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    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

    Volume 4 Issue 10
    October 2005

    Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
    Email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com with your comments. Enjoy!

    100% Acceptance Rate for Class of 2005

    1st Acceptance for Class of 2004!

    What's inside:
    Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

    Important News: Hurricane Affects Medical Schools

    Useful Links: Naturopathic Medicine; Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

    Dates and Reminders: Osteopathic Awareness Conference; UCI Pre-Medical Conference

    Success Story of the Month: Stacia Bier, 2nd Year at George Washington University Medical School

    Question of the Month: What should I wear to interviews?

    Our Services


    Welcome to Lewis Associates!

    October means fall is well underway. If you are taking classes, you are likely well into midterms and hopefully mastering new subjects. . . and enjoying it at the same time. When those first exams hit and your scores appear, can you say that you used all appropriate resources and managed your time and talents well? If you wish advising about how to do well academically. . . we can put you on the right path.

    For Class of 2006 applicants, October is when you should be responding to secondaries! 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.

    About half of our Class of 2006 applicants are now interviewing!

    And, our first acceptance is Ashley Pistorio at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences!!! Congratulations to Ashley!

    We are proud that 100% of our Class of 2005 applicants have now been accepted!

    From Hilli, Class of 2005, on September 20, 2005
    "Dr. Lewis, I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me. There are no words to describe how lucky I am to have received your help. You are an amazing person. I've never been happier. Thank you for helping make my dream come true. Part of me still cannot believe that I am actually in medical school - this has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I really cannot thank you enough for helping me achieve this dream. It is so exciting to be studying in medical school, learning to give a physical examination, going to my preceptorship, and meeting other people who are studying to become physicians."

    Hilli at George Washington University's White Coat Ceremony

    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 year-long 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 that roller coaster ride I mentioned. 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!

    Class of 2007 applicants--you still have TIME to prepare and plan well. . . and we can help you sidestep mistakes and jump over roadblocks that everyone seems to face.

    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 process.

    Contact the experts! For more information email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com or call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.

    n e w s & l i n k s

    N E W S

    Hurricane Updates From AAMC

    September 28, 2005

    The southern Texas medical schools and teaching hospitals, along with their temporarily relocated Tulane colleagues, prepared for the worst last week in expectation of Hurricane Rita. Fortunately, Houston and Galveston were largely spared, although numerous coastal areas in Texas and Louisiana suffered the brunt of the nation's second major hurricane in a month. Once again, the AAMC offered its Web site, e-mail, switchboard and centralized information resource capabilities to any affected AAMC-member institutions. Thankfully, the southern Texas institutions weathered the storm well and were able to keep their communications systems up and running.

    I sent a letter sent last week applauding Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT) for their proposed legislation to ensure temporary health care coverage for vulnerable victims of Hurricane Katrina. The bill, "The Emergency Health Care Relief Act of 2005," streamlines Medicaid's current program requirements to allow states temporarily to enroll eligible Katrina victims into Medicaid, helps employers in affected states maintain their commitment to providing private health care insurance to employees, and waives late enrollment requirements for Medicare Part B beneficiaries. Through expanded federal assistance to states, flexibility with Medicare bad debt requirements, and the creation of a disaster relief fund for providers experiencing changes in patient volume, the bill also helps providers cover costs associated with day-to-day operations and providing care to Katrina evacuees. For more information, go to http://www.aamc.org/advocacy/library/washhigh/2005/092305/092005.pdf

    Medical School Update
    Hurricane Rita delayed the scheduled Sept. 26 start of Tulane's classes at Baylor. The Tulane Web site now reports that classes and clinical rotations for Tulane students have been re-scheduled, with registration and orientation for both clinical and pre-clinical students in Houston slated for 7:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 1. Clinical rotations will begin on Monday, Oct. 3. Further information is available at the Tulane Website: www.som.tulane.bcm.edu

    LSU-New Orleans classes for first- and second-year students Tuesday began as scheduled this on the Baton Rouge Pennington campus.

    LSU-New Orleans posted its new mailing address and phone number on its Web site last week-LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, P. O. Box 98096, Baton Rouge, LA 70898. Applicants to the 2006 entering class should send correspondence to this address or contact the admissions office at (225) 408-4966. For further information, go to www.lsuhsc.edu/ms

    Story Continues on Page 2

    For the latest information and links to Hurricane Katrina and Rita related resources, go to www.aamc.org/katrina.htm

    We had to kill our patients
    (Source: Mail on Sunday)

    September 11, 2005
    Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

    With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.

    In an extraordinary interview with The Mail on Sunday, one New Orleans doctor told how she 'prayed for God to have mercy on her soul' after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.

    Her heart-rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials. One emergency official, William 'Forest' McQueen, said: "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."

    Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana, and The Mail on Sunday is protecting the identities of the medical staff concerned to prevent them being made scapegoats for the events of last week.

    Story Continues on Page 2

    L I N K S :

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    Make meaningful connections with patients. Become a naturopathic physician. Do you have an interest in integrative medicine and natural therapies? Be our guest at an informational session filled with presentations on naturopathic medicine, including a Q&A session with leading professionals in the field. Learn more about :
    • Naturopathic modalities
    • Career opportunities
    • Medical school requirements

    Undergraduate Scholarship Program for students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

    Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) 800 445 8283

    d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

    Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference at Western University
    Saturday November 12, 2005
    Western University Campus Health Professions Center
    $15.00 per person (includes lunch)

    Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)-Student National Medical Association (SNMA
    ) 5th Annual Pre-Medical Conference at UC Irvine
    Saturday, October 22, 2005
    University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
    $8.00 per person (registered before October 15)
    http://www.ucihs.uci.edu/admissions/ (Click Outreach, Upcoming Events)

    s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
    by Dr. Cynthia Lewis

    Stacia Bier 2nd Year, George Washington University School of Medicine

    From rural Pennsylvania, Stacia is the first in her family to attend college

    Stacia's White Coat Ceremony at GW

    I recall the day Stacia entered the CUHRE office several years ago to get her first advising. . . seems like yesterday! She is now a second year student at George Washington University Medical School.

    On September 14, 2005, Stacia emailed:

    "Hi Dr. Lewis!
    It has been so long since we've emailed. I thought i'd say HI and let you know how things are going. My first year of medical school went well. I learned a lot and made a lot of friends. I have a great class (very down to earth and supportive). I realized that I would NEVER want to be a surgeon because I absolutely hated gross anatomy! I was paired up with a pediatrician for my clinical experience and I really like pediatrics. He is an excellent doctor and an excellent teacher. I love the kids and I didn't mind the parents. He would have me go in and interview difficult parents so that I could get the experience and it wasn't so bad.

    I spent the summer at the NIH. I went back to the lab that I was at before. I love it there!!! I love the people and the work. I really think that I may end up in something like Pediatric Infectious Disease. In fact, I am planning on taking a year off between third and fourth year to do clinical research (all my past research has been basic bench work). With the past leadership experience that I had while I was at the NIH for my post-bac year I was able to network with the directors of the program that I will be applying for. My name may go on 3 to 4 papers in the upcoming year or 2 from the research that I did at the NIH.

    I have gotten moderately involved at GW. I am the health policy/advocacy chair for the AMA student division at GW. I get to represent GW and go to national conferences and vote on what health issues the student division is going to pursue. I went to Chicago this summer. It was an awesome experience! Health policy is very new to me so I am learning a lot. I also signed up to begin interviewing students for next years class. I'll start next month. . . .
    Talk to you soon. Stacia"

    Stacia's Success Story
    I have known Stacia for over 5 years since she entered the CUHRE program at San Diego State University. Stacia says: “I was born to a lower-middle class family and raised near the rural town of York, Pennsylvania, which is adjacent to Lancaster in Amish country. I am the first in my family to attend college. My rural background exposed me to a simplistic, easy-going, country lifestyle."

    Stacia says, "I grew up in rural Dover, Pennsylvania. According to the US Census Bureau, only 7% has a bachelor's degree and only 3% have a graduate degree. Nearly 51% of the women age 16 and over have children and I had no female professionals as role models. The perception for girls was that education stopped at high school, then came motherhood and family, and if you worked, it was clerical. The only women I knew with a college education were my teachers. My desire to earn good grades had to come from within; I did not feel that I could succeed in college. Growing up in this rural area with my teachers' assessments of below average academic potential prompted me to develop my social skills rather than academic skills."

    "While growing up, academic work was not a high priority for me, partially due to my family’s lack of emphasis on education. From a young age, I believed that I was not intelligent. My pre-school teacher tried to convince my parents to hold me back. Although my parents did not hold me back, from that point on my academic potential was questioned. In my junior year of high school, my guidance counselor told me that I wasn’t a desirable candidate for college. My parents encouraged me to seek other advice. A new guidance counselor at Central York High School saw beyond the original 'diagnosis’ and took the time to teach me how to study. As a result, my grades improved. Since then, I have become a more serious and focused student, overcoming educational, social and psychological barriers. Developing confidence in my scholastic aptitude has been challenging. Each year, my study habits improve and I become a more competitive student".

    Stacia was repeatedly told that she was not smart as she grew up and, she came to believe it. She graduated from high school with a low GPA and low SAT scores, and wanted to become a nurse. She entered the nursing program in a small college in West Virginia, but majored in social activities her first year while living in a sorority house. She competed in gymnastics and was on the cross-country team her first year of college. She, then, moved to attend a college closer to home in her second year and became more motivated to become a nurse. Once she took science classes, she fell in love with them.

    Stacia worked about 16 hours per week as a waitress and in research while attending college. She took off one and a half years to work fulltime in sales at the biotechnology firm, which sells human cells to researchers, and then fulltime as an office manager for a Chiropractor.

    Stacia wrote the following about her community service: “Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to help people. I started volunteering when I was 13 at Health South Rehab Hospital. I played games, painted ceramics, and built crafts with patients recovering from strokes. It was tough at such a young age trying to motivate people in the midst of frustration with their disability. I viewed my position not as a “mere volunteer” passing the time, but as an opportunity to offer encouragement to someone who might not get it anywhere else. In high school, I volunteered to deliver flowers at York Hospital because I enjoyed brightening peoples' days."

    "In college, I worked in health-related jobs. I was hired as a nurse intern at a hospital my sophomore year, where I interacted with doctors and patients. I was also trained as a unit secretary which enabled me to see the administrative side of the healthcare system. One of my best experiences was as a Resident Assistant at Shadowfax Corporation. Working with handicapped children taught me that no matter what personality a patient may have, he deserves to be treated with love, kindness, respect and dignity. Caring for these individuals brought me a joy that I had never before experienced.”

    Stacia found her stride academically at San Diego State University with CUHRE, a student organization that Dr. Lewis advises. She earned nearly a 4.0 GPA in 72 units of mostly sciences, including organic chemistry. She completed certification in phlebotomy and we discussed ways of integrating Stacia’s significant art interest into her college curriculum. She applied her artistic talents to developing our newsletter and learning to do computer layout.

    Dr. Verloop, D.C. wrote, “Stacia Bier worked for me for 9 months as the office manager of my chiropractic clinic. It was a brand new clinic which was growing rapidly and demanded a tremendous amount of energy to manage. Stacia’s responsibilities included collections, scheduling, greeting all patients, answering phones, patient education and whatever else it took to get the job done. The healing of patients in our office begins with their first visit. Stacia was that first impression as well as the last. She is kind, considerate and compassionate. Many of our patients are grumpy and grouchy from painful symptoms, but Stacia was always able to calm them and reassure them that they were in the right place, and that we were going to take good care of them. There is so much to learn about health and healing. Much of what we do in the office revolves around re-educating our patients that health doesn’t come from a bottle; it comes from within. Health is a product of decisions we’ve made regarding diet, exercise, rest, mental attitude and the care of our spine and nervous system. Stacia eagerly absorbed this information and always wanted to learn more. She attended health-related seminars with me and I was constantly providing her with information on health and wellness so that she could assist me in enlightening our patients about the rewards of a healthy lifestyle. My practice is my baby. I have worked tirelessly the last 3 years to build it and the decision to hire Stacia was very important. She was always positive and supportive to me and to the patients. She is self-motivated and was able to make important decisions on her own without my input. Her people skills are far beyond her years and more important than anything else; she loves my patients. People like Stacia do wonderful things.”

    Stacia has important patient care, managerial experience and was a technician in a marine mammal research program for a year before working as a research technician in a psychology project one year. Her interest in solving applied problems and her thirst to learn new things drove her to seek an NIH research experience after college graduation.

    In her junior year, Stacia began mentoring a 15-year-old girl in the Bright Futures Project because Stacia didn't have any female role models in professionals growing up. She spent time with her protégée discussing reproductive health and has weekly (rather than the 'required' monthly) meetings because as she rightly surmised, one's perspective changes daily at age 15. Stacia tutored her protégée in biology, which she was failing and then passed. And, she used problem-solving with her protégée about poor reading skills and encouraged her to enter the AVID program which supports college entry for at-risk youth while developing study skills.

    Stacia steps up to the plate on her own initiative, another sign of the most outstanding of my Advisees. Stacia was elected to the position of design editor for the CUHRE newsletter due to her interest in art and design, and then took on a position requiring strong communication skills, Liaison to the application class of 2003. Stacia was then selected by her peers to be President. Stacia is a strong, effective leader, dealing with difficult programmatic and organizational issues and is committed to the high standards that CUHRE espouses.

    In summary, Stacia has a twinkle in her eye, confidence in her walk, and a sparkly personality. Immediately, you can sense her sincerity, friendliness, compassion, drive, inquisitiveness and integrity. I can't imagine anyone not being charmed by her personality. Most certainly, Stacia possesses qualities that will lend themselves to the medical profession. I have been impressed with Stacia's progressive improvement academically to the point that she is now a very strong student. This is especially commendable given the circumstances from which she has risen so dramatically. I am also impressed with the commitment and leadership she demonstrated in CUHRE.

    One might question the reasoning or sincerity of young women who may have a "romantic" notion about the medical profession. Not Stacia. Based on my many questions, Stacia revealed her knowledge, sincerity and fascination with medicine, especially research. She was adamant about wanting to combine research to applied medicine. Just as she has proven herself as a runner, she can also achieve what she wants in medicine. What she has accomplished in her young life in sports, academics, social and community leadership definitely demonstrates a competitive nature with a willingness to struggle in order to achieve, essential for medical school. Her academic record indicates that as well. Stacia was a mediocre student her freshman year. Pulling herself up from 'B' and 'C' grades, she managed in her senior year almost straight 'A's. This only confirms how driven and disciplined she is in achieving what she wants. Stacia's record of extracurricular activities is impressive, as well. Working in health clinics, nursing homes and research makes her an attractive candidate. She has also worked in offices, food service, management, and as a Mentor. Her non-medical experience will assist her to understand the business of medical practice.


    Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories: drlewis@lewisassoc.com

q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD

How do I dress for my interviews? . . . Is there some secret to success?

First, you should realize that no matter what your interviewer is wearing--shorts and a tee shirt, an Armani suit, or a tailored dress--you need to be perceived as a potential peer to the most conservative interviewer you can imagine. The vast majority of physicians and folks in medical education are conservative in their thinking about their profession. That does not mean that free spirits do not inhabit medical faculties; it means that you must "play the part" of someone you believe that the faculty, admissions staff, and students at that school would want to have as their peer. Generally, you need to be clean, neat, well-groomed. Men wearing ponytails and anyone with body piercing and obvious tattoos which state individuality, are risky at best in this very conservative environment and I advise against showing them. In fact, in a recent advisor listserv posting, it was unanimous from male admissions staff that a conservative haircut is expected; anything else is "testing the system a little too much."

You also want to be comfortable in what you are wearing. The standard men's business suit or slacks and sports coat, and women's pants or skirt suit or a tailored dress are best choices. Don't try out some new shoes that haven't been broken in for this important event. And, yes, black, brown, navy, are good, but just use good common sense and do not put paisley and checks together. Other colors are fine. If green is "your color", wear it. The rule of thumb is that what you are wearing should not distract the interviewer from focusing on what you are discussing. No low cut tops or very short skirts for women, or low rider pants for men. No large, noisy jewelry or unusual hairdos. You will have time to show your individuality during medical school. Most schools are concerned about how their patients will perceive you, too. So, the old traditional approach still wins the day. You want ALL focus to be on what you have accomplished and who you are, not what you are wearing!

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 with newsletter question in the subject line.

    l e w i s   a s s o c i a t e s   a d v i s i n g   s e r v i c e s

    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.

    $100 DISCOUNT on advising - a great Deal!
    Lewis Associates Advisees who refer someone who selects a year or longer advising package receive a $100 discount from their Advising package for each new Advisee!

    We have expanded Lewis Associates services to meet the needs of all types of students from pre-applicants to applicants including hourly advising support for specific needs. Click here.

    c o n t a c t

    "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 Coaches and consultants may support programs like Law and Business or graduate school – not Lewis Associates. We are the experts in Health Professions based on 20 years of a successful track record.

    Call or email today to set your first appointment!

    805.226.9669 imaclewis@lewisassoc.com

    Copyright 2005, 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.


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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