Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 4 Issue 7
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
Recruiting physicians from Generation X; Do you Trust Your Advisor?
MCATs, GPAs and Medical School Acceptance
Dates and Reminders:
IMPORTANT FREE WORKSHOP July 26--How to beat test anxiety especially for August
of the Month: Liana Olszewski Au and Ariel Chairez
the Month AMCAS disclosure and Secondary Applications
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
July is the month when your application should be SUBMITTED or you should
already be receiving secondaries....and pondering how to respond! As I predicted,
based on the "speedy" turnaround with medical/dental/etc. school
online applications last year, this year looks like it will be a whirlwind.
So get ready to ride the tornado...or roller coaster, as I like to call it...
for the Class of 2006.
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! Schools include 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 goes on!
In order to be a competitive applicant, you need to submit a quality application
in a timely fashion as evaluated by your clinical, service and other experiences
and your GPA/MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. profile---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! Don't forget that once your application is submitted…even
if ALL transcripts are already received at the application service, it may
take up to 6 weeks to verify and process it!!!!
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
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 alumni now practicing in medicine 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.
From Liana (Olszewski) Au
on July 13, 2005:"I wanted to thank you so much
for all the help you gave me as I was applying for medical school. I am in
the med school of my dreams and having the time of my life! Your efforts are
truly appreciated and I am excited for all of your clients who get to feel
the same joy I feel to finally be here living the dream."
n e w s & l i n k s
N E W S
Recruiting physicians from Generation X (Healthleaders)
Physicians from Generation X-commonly defined as those born between 1965 and
1980-are using different criteria for choosing their employers than their
workaholic baby boomer predecessors. Gone are the days when young doctors
put dollars and prestige on top of the list.
From Director of AMCAS 6/30/05:
The question is, "In what order should applicants enter their experiences?"
In the old AMCAS, 2005 and prior years, the software automatically sorted
experiences by ascending chronological order, regardless of the order in which
the applicant entered the experiences. The applicant then had the opportunity
to sort them by type. In the new AMCAS, the system automatically sorts by
chronological order, oldest to most recent within the application and most
recent to oldest on the print out, and it does not provide any sorting options.
These differences between the old and new AMCAS applications, and between
the on-screen view and the printed application in the new AMCAS, are causing
In the medical schools' AMCAS software, the schools have the ability to sort
by date and sort by type. They also have the option of exporting the data
into their own systems, in which they can sort in any way they choose. Therefore,
applicants should not be concerned about the order in which they enter their
Do You Trust your Advisor?
An Advisor pondered to a national listserv recently: "Do our students
take our advice?"
"That seems to be based on factors like whether students know us well,
we have a good reputation among peers, others on campus back up what we say,
they see us for advice, and are open to taking advice. I have found that working
with students closely over their first 3 years and getting to know them well
is the best way to help them understand what they need. At a small school,
I can do this. I know that this is not likely in larger schools. I often use
stories of other successful applicants from our school and what scores, grades,
and other attributes they have needed to be accepted. It is an interesting
job that advisors have because it often comes to whether students believe
Dr. Lewis' 2 cents: I believe Advisors earn the trust and
respect of Advisees...generally it is personal trust, sometimes it is by referral
of a trusted friend or family member. And, that ANY effective advising is
L I N K S :
Great Charts from UC Berkeley and Cornell to compare MCAT
scores with GPA's for accepted applicants from their schools:
d a t e s & r e m i n d e r s
Worried about the August MCAT?
Dr. Brian Alman's FREE workshop especially
for August 2005 MCAT and other test takers!
How to beat anxiety of the MCAT, DAT and other tests…
Dr. Alman will be coming to
UC San Diego School of Medicine to give a workshop co-sponsored by the
CUHRE students (San Diego State University) and Dr. Lewis on July 26.
The workshop will take place in Garren Auditorium on the UC San Diego
Campus at 7PM. Download the flyer
or email email@example.com
for more information.
Through 25 years of helping students faced with difficult tests
that could make or break their careers, Dr. Brian Alman has found some simple
strategies that allowed students to cope well and successfully pass their
tests. He has also learned the consistent behaviors that caused students to
test badly. Everyone feels performance stress but how one copes does effect
the results. One needs to learn how to block negative thoughts, use breathing
exercises, gain better perspectives of situations and learnt how to utilize
self-support approaches. These strategies can generally be described as gaining
a sense of control over the situation (as compared to the strategies that
fail are associated with a sense of losing control). It's the difference between
feeling relaxed and confident as opposed to rushing, allowing negative thoughts
to interrupt concentration, or finding that stress controls those thoughts.
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 Encintas, California and he has taught
workshops to Harvard Medical School, Kaiser Permanente Positive Choice Wellness
Center, Scripps Clinic, University of California, University of Paris, etc.
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
Liana Olszewski Au
Class of 2003
June 13, 2005:
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
Sorry I haven't been good at keeping in touch, but med school has been so
busy! Just wanted to update you on what I've been up to. I did matriculate
last year, and just finished my first year at University of Hawaii! I can't
believe how fast it went! But I LOVE medical school... it is very intense,
but so interesting, and learning is tons of fun. We just finished our finals
this week and I passed all my Units this year :) The PBL system has been wonderful,
and makes learning a lot more interactive and uses a style that makes us think
like doctors. In addition, UH implemented the Basic Sciences Foundation Series
2 years ago, so that we don't miss a lot of ground when going through the
Health care problems. We have had TONS of clinical experiences, and my last
preceptor even commented that I am like a 3rd year when seeing and presenting
patients :) I wouldn't go that far though... I know I need to work on my patient
presentations and write ups a lot more... although I know that will become
more refined with time.
Being married and in medical school has worked out really well.
Kalani is doing his undergrad work and recently decided that he wants to go
to dental school. He has always wanted to go into the dental field, but recently
made up his mind that he wants to go for the long haul. It is fun when we
get to study together and talk about things we're learning. He is very supportive
and is a wonderful cook :) No children yet, but possibly sometime in the near
future. We have been blessed financially to get a lot of scholarships and
financial aid this year... I finally took the time to apply for a lot of scholarships
and ended up getting a bunch! This summer I am doing a research project on
asthma with a Native Hawaiian Health organization, and I will also be doing
my clinical skills preceptorship with a family practitioner here in Hawaii.
Soon, I will start studying for the USMLE Step I that will be coming up before
I know it. Most likely, I will go into FP or Internal Medicine, but I'm still
trying to find out whether or not I want to work with kids.
Liana's White Coat Ceremony at UHI
Anyway, I wanted to thank
you so much for all the help you gave me as I was applying for medical
school. I am in the med school of my dreams and having the time of my
life! Your efforts are truly appreciated and I am excited for all of
your clients who get to feel the same joy I feel to finally be here
living the dream :)
Mahalo Nui Loa,
Liana (Olszewski) Au"
Liana was born in Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii, a middle-sized city. Her Filipino mother
retired as a civilian secretary working for the Army in 1998 and is a certified
Nurse Assistant. Her Polish father retired in 1988 as a civilian computer
systems analyst working for the Army; he died in 2000. Liana’s mother
is Mormon and her father was Catholic; the Mormon religion has played an important
part in her life. Liana took ballet and hula lessons from ages 3 to 6 and
from 4th –10th grades she was in a dance performance group.
When Liana was 7 years old, the family moved to the Philippines near Manilla
after her father retired from the military. In 1990, there was a 7.7 Richter
scale earthquake near Manilla; many died and her family was evacuated to the
Subic Bay military base before they moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. Her parents
separated when her father was jailed for abusive behavior. Liana moved with
her mother back to Hawaii to stay with her maternal grandparents. When her
father left jail and, he immigrated to Texas, California, then to Hawaii when
Liana was age 10 to re-unite with her family and restart a new life together.
Liana attended a Catholic girls’ school through first grade in Aiea.
In the Philippines, she attended a small Episcopal International School, which
taught in English through 3rd grade. In Guadalajara, she attended the American
School of Guadalajara for 4th grade, and took Spanish classes. Back in Hawaii,
she completed 4th through 6th grades at a Catholic coed school where she liked
math, sciences and writing, but lost interest in reading. She attended a small
Catholic Girls’ School from 7th through 10th grades in Hawaii and joined
the National Junior Honor Society, was on the math team and loved math and
science. Liana was on the JV basketball team from 7th-10th grades in Hawaii,
and on her varsity team in the Philippines 11-12th grades.
Liana’s family returned to Baguio in the Philippines when she began
11th grade so she could attend the International Baccalaureate Program at
the International school where she attended elementary school; there were
13 students in her class year. It was a rigorous academic course; creativity,
activity and service were also part of the IB program.
Liana’s father was very supportive of her early goal to become a doctor
and offered her $1000 for her over 1000 hours of volunteer work and perfect
attendance from Kindergarten through high school graduation. She took this
task very seriously and earned this reward. Liana graduated in 1999, with
a strong GPA. She is the only person in her primary family to graduate
Liana selected UC San Diego and lived with her father in an apartment before
she entered UCSD to help acclimatize to San Diego. Her mother stayed in Hawaii
to care for her own parents who are elderly. Her father became very ill in
early 2000 and moved to Hawaii so Liana's mother could care for him. In August,
Liana visited her father in Hawaii and he died in September. She took only
two days from school to attend his funeral; it was a difficult decision whether
or not to miss school since he so encouraged her to keep perfect attendance.
Liana earned Provost’s Honors and strong grades.
Liana volunteered at local hospitals in Hawaii during 9-10th grades and at
the Franciscan Adult Day Care. She has been active in Mormon Church service
projects for most of her life, including feeding the homeless. She was the
only volunteer/observer in a Filipino teaching hospital over two years during
high school, rotating through all departments. In Baguio, she went on Catholic
mission service projects to help fundraising and saw 3rd World medicine in
rural areas, including working in an Alzheimer’s disease unit. She volunteered
at a local hospital ICU during college.
At about age 3, Liana decided she wanted to be a doctor and
felt “chosen” for this purpose. Her father was very supportive
of her goal to become a doctor. She wanted to help heal people and focused
on community service her entire life.
I observed Liana mature over two years. She grew from a motivated altruistic
young woman into a serious premedical student and leader. She became a leader
in the AED premedical honor society and in the Hawaii Club at UCSD, and took
interesting opportunities that suited her personality, including the Homeless
clinic and doing medical outreach in Mexico. She took all these activities
Liana has overcome social, financial and cultural disadvantages. There were
abusive situations at home, but Liana’s father was an important motivator
in her life, and when he died, maintaining focus on her postgraduate goals
and a career in medicine was more difficult. Liana has a wonderful multicultural
perspective with Third World medicine experience that is uncommon for many
young premedical students. She is committed to practicing medicine at “home”
in rural Hawaii and is committed to working with the disadvantaged. She
is now attending medical school at the University of Hawaii.
Update: July 11, 2005
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
My summer's going fine so far; I'm coming along with my asthma research and
almost finished following a family practitioner. I really like Family Practice
and the options it gives you. But I really loved the problem-based curriculum
these past 2 years. Things really stick in my brain better when you can relate
basic science concepts and disease processes to names and health care problems
that we work through. I love our new campus. It is right next to the beach
and so beautiful! It is nice; now we have everything all in one place: our
health sciences library, medical bookstore, cafeteria, clinical skills learning
center with simulated patients, numerous tutorial rooms each with projectors
and hook ups, and lots of other neat things...
I hope all is well with you and your current students are working hard!
Update: Ariel Chairez
Class of 2004
Perhaps you realize that none of us get to where we are in life without mentors,
teachers, advisors, supporters. . . and usually there are several. An update
to give a bit more information about Ariel Chairez' journey (see Success
Story from July 2004)
During Ariel's post-baccalaureate year when he participated in the University
of California, San Diego School Of Medicine (UCSD SOM) Conditional Acceptance
Program, he handled a heavy load of science classes and participated in a
Cognitive Strategies Instruction Program which complemented his work in the
science classes while helping him develop his learning, study, and time management
skills. Meeting the demands of the combined program helped Ariel learn to
handle large volumes of science materials in short periods of time. Ariel's
mastery of these skills resulted in an increase in his science GPA from a
2.8 to a 3.6 post-bac science GPA while taking only upper division science
courses at UCSD. The combined efforts of this program, supported by the director,
his instructors, advisors, and fellow participants, helped Ariel build the
foundation he needed as he prepared to apply to medical school.
I helped Ariel continue to strengthen his learning skills during his year
of re-application and provided assistance with completing all secondary applications.
We added schools to his list of applications, two of which offered him substantial
scholarships in 2004! With my help, he demonstrated that his 2.8 science,
3.0 overall and 3.6 post-bac science GPA (an upward trend), MCAT score, social
commitment to the Mexican American and underserved communities and leadership
made him a competitive applicant. Because he developed his leadership skills
and engaged in community service at the expense of maintaining academic strength,
I helped him see that our most important goals were to improve study habits,
manage his time, and prioritize and learn how to use assistance and resources
effectively. Outcome: Ariel is attending the University of Wisconsin
Medical school on a scholarship, entering his second year next fall.
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate
about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org with newsletter question in the subject line.
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
An applicant attended a community college for his associate's
degree, and then, enrolled at a local university expecting to finish his degree
there. A week into the semester, September 11 hit, and since he is an EMT,
he was deployed into Manhattan for lengthy periods of time. As a result, he
withdrew from that school by the second week of September. He subsequently
transferred and is due to graduate with a solid 3.8 GPA factoring all schools.
Question: Does he need to list that fall 2001 semester school on his
Yes, FOLLOW THE AMCAS INSTRUCTIONS. Otherwise, he is academically dishonest.
The AMCAS Help menu is clear on this one: "Enter the colleges you have
attended. . .Misrepresentation or omissions will prompt an investigation.
List every post-secondary institution where you were enrolled for at least
one course, even if credits have been transferred, no credits were earned,
or you withdrew."
Question: Should I begin to prepare or submit
online secondaries to medical school even though the school has not yet requested
There is NO downside to preparing in advance. EVERY school will want to know
explicitly and specifically why you applied to them! Do not be vague; you
MUST research the mission statement, curriculum and special programs and facilities
at each of these schools...this takes MUCH time. Yes,...start NOW.
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!
Copyright 2009, Lewis Associates. All rights reserved.
Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis
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