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    Recommendations for Lewis Associates

    Medical School Administrators & Faculty

    "In my activities for admissions at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Cynthia was the most effective advocate for medical school applicants that I dealt with during a period of five years.

    She wrote the finest letters of recommendation that I ever saw. It was eminently clear that she had taken the time and had the communication skills to get to know the applicant well and had ascertained their particular strengths and qualifications. In addition, she is a gifted writer, so she can get the applicant’s story on paper. On the Admissions Committee, we could always trust her information and evaluation.

    I cannot think of anyone who does a better job of preparing pre-medical students for the medical school applications process."

    -Jack Leversee, MD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Family Medicine,
    University of Washington, School of Medicine

    "Dr. Lewis runs a truly first-class program. The content of her programs is very well designed, her students get excellent individual counseling and advising, and I have seen them develop from neophytes in the health arena to truly accomplished health professions students. It is my privilege to regularly visit schools in all geographic sections of the country, and then to work with such students in the medical schools where I've served. Dr. Lewis' students are well focused, they know which strategies will prepare them better for successful careers in the health professions, and under her direction, they avail themselves of such opportunities as summer enrichment programs, research programs, and other initiatives. When one sees the graduate and professional schools from which her students receive multiple acceptances, there is no finer tribute to the value of their programs and her personal and professional efforts."

    -James L. Phillips, MD, Senior Associate Dean, Baylor College of Medicine

    "Dr. Lewis was the first health professions Advisor I met when I became Director of Admissions and Student Records at Northwestern University Dental School in 1989. Dr. Lewis is a valued and respected member of the health professions education community. She was proactive on behalf of her students, even during a time when dental schools were begging for candidates. She clearly researched schools, got to know programs, the environment, and people so she could offer good advice and counsel to her students. Also, she was better able to provide schools with candid letters of recommendation based on a clear understanding of our expectations and requirements. As I've worked with Dr. Lewis over the years, I've always known that I could count on her honest and straightforward evaluation of candidates. Dr. Lewis understands what it takes to be successful in dental school and in the practice of dentistry. I could name the graduates who have attended Northwestern -- and who have done well -- but who would have not been given a chance without Dr. Lewis' insight, direction, and recommendation."

    -Christy Sheasley Weiss, Former Director of Admission and Student Records,
    Northwestern University Dental School

    Medical Students and Doctors

      “Dr. Lewis helped me out from 1990 to 1993 - I graduated from medical school (USUHS, Bethesda, MD) in 1997 and I am specialized in 2 areas (Aerospace medicine and Ob/Gyn) - currently only practicing Ob/Gyn and planning on entering into the Ob/Gyn Hospitalist realm after retiring from the Navy in the next 18 months. Dr. Lewis - thank you again after all these years."

      -Brad Douglas, MD, MPH, Entering Class of 1993, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Medical School

      “I was just accepted at George Washington Medical School!! I am on cloud nine. Dr. Lewis, without you as a friend and mentor this would have not been possible. Under your guidance, I improved myself as an applicant and as a person. Thank you for providing much more than acceptance to medical school! Best of luck to all the other Lewis advisees working hard out there."

      -Stephen Swank, Entering Class of 2009, George Washington University Medical School

      "I am still enjoying sharing my time with those less fortunate. While on trips to Baja with Flying Samaritans, I always remember the terrific advice from Dr. Lewis, and now as a Harvard Medical graduate and Harbor UCLA Internal Medicine graduate, the trips are so much sweeter and fulfilling. Cindy is one in a million! I will always treasure her unconditional support and precise advice during my pre med years..."

      -Dr. Jesus M Valadez, Class of 1991, Harvard University

      "I never would’ve made it without my weekly conference with the calm, experienced Dr. Lewis. She kept me sane. I am so grateful for her guidance, for her editing help, and for the confidence she instilled in me. She is a genuinely caring committed mentor who takes pride in helping our dreams happen. I have urged every fellow student I know to call her. Let her help you, too!"

      -Margaret Jolley, Accepted to UCSD Class of 2008

      "Dear Dr. Lewis,
      Thank you for being my coach throughout my application journey. Knowing that you have tremendous experience in the medical school application process was reassuring. Thank you for your patience, positive support, and belief in me, which has helped me to achieve my dream of becoming a physician.
      Sincerely, Huy Ho"

      -Huy Ho, Accepted to first choice medical school 2008, Touro CA

      "Words cannot describe how truly grateful I am that I was introduced to you and how you helped me so much! I am living my dreams and couldn't be happier."

      -Michelle Garrido, MSY 1 University of Illinois at Chicago

      "When I look back on the year-long process of getting into medical school, I know I never would’ve made it without the weekly conference with the calm and experienced Dr. Lewis.   She kept me sane.  I am so grateful for the guidance about where to apply, for her editing help with essays, and for the self confidence she instilled in me so that I could best present myself during those day long interviews.       

      The simple truth is that there are a limited number of seats in US Medical Schools, and that there is an excess of very well qualified students to fill them.  I earned the grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation, but Dr. Lewis guided me through each step of the application process so that my years of effort were not wasted.  I received my first offer of admission in November.  I’m now blessed with more offers than I need.

      Dr. Lewis has been working with medical schools and medical students for many, many years.  Besides having invaluable insights into a very complex admission process, she is a genuinely caring and committed mentor who takes pride into helping our dreams of becoming doctors happen.  I have urged every fellow student I know to call her, and I reach out to all of you with the same advice:  let her help you, too!    Best wishes to all,  Maggie J"

      -Margaret Jolley, accepted to UCSD Class of 2008

      "I am forever grateful to you for helping me get to where I am today. I know there are plenty of resources these days, but no book or web page could have replaced your years of personal experience. You know the business of admissions better than anyone! I don’t think students realize just how competitive graduate school is now. After three years of working closely with the Admissions committee here at Stanford Medical School, it has made me realize just how valuable the information and guidance you provided really was! And the earlier students start using you as a resource, the better. Thanks a million Dr. Lewis!"

      -Ana Franco, MD, Stanford Medical School, Class of 1999, Internal Medicine Resident

      "As a college student, Dr. Lewis served as an advisor, professor, supervisor and Mentor to me. In my first year of college, I was unclear of what career path to choose and how to obtain direction. I found direction from Dr. Lewis and her well-organized program. After our first meeting, I left with handouts of classes required, a four-year timeline of goals and the knowledge that there was a person who was willing to help me personally. Comparing Dr. Lewis to other preprofessional health advisors, the Director of Admissions at Creighton University said it best in noting that we were lucky to have Dr. Lewis because she writes the most complete and well thought out letters of any in the country. When I look at my class at Harvard, I realized that only 34 of 170 students are from a state university. Clearly, I could not have been accepted to Harvard Medical School without Dr. Lewis' advice and direction."

      -Kathryn Gabrielson, MD, Harvard Medical School Class of 1998, Pediatrics Resident

      "Dr. Lewis was my Advisor ten years ago, when I returned to college as a postbaccalaureate student. My decision to enter medicine later, at the age of 25, involved a strong desire to transform a lifetime of struggles in so many areas of my life. Upon entering her program, I had come from a social science, humanities and arts background. Dr. Lewis recognized both my talents and vulnerabilities, and nurtured both with an exquisite balance. She provided every opportunity for me to develop the many skills I would need to survive in the scientific world. Medical schools across the country have historically accepted fewer people with disabilities than any other minority group. When I applied to medical school in 1989, there were no policies which welcomed people with disabilities into medicine. Administrators with no experience training such a student expressed doubt and concern. Nevertheless, Dr. Lewis effectively advocated for me in a way which empowered them to forge a new path. I am one of approximately ten physicians in the U.S. working with American Sign Language interpreters in medical practice."

      -Dayna Wolfe, MD, George Washington University Medical School, Class of 1995,
      General Practice, Minneapolis

      "Dr. Cynthia Lewis has had an incredible impact on my life as an Advisor and advocate. I first met Dr. Lewis in the fall of 1992. She was happy to lend me advice and information of the premedical process even though I was not attending the college where she worked. It was her encouragement that prompted me to apply to her program which gave me the support I needed to succeed academically and personally. She trusted me to take a very difficult class load while working two jobs. She believed in my potential to succeed and this helped me to gain courage and confidence in my scholastic ability. An acceptance to medical school is not solely the result of good grades, it takes meticulous planning over several years. An aspiring physician must wade through dozens of deadlines, forms and applications. It was Dr. Lewis who made me aware of every important detail in the process and that getting into medical school had to be my first priority if I was going to succeed. I followed her candid advice and was accepted to five competitive schools. Dr. Lewis was a constant advocate for me. I was tremendously impressed by the tenacity with which she spoke out on behalf of HCOP students when funding was in jeopardy. She spearheaded a letter writing campaign to state legislators and the President. When I received a reply from the White House, I felt incredible. Dr. Lewis empowered me by drawing out my very best. I owe the confidence, courage and skills I cultivated as a premedical student to the tremendous dedication of Dr. Cynthia Lewis."

      -Sam, MD, UC San Francisco Medical School, Class of 2000,
      General Surgery Resident, Oregon Health Science University

      "I was awarded a Bachelor's degree from UCLA in 1995 and had plans to enter medical school. However, I did not have a strong academic record reflective of my potential because certain family problems had deterred my performance. I decided that I would not be in a position to compete with entering medical school applicants and I decided to concentrate on furthering my education; I have just completed a master's degree. When my master's coursework was almost completed, I contacted the prehealth advisor to guide me in the application process. I did not seek a personal lecture regarding my inability to be accepted. She was not going to support my chances because she did not believe in me. I talked with students at my work and professors I trusted; they suggested I talk with Dr. Cynthia Lewis. I was told that Dr. Lewis explains what one's chances are and then encourages her students to do things that will enhance their chances of being accepted. Dr. Lewis did not lecture me about bad grades, but instead talked with me about the reasons for them and how I have changed since. I trust Dr. Lewis because she respects me as a student, person, and future physician. I believe in myself and she believes in me. I am so lucky to have found her. The letter that she wrote on my behalf was composed so that at several medical school interviews, the interviewer commented to me on how my advisor believed in me and supported me. They told me that my interviews are heavily weighted on the quality of my letters, and mine were exceptional in describing my character and hardships. Dr. Lewis assisted me in developing my personal statement; she have me suggestions to help get my story across. She was available at all times through email and in person counseling. She helped me decide where to apply giving input on cost, curriculum and strengths of schools. She advised me how to strengthen my application by taking classes that would show admissions officers that I could handle a medical school curriculum. Dr. Lewis did not let me give up; she helped me during each step of the admissions process. With a person like Dr. Lewis advising you, anything is possible."

      -Tabitha Washington, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Class of 1998

      "I was extremely fortunate to have benefited from Dr. Cynthia Lewis' expertise. Not only did her knowledge of the medical school application process bring me to the final realization of my dream of becoming a doctor, but her ability to take on the sometimes difficult and diverse backgrounds of each individual student became especially pertinent to me. During my sophomore year of college, my father took his life. In my shock and grief, I dropped out of the pre-med curriculum and eventually left school. After a year and a half, I made my way back to Dr. Lewis. She welcomed me into her office, discussed with me all that had happened and had much professional and personal guidance to offer me. Needless to say, I feel that her input, encouragement, and expertise was pivotal in my success."

      -Kathleen M. Smith-Pollock, MD, Jefferson Medical College Class of 1996,

      "Looking back at what Dr. Lewis did for me is very emotional. I am so grateful to have met this wonderful woman. She turned a failing student/athlete who was probably not going to graduate, into a very strong biology student who not only graduated, but is attending one of the top medical schools in the country. I am currently a leader in my medical school and a community volunteer. I do not think I would have ever learned these skills without Dr. Lewis and her programs. She doesn't just have the 4.0 students, but instead succeeds with students with 3.0 GPA's. She does incredible things with mediocre students. She lets you know that getting into a professional school needs to be taken extremely seriously."

      -Sam Harrelson, MD, UCLA-Drew University School of Medicine, Class of 1998

      "I would like to take the opportunity to inform you regarding the tremendous amount of assistance provided to me by Dr. Cynthia Lewis during my application to medical school. Her support and encouragement were significant factors in my success in obtaining an acceptance to an excellent medical school. Whenever I needed assistance, Dr. Lewis was always available with sound advice and the knowledge regarding the necessary actions to be undertaken. I realize that much of my success Is due to her willingness to go beyond the limits of her job and do whatever was necessary to help me through a very difficult and frustrating period in my life. I’m not sure if anyone realizes the value of their advisors until after they progress further in their career."

      -Tina E. Watts-Ward, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School, Class of 1994

      "As I anticipate my graduating from Harvard Medical School, I can’t help but think of your influence in my being here. I truly appreciate your energy and commitment."

      -Patrick Linson, MD, M.P.H., Harvard Medical School, Class of 1997, Radiology-Oncology

      "I graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981 as a Naval Officer, specializing in aviation and electronic warfare. I finally decided what I wanted to do and took a chance. I resigned my commission at the end of 1989 and accepted a position as Production supervisor at IVAC Corporation, running the entire night shift of 52 people. I started taking classes at UCSD in organic chemistry and biology and really enjoyed them. I took the MCAT. The counselors at the university could not counsel me when I was putting together my medical school application. You offered your time to give me some guidance which really helped. I attribute much of my future success at getting accepted to your guidance."

      " As a footnote, your communication skills, in particular your questioning techniques, are excellent! You pulled all the necessary information from me faster than I could organize and present it to you. I really appreciate your help."

      -Post-baccalaureate, Change of Career Applicant

      (After attending an Alumni Conference): "It was nice to go back and experience the tough times of premed. I just wanted to thank you for all your help in the past. Ray (Jim's brother) and I came to San Diego for premed specifically to be in your program. You had the reputation for a high acceptance rate into medical school and especially to COMP (Western University). You helped us with direction and focus to accomplish where we are today." (Both are practicing Osteopathic physicians)

      -Jim Yeh, DO, Western University of Health Sciences, Class of 1994, Family Medicine


      "I am a graduate of UC Berkeley with a double school as a post-baccalaureate student and became involved in Dr. Lewis’ advising program. Dr. Lewis organizes and prepares her students for each stage of the application process. She is informed and up-to-date regarding the policies for applying to the various schools and relays all of this information to her advisees. She knows the application process can be long and complicated, and so she makes sure her students are focused and committed to the process. With her guidance, I felt I had a head start on the game and I made it into a great dental school."

      -Francoise Barton, University of the Pacific Dental School, Class of 1998

      "Dr. Lewis was a person I could turn to for emotional support as well as guidance to handle the pressures of school and applying to dental school while balancing work and family life. Dr. Lewis was the only Advisor in the U.S. attending the University of the Pacific Pride Day student open house. She advised me about which courses to take for dental school and to prepare for the DAT. She provided emotional support when I had family problems. She helped me develop organizational and time management skills. She helped me evaluate my application when I was not accepted. She told me how I could improve to become a more competitive applicant. With her support, I was able to reapply and make myself a more competitive application and was accepted into my top choice dental school."

      -Kathy Afshar, University of the Pacific Dental School, Class of 2001

      Physician Assistants

      [Written in 1999]: "All is well here in Nebraska! It's starting to become more nippy (in September). A lot of my classmates are concerned for me - they say I need to change from a Southern California to a mid-western wardrobe, meaning stocking me up with sweaters! I'm enjoying myself greatly, though I'm kept busy as you may have guessed. First semester is patho-physiology, history and physical examination, counseling for the health professional, nutrition and medical literature review. I hope you had a great summer! I'm sure you are helping direct many aspiring souls. What a satisfaction you must get from truly helping others meet their life-long goals! You truly have a talent for helping others reach their potential! I thank God for you in my life!"

      -Linda Acuña, Union College Physician Assistant Program, Class of 2001