quiet assured manner. As Sciences Council President,
a Peer Advisor in my office and Coordinator of my Topics in Medicine course
(on top of other club membership, work and college courses), Rob took on quite
a plateful in his senior year. However, he found time to setup a caller menu
telephone system, a Web Homepage for my office, and an email newsgroup for
my Advisees. I believe he is just beginning to hit his stride.
And, of course he was just hitting his stride...more of the story:
On Mar 27, 2005, at 5:40 PM, Rob Carpenter wrote:
"Hi Dr. Lewis!
Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you...work has been crazy, as
usual. A few things have changed since we last spoke. I went to interview
at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in February when they told me they had
a late declination at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, and asked
me if I'd be interested in doing my residency there! Of course, I enthusiastically
accepted...I'd rather live in the D.C. area rather than Portsmouth, VA. Also,
the quality of training in Bethesda is outstanding...so I am off to the D.C.
area in July. I graduated from KCOM in 2000 and finished internship at Naval
Medical Center San Diego in 2001, then went to the 6 month Flight Surgeon
school in Pensacola, FL, then to NAS Fort Worth where I've been for almost
3 years. Most docs in the Navy do their pay-back time as a medical officer
right after internship...mostly due to the needs of the Navy...they simply
need doctors (generalists) out in the fleet. We have the choice of aviation
medicine, undersea medicine, or general medical officer. After the 2 or 3
year tour as a GMO, most of us then go back to residency either in the Navy
or get out and do a civilian residency program. Rob"
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about
medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories:
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
We will post 2 burning applicant questions this month:
How do I list my study abroad classes from last year,
which are posted on my undergraduate transcript as 13 units (no grade) from
X foreign university?"
It does not matter whether your coursework is listed under the foreign or
domestic university, just don't list it under both. If it appears on your
transcript, you still must list the foreign university as a school attended
and then submit a transcript exemption request to AMCAS. If the applicant
wants to ensure that the medical schools know that your courses were study
abroad, then you should list them under the foreign school, but from AMCAS's
point of view, listing by either school is fine.
How do I address using the 15 Post-secondary Experience
section of the 2006 AMCAS now that it allows 1325 characters?
Here's one medical school admissions perspective:
We want both brevity and meaningful information. Brevity because we have to
read too many applications and wish to be fair to all. Meaningful information
because we can't interview everyone who is "academically qualified"
and so the depth and extent of extra-curricular activities are very important
-- as has been said before, the more we can find out, the better equipped
we are to make decisions.
The following is just a short list made after being frustrated reading thousands
of applications that didn't give me the information I wanted or asking a question
during an interview about an experience I found interesting on the application
and learning that the participation had been so minimal or superficial as
to make the experience worthless. -Dr. Liliana Montano, Cornell University
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions
to email@example.com with newsletter question in the subject line.
* Think carefully about which kind of experiences were really meaningful
to you -- don't try to fill out space. We are very good at recognizing BS.
* High school activities are important only to underline continuity during
college at increased levels of participation, leadership or responsibility
(e.g., you've played a musical instrument, participated in the high school
orchestra and are now in the college orchestra, etc.)
* Don't repeat what's obvious from answers to things like experience type,
title description, contact name & title or organization name (e.g.,
don't repeat in the description that you worked on research with Dr. So
and So -- that information is above the description of your experience).
* If the organization in which you participated is not well known, give
a brief description followed by the role you played there, specially if
it involved any type of responsibility.
* If you made Dean's list (or any type of honor like that) for more than
one semester, use the description area to list the other semesters.
* If you received any scholarship, fellowship or other honor that is not
nationally recognizable, describe it briefly. Don't waste paper on scholarships
that are awarded to half the population at the school.
* If you were just a member of an organization, let us know how many meetings/week
you attended and why you joined.
* If you list a publication, make sure it's been accepted for publication
and cite it properly. If the paper is just being "prepared for submission"
or "submitted," include this fact as part of the research description
in the part where you listed the research activity.
* If listing a research experience that extends through the academic year
as well as summer, use the description area to let us know the time invested
during each of those periods (e.g., full time during the summer, 10 hrs/week
in the fall/spring blah blah blah)
* Remember that each experience you list is "up for grabs" if
you are invited to interview -- you might be asked anything about it and
it can make you or break you.
lewis associates advising
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
"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
Call or email today to set your first appointment!
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Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis
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