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    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

    Volume 5 Issue 11
    November 2006

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

    What's inside:
    Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

    Important News: U.S. Medical School Enrollment Continues to Climb; Corruption wastes up to $12.5B of drug spending a year, health organization says; What pilots can teach hospitals about patient safety 

    Useful Links: Eye Q Reading Enhancement Program Links

    Dates and Reminders: Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference; January 2007 MCAT; Lewis Associates Mailing Address

    Success Story of the Month: Paul Szefler. . . entering Class 2007

    Question of the Month: What happens to essay plagiarists?

    Our Services


    Welcome to Lewis Associates!

    This November, we have 6 accepted Class of 2007 Advisees including to Johns Hopkins, with many more interviewing! . . . things are moving very quickly this year. I warned last year that the application process for allopathic and Osteopathic medical school is accelerating. I proposed this is due to the streamlining of electronic web-based applications and secondaries . . . no more hard copy of anything or even waiting for an email in many cases! And, now this goes for Osteopathic medical and dental schools! This is a very busy time for all pre-health students!!

    Thanks from Dr. Adrian Miranda, Class 1994, Faculty at Medical College of Wisconsin
    "I have never really taken the time to express my sincere gratitude for everything you did for me. I have often mentioned your name during talks and to friends and family as the person who was the most influential in my path to success. I can’t tell you how many times my wife has answered that question right on the "newlywed" board game. Without your guidance and support I would never have accomplished my goals. I am so glad to hear you are doing well and I want you to know that I still often think of you and the years at SDSU. I am now married with two children (Alex 3 and Sofia 2). My wife Heidi is from Madison and much to my dismay, she does not plan on moving to California any time soon. . . I wish you the best and I hope that you have a wonderful party surrounded by people who love you and whose lives you have changed. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you or your family and please stay in touch."

    Your friend and Protégé,
    Adrian Miranda, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatalogy and Nutrition
    Medical College of Wisconsin

    Thanks From Andrea Casillas, entering the Michigan State University ABLE Program in fall 2006
    "Dr. Lewis, Thank you so much. I am very grateful to have had you along my side during this stressful year. I appreciate all your work and patience! I wish you the very best. May God bless you always. Thank you very, very much." Andrea

    Comment from an Alumnus
    "Wow! What a website. Are you sure you want to retire? Based on what I've seen, you have to be the most successful Advisor on the planet! I owe a great debt of gratitude to your ability to encourage young people to achieve their goals. If there is anything you ever need, no matter what time of day, I'll take care of it, just call me. Joe"

    Joseph E. Allen, MD, MS, FAAFP, CAQSM
    Family Practice and Sports Medicine
    (Editor's note: Dr. Allen did a consult on my torn knee meniscus a couple of weeks ago. . . what a great benefit from having terrific alumni in the medical profession! Thanks again, Joe!)

    What's New?

    Mailing Address
    Until further notice, our Lewis Associates mailing address will be our office address:
    2727 Camino del Rio South Suite 156, San Diego, CA 92108.

    NEW FREE teleconferencing and videoconferencing. You need to register for free AOL Instant Messaging, and will get free audio and/or video contact with us!!

    Lewis Associates now uses Skype!
    This free service allows you to make phone calls over the internet without long distance charges. Please tell us in advance if you are using this for your appointment as we need to bring in a headphone.

    In a couple of years, some new books and CD's will be out by Dr. Lewis about preparing for medical and other health professions schools . . . keep on the lookout!!

    Harvard Medical School Track Record
    We are proud that 2 of our Class of 2006 applicants were accepted at Harvard Medical School! This brings Dr. Lewis' record to 29 Advisees accepted to Harvard Medical and Dental Schools in the past 21 years!

    92% of our Class of 2006 applicants were accepted! . . . and 2 were waitlisted.

    100% of our Class of 2005 applicants were accepted!

    100% of our Class of
    2004 applicants were accepted!

    Being Competitive
    In order to be a competitive Class of 2007, 2008, or 2009 applicant, you need to submit a quality application as evaluated by your clinical, service and other experiences and your GPA/MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. profile--in a timely fashion. This requires a well thought-out strategy to carry you through the difficult year-long application process. And, if you get advising with Dr. Lewis, you will find out that we begin preparation the year before submission of your application!!

    What are your chances?
    If you want to change your career or reach your present career goal, but do not know how to begin, or how to jump over all those hurdles, Lewis Associates will advise and implement strategies to change your life.

    Getting Started
    Read about your Personal Assessment in our newsletter and website, then phone or email us directly to get started! We spend on average 7 hours working to develop an effective strategy of taking you from where you are to where you want to be.

    You may be like our other 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. Maybe you wish to use our hourly advising to solve a specific problem.

    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.

    If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician, dentist, physician assistant, veterinarian, optometrist, podiatrist, naturopathic physician, 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 21 years.

    Dr. Lewis teaches Professionalism, Leadership, and Quality, and sets high standards for her Advisees.

    Lewis Associates will save you money and heartache on your preparation and application process.

    Contact the health career 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

U.S. Medical School Enrollment Continues to Climb (AAMC)
Class Sizes Increase in all Regions for Second Straight Year

Corruption wastes up to $12.5B of drug spending a year, health organization says (USA Today)
Up to $12.5 billion of what governments spend on medicines each year is lost to corruption, the World Health Organization said Tuesday as it launched an initiative to make sure all the money is used to fight disease.

Disciplinary Action by Medical Boards and Prior Behavior in Medical School (New England Journal of Medicine, December 22, 2005, page 2673)
Evidence supporting professionalism as a critical measure of competence in medical education is limited. In this case–control study, we investigated the association of disciplinary action against practicing physicians with prior unprofessional behavior in medical school.

What pilots can teach hospitals about patient safety  (NY Times)
Wearing scrubs and slouching in their chairs, the emergency room staff members, assembled for a patient-safety seminar, largely ignored the hospital’s chief executive while she made her opening remarks. They talked on their cellphones and got up to freshen their coffee or snag another Danish.

How to Read a Face
The emerging field of social neuroscience is based on the idea that human brains are 'wired to connect.'

Docs worry about kids buzzed on energy drinks  (MSNBC)
More than 500 new energy drinks launched worldwide this year, and coffee fans are probably too old to understand why.

New specialists are ready to help -- inpatients, that is (Boston.com)
Hospital patients expecting to get a bedside visit from their primary care doctor are increasingly likely to get a visit from someone like Dr. Faisal Hamada , instead.

St. Georges University visit. Medical School Celebrating 30th Anniversary January 07!
Dr. Lewis visited St. Georges University Medical School at the end of October and met with 3 of her Alumni who are attending and in their first 2 years. St. Georges continues developing new programs and facilities, including for their veterinary medical school.

St. Georges has 4.8 applicants/medical school seat, entering about 350 students/term twice each year. Ave age is 25; 57% male; overall undergraduate GPA is 3.4 and average MCATs are 24-26 total. Attrition rate is 9-12%. They have MS and MPH dual programs with the MD and have added a new MBA-MD. The hybrid curriculum includes lectures, labs, group PBL, and case-based instruction. They take very seriously personal and academic student support, providing programs and personal academic student tracking. They even have a popular elective in complementary and alternative medicine. The goal is to develop competent, caring physicians. The final Assessment is now a Professional Assessment of attitudes and behavior based on the new AAMC Professionalism Assessment Form (see this issue's Question of the Month).

    L I N K S :

    Eye-Q Reading Enhancement Program

    Sound Health CDs:
    Music for Concentration, Music for Productivity, Music to Relax, Music for Learning, and More.
    "These CDs have been very helpful in helping me to concentrate while studying and completing written reports." -an Advisee

    Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine
    Membership list: http://www.imconsortium.org/cahcim/members/home.html

    Find this and other useful links on
    Lewisassoc.com's Links Page.

    d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

    Osteopathic Medicine Awareness Conference
    Western University, Saturday, November 18
    Download information about the conference and registration by clicking the following link:

    Change of Mailing Address
    Until further notice, our Lewis Associates mailing address will be our office address: 2727 Camino del Rio South, Suite 156, San Diego, CA 92108.

    January 2007 MCAT
    The next MCAT will be administered in January 2007, for which registration begins November 15, 2006.

    Beware of lack of seats for 2007 MCAT!
    San Diego lists 2 Prometric sites for administering the MCAT. I visited one yesterday. They have exactly 8. . . yes, that is 8 seats in the entire site! Even if the second site has 10 or 20 seats, with an estimated 500-800 premedical students applying in our city in any given year, how will they all take the MCAT?

    I advise registering very early (midnight of the opening registration date) and having a couple of backup plans for dates and places.

    Beginning with the 2007 administrations, scores will be released on or about 30 days after each test date. Download the 2007 exam schedule: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/mcatdates.pdf

    Medical School Policies Regarding January 2007 MCAT Scores
    We have now posted to our AMCAS site a list of those Medical Schools that have indicated their current position in regards to consideration of January 2007 MCAT scores for the 2007 entering class. While this list is not comprehensive, it may be helpful to applicants interested in whether or not January 2007 MCAT scores will be considered by medical schools for the 2007 entering class.

    This list appears at http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/january2007mcat.htm and includes the following data columns:
    ***State Code: two-letter state abbreviations
    ***Medical School Code: code assigned by AAMC to each medical school
    ***School Name: an abbreviated version of medical school names
    ***Jan 2007 MCAT Consideration: This column indicates whether or not each listed school will consider January 2007 MCAT scores for applications to the 2007 entering class; options include Yes, No, Conditional, and Currently Undecided.
    ***Comments: Medical school comments designed to clarify the response in the column labeled "Jan 2007 MCAT Consideration"

    Although it is unofficial, a student surveyed the Osteopathic medical schools and found that the following schools would consider January 2007 scores (caution: it is risky to take the MCAT this late due to rolling admissions):
    --Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
    --Touro University of Osteopathic Medicine (both campuses)
    --Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
    --Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
    --Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center
    --Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
    --Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
    --University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine
    --Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

    (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine indicated that January 2007 scores would be too late for them.)

    Practice Tests
    AAMC recently re-released MCAT Practice Tests 8 & 9, which are shortened and adjusted the timing and scoring to reflect the new test format. Practice Test 10 is now available at e-mcat.com. AAMC reduced the price of practice tests from $40 to $35.
    Michelle Sparacino, Director of Test Administration & Operations
    Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Association of American Medical Colleges

    According to an AAMC survey (Download PDF), 97 schools offer at least a course in alternative/complementary medicine.

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

    Paul Szefler . . . kinesthetic learning style
    Paul Szefler, Class of 2007

From Dr. Lewis:
Paul Szefler was the President last year of the Collegiate Union of Health Related Education (CUHRE) student leadership development organization that I advise. He was a superb leader, which by my definition is someone who inspires others to set and meet goals collaboratively. In CUHRE, Paul also "stepped in" when other members didn't do their tasks, and he initiated new activities like supporting a cancer rehab program. In addition, Paul was Coordinator for Fundraising and Recruitment, a Mentor, and a Peer Advisor, not to mention webmaster, interim Treasurer and editor of the newsletter. Truly, a "one man show!"

Paul leaves out that he was selected for the national Olympic Development Soccer Team pool and played in Mexico and at regional competitions. He captained both his high school varsity and club teams. Paul was offered soccer scholarships at Boston University, Clemson, Loyola, Creighton, University of Colorado and San Diego State University, where his brother attended. He liked SDSU's team and knew the club soccer team also, so selected SDSU. Paul started on the varsity team for his first 2 years of college, devoting 40 hr/wk to this activity. His club team went to regional finals that summer. In his second year of college, he dislocated his shoulder, had PT rehab, and stopped playing soccer.

He had 3 research experiences in the last 2 years as an undergraduate: organic chemistry where he learned lab skills, fetal alcohol syndrome studies in the psychology department where he saw science applied to a clinical goal, and he received a paid fellowship a year ago to work in phospho-lipid metabolism biochemistry. This year, he works fulltime with patients and clinicians in pediatric asthma clinical trials research, supporting CT scan analysis for asthma symptom diagnosis, shadowing physicians, and interacting with lots of patients.

Here are Paul's words:
"I grew up in Denver Colorado and enjoyed playing soccer, spending time with friends and following my big brother everywhere he went. I was very athletic and playing soccer came easily for me. I started school a year earlier than most of my classmates. I struggled in those early years and my parents thought they may have made a mistake allowing me to start school early.

The struggles I encountered early in school made me develop new skills, and today, I look at that period as defining who I am. I learned that if I wanted to keep pace with my peers, I would have to work much harder. I spent countless hours after school working with teachers and tutors to keep up in elementary school. At night and on the weekends, my mother took me to the public library to read and practice my math problems. Within a couple of years, I began to excel in the classroom, and by high school I was at the top of my class. Many friends tell me that something must have just clicked, and learning must be easy for me now--not the case. Still today, I spend hours studying in the library and reading beyond what I see my peers doing. To give you some perspective, while taking my upper division biology courses I spent one week before each exam preparing. On weeks that I didn’t have exams I would spend close to 30 hr/wk reviewing material and seeking help when needed. If I didn’t understand the material, I was the first person to be waiting at the professor’s door for office hours and usually the last to leave.

Although my father is a physician, and has been my greatest role model, applying to medical school was a daunting goal for me. Because my hard work ethic and perseverance had paid off with earning good grades in college, I knew it was possible. During my tenure at San Diego State University I earned mostly A’s, not because the subject matter was easy, but because I studied until I felt comfortable with it. I spent about 5 months preparing for my MCAT and probably spent close to 800 hours studying. Some people called me crazy, but I knew that if I wanted to reach my goal I would have to put in that much time due to my personal learning style, which is kinesthetic. I learn by observing and interacting with others. Because of this active learning style, I had to adjust for the way in which I prepared for this exam. I used a lot of online material and interactive 3-D models to understand important scientific and biologic mechanisms.

I am happy to say that I survived and am accepted to my first choice medical school, The University of Colorado! I will be attending as part of the entering class of 2007, where I hope to develop a strong understanding of clinical medicine and prepare to practice 21st century pediatrics, sub-specializing in pulmonology. I have learned through experiences that no setback should be looked at as a roadblock, but as a challenge that can be overcome with hard work and perseverance.

Applying to medical school is a long difficult process, and I could have never done it without the support of Dr. Lewis and CUHRE. She was always there for me and made herself available to answer all my questions and offer guidance when needed. I was lucky to be involved in such a great organization while having the opportunity to take advantage of Dr. Lewis’ advising and experience. I would encourage others who are interested in medicine or other health professions to become leaders in organizations like CUHRE and seek advice from qualified individuals such as Dr. Lewis."

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

The new AAMC Professionalism Assessment Form has Deans of Medical Schools evaluating the following:
Truthfulness, adherence to ethical principles, punctuality, compliance, accountability, feedback, appearance, interactions, teamwork, concern for others, compassion, goal-setting, motivation, relationship, confidentiality.

My application essay was plagiarized. What do I do?
This question was posted on an Advisor list:
"A student who submitted her AMCAS application months ago discovered that her roommate, who submitted hers last week, cut and pasted the last paragraph of this student's personal statement and claimed it as her own. Although the roommate changed a few words, it was obvious that the paragraph has been filched. When the student confronted her roommate, she confessed. Now, the innocent student is conflicted about what is the right course.

Should she notify AMCAS? Should she take the student to the university Honor Court? Should she insist that her roommate retract her application? And if she does the latter, which would solve the immediate problem, should she do either of the others? What is the most ethical path for her? If the student is taken to Honor Court, the conviction will be in her record for 10 years, so she could probably not apply to medical school for 10 years. Is that sufficient?"

Here are answers by several Advisors:
1." Plagiarism is plagiarism is plagiarism. What would you do if you found that the results of your research had been "filched" by one of your colleagues and published in a professional journal as the original work of your colleague? I don't see why there is even a question of taking this to the Honor Court and if found guilty, of notifying AMCAS and/or the schools to which the student applied. Of course, your school's legal counsel would have to be consulted on the latter action."

2. "Having just participated on a panel on professionalism at the AAMC, I know this is precisely the sort of behavior medical schools do NOT want to see because they know from research it leads to further and continued similar behavior. The offender should be brought to Honor Court. Adults with whom the accusing student is close should provide lots of support and encouragement for taking this action and helping her with the consequences (possible alienation from peers who see her as a snitch or, worse, as ruining someone's chance of being a doctor.)"

3. Endowed Chair in Ethics: "If there is an Honor Court, then there is an honor code and I assume that the student is honor bound to report the plagiarism to the Honor Court. If so, she should do that. The Honor Court could require the offender to withdraw the application. In addition, the student should report the offender to AMCAS, if for no other reason so that AMCAS doesn't think she is at fault. More to an ethical point, however, she is aware of cheating and should report the cheating to the relevant 'authorities,' which in this case includes AMCAS. If the student wants to uphold the integrity of the application process, then she should report breaches of that integrity. If the offender withdraws the application, however, there is no need to report the offense to AMCAS because the withdrawal of the application will preserve the integrity of the process. That the offender may suffer severe consequences should not be part of the decision process; leave it to 'the system' to ensure adequate consequences. Unless we assume that the system (Honor Court, AMCAS) is 'broken,' the student should not let the potential consequences keep her from properly reporting and/or preserving the integrity of the system."

4. From AMCAS: "The AAMC has established policies regarding irregularities that occur within the admissions process, and we believe that medical schools can only benefit from an AAMC Investigations process that collects information, ensures due process for the applicant who has potentially violated admissions processes, and (if a case is confirmed) provides a report to the applicant's designated medical schools. Note that with the issuance of a report, the AAMC makes no judgment as to the culpability of any person with respect to matters reported and does not assess the suitability of an individual to study or practice medicine. Rather, the AAMC strives to communicate complete and accurate information to legitimately interested parties. Evaluation of this information is the responsibility of the recipient of the report. Either applicant or advisor could report this irregularity to the AAMC."

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.

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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